The Museum Centre of Turku, Old Town Hall Gallery

Growing up is not easy in today's world. It is said that childhood is getting shorter all the time, because of the society and even children themselves are in a hurry to move on from childhood into youth. Youth culture has become an increasingly crowded area, because youth seems to be stretching its limits on both ends.

Growing up is about expectations, hopes, fears, tensions and conflicts. A child should build their own comprehensive and harmonious personality in the crossfire of constantly changing beauty ideals and role models. A small child looks at themselves in the mirror with admiration and joy -until they become aware of the prevailing ideals, of what "should" be.

Our childhood experiences affect us throughout our lives, they will always remain with us. So it is not meaningless how we treat our children and how we interact with our babies. A child builds their own self-image through how their parents look at and touch them. If the attitude, the look is accepting and loving, the child feels valuable. Being accepted as a unique human being, not as someone who is there just to fill the expectations of the environment, is essential for healthy growth.

My paintings tell small stories of childhood. They are small glimpses at a time when emotions and imagination dominate, fairies are true, and baby dolls have real lives. In the images you can find not only beauty but also rebellion. In my paintings children are not objects, but their own personalities and active players, at the same time fragile and strong, timid and self-conscious. The direction of a child's look in a picture tells us a lot - the child can watch straight at you with confidence or turn away and pull back. While most of the paintings show only one person, they are in fact stories of encounters, seeing and being seen, interconnection, being a part of something and also of acceptance. There can also be seen sadness over all things always coming to an end, fragility, change. The child grows and learns new things, and opens many doors to the new, wonderful and unknown. That all being great it also means an end of an era and closing other doors forever.


 (Käännös: Tiina Laakkonen)