HelsinkiMarika Mäkelä: Long Day Plant
Marika Mäkelä’s (b. 1947) newest paintings celebrate colors inspired by Mediterranean light. The artist spent last winter painting in the south of Spain, where the horizon seems endless, and the sky, land, and sea stretch on forever. In her fresh surroundings, she began to see the world through rejuvenated eyes, leading to great joy in discovering the local flora and light-suffused hues of the south.
The palette of her new paintings shimmers with the light of the Mediterranean, yet it also carries echoes of nature’s awakening in springtime Finland. Mäkelä’s art revels in myriad manifestations of the organic world, suggesting a sense of deep pantheistic communion with nature. Her keenly attuned perceptions are emphatically multisensory. We can almost hear the gush of water in the details of her paintings, and even her two-dimensional canvases beckon us to embed our fingers into the flat surface to touch and caress the pulsating forms.
Mäkelä’s vision takes shape through a meticulous manual process. The slow process of manually working the canvas is a vital part of the process; she in fact describes her works as “constructed paintings”. She also sculpts wood, again attempting to capture a simultaneous sense of stillness and movement in three-dimensional form. Her sculptural pieces are forms shaped by time, invoking both a sense of what it means to be human while also bearing witness to the drawn-out sculpting process. Time heals cracks and softens rough surfaces. It helps us question our earlier assumptions and makes everything seem clearer and simpler. Time gives us permission to be merciful to ourselves – to be who we truly are.
Marika Mäkelä ranks among Finland’s most acclaimed painters. She is the winner of the 2006 Pro Finlandia award and she received the Order of the Lion of Finland in 2017. Her work is represented in many famous Nordic museums including Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, Oslo’s Museum of Contemporary Art and Helsinki’s Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma.
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki