Around Journal had the pleasure to interview Tuomas Merikoski, designer and the creator of AALTO International. The successful Paris-based brand has its roots in Finnish culture and is enriched by international influences. Merikoski with his label is one of the four nominees for the highly respected ANDAM prize 2017. Merikoski is interested in creating a new kind of cultural Finnish identity. He is fascinated by collaborations with visual and other art forms, changing the formats and ways of working. (Continues…)

Around Journal interviewed Helen Jennings who is one of the founders of London-based global media brand Nataal. The beautifully curated platform celebrates African visual arts, fashion, music and society. In collaboration with Brooklyn creative space Red Hook Labs, Nataal just opened their second co-curated group exhibition. “New African Photography II features nine contemporary artists whose work engages with present-day Africa. The selected artists will be showing personal bodies of work addressing issues of representation and identity and celebrating fresh perspectives on the continent.” (Continues…)

Visual artist Erno Enkenberg is a master of suspense. In his minimalistic and well-detailed oil paintings the conclusion is left open for the viewer to decide. A carefully planned randomness in the composition of the large scale artworks gives the images a snap shot effect. Photography is a starting point of his work since all the paintings have miniature doubles. Around had the chance to interview Enkenberg at his studio and exclusively investigate these photo-sketches. (Continues…)

ensæmble is a multidisciplinary collective with Finnish, Russian and Belgian roots, calling Helsinki home. The everyday life of ensæmble is run by Alisa Närvänen and Elina Peltonen. These two have a symbiotic way of working in which it is impossible to say where one’s work ends and the other begins. Their work is now being presented at the fashion after Fashion exhibition at the MAD museum in New York among six designer teams who are rethinking fashion. (Continues…)

Around visited the Oltmans van Niekerk (OvN) Design Studio in Delft, the Netherlands and had a discussion with the founders Liesbeth Oltmans and Els van Niekerk. They work in futures studies on lifestyle and design and have just released the latest edition of the annual consumer insight forecast 20/20 Vision 2019>. (Continues…)

“At the moment, I’m interested in the idea of emptiness in the painting. At its best, when I feel that I have succeeded with a work, I have been able to make the painting complete in a way that it becomes empty: none of the elements in the work stick out or annoy the viewer. Everything lives together – form and color speak to each other in harmony, creating something that strikes a balance between substance and emptiness.” (Continues…)

The One-Room Flat installation of Galleria Huuto feels like someone’s apartment furnished with everyday necessities. With a closer look the objects prove to be artworks, made out of different materials and media by a group of artists playing with the idea of memories, nostalgia and everyday routines. (Continues…)

“When spring finally arrives I’m in need for brights. This season I’m drawn towards yellow, ocre and orange – especially the warm burning tones.” (Continues…)

Arela is a clothing brand focused on cashmere knitwear and cotton basics. Around met up with Viivi Arela to talk about Arela For Good events, which aim to raise awareness on sustainable fashion. “I believe we will soon stop talking about sustainable fashion – all fashion brands that want to succeed and speak to the contemporary consumer must be sustainable throughout.”

Elina Ruohonen’s current exhibition, Vallanjako, is a vision of a future with renewed power structures on this planet. The human race is no longer in charge; instead the plants and animals rule. Ruohonen’s works are about everything organic. The exhibition is a plea for the living nature – a study of human and plant hybrids. Her focus has been on the versatile shapes of nature, and the possible mutations between different species. (Continues…)