1969, Joensuu
Pohjoiskatu 16, 80100 Joensuu
Bio    Artist’s Statement 


Reetta Gröhn- Soininen considers her artistic work to be a dialogue with material. Although she starts off with a particular idea for artwork , she thinks that “material must be given a chance. The original idea changes – and it has to change. Its no point just blindly executing a plan, instead the material should be given its own voice. You cannot walk over material – thats how a dialogue is born” .

Wood is a familiar material for Gröhn- Soininen from her student days in Turku Drawing School where she completed her final show out of railways timber. Sometimes she has made casts and moulds but in the beginning of the 2000 she got enthusiastic about wood again. “ I sat on top a of box filled with logs and carved playing children with knife out of wood and that’s how it started. “

When working on sculptures for the exhibition in Joensuu Art Museum Gröhn – Soininen says that she has become friends with the material. Her works are not polished, they are raw. Also dimensions are deliberately played with, altered. She does not sculpt wood as tradition would dictate but she has found her own signature, line and colour.

“I have always been figurative. When I see a block of wood in front of me, I see a figure in it and by taking away I begin to chase after that form.” During process she invents all kinds of stories about the figures “ That character got a red jumper because he was obviously wearing an old worn out jumper” . Colours come from the stories she invents – and a story might follow a colour “ I wonder what does that boy think of his red shoes, is he happy with them?”

Reetta Gröhn – Soininen expresses hes characters not only by their expressions but also by a carefully observed body language. She thinks very carefully “ which way are every characters feet pointing” . Reetta states that she has always been very interested in the nonverbal communication, in gestures.

There is warm humour in her characters. “ Humour is a grat way to deal with even difficult issues. How close can joy and sorrow be to one another, not opposites but a different angle to the same thing.

Reetta Gröhn- Soininen feels that she is participating in debate in society “ in that manner that an artists can”. She is content to have feedback from exhibitions “ for instance someone is telling me that my work made them laugh out loud, that makes me happy” .

The characters created by Gröhn- Soininen always belong to a group, to a gang. She is playing with repetition, and her works have many parts. “ I am wondering what happens to an individual in a group? Alone he is an individual, what becomes of him in a group?

Using repetition stems back from Reetta´s childhood. “ I played with boys, there was always a big group of us and the more there were the better were the games we played. The characters she sculpts are all boys. “ In boys I am fascinated by how easy everything is, no matter how many there are they all fit in into a group” .

In the exhibition there are also works made out of concrete. In them there is the same raw quality as in the characters sculpted out of wood. Colourful, raw and good humoured universe created by sculptor Reetta Gröhn- Soininen is positioned in the field of art as an excellent opposite to that of traditional sculpture.


Exhibitions in summer 2017:


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Betoni, lakkamaali, 2016
16 kpl