Ceramic artist Heini Riitahuhta selected artworks by sculptor Jasmin Anoschkin as part of her section in Signature exhibition at Habitare fair.
H.R.: How did you become an artist?
J.A.: When I was five years old, I figured out how to draw from a model. I looked at a picture and copied it to a paper next to it, and it was a wonderful feeling. At the same time, I sewed and crocheted sculpures and panel skirts. I had this opportunity because my mother was at home and my older siblings were at school. I already knew in the 8th grade that I would become a painter. At the arts high school I got interested in sculpting, which I studied later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. I graduated in 2004, and since then I’ve had a series of exhibitions. Usually, the previous show gives rise to the next one, and so on.
H.R.: The Signature exhibition shows two of your sculptures, Frozen Margarita Bambi and Meteorite Bambi. Where did the idea for these come from?
J.A.: I have made many bambies, out of wood and clay. My works are usually large, but these have come from the need to play with the size of the works. The names for these works came after the glazing process. The smaller sculpture figures are usually shown in some kind of grouping, and these have been shown as chess pieces.
Many of my works have been some kind of animal figures, usually two different species in a sort of hybrid. I often call my sculptures some random species. I would like a pet, but I can’t keep up its care, so sculptures are easier to take care of than live animals – they don’t need to be fed a lot if you sometimes dust them. They don’t need to be taken out, except to a museum.
Many of my sculptures also have a story behind them. From someone else or that I have experienced. One friend lived in China for three years, and they had two servants, and another friend went to India and brought home a souvenier sari, and a third friend bought a dog from some distant country. I have sculpture that looks like a blue service dog, and it has a sari as a hat and it offers coffee made of earrings and the cake is soap. The name of the work is Would You like to have some breakfast, Sir? (said with an Indian accent). This work is influenced by all three of my friends’ stories.
H.R.: What is your typical work day like?
J.A.: I sculpt, paint and draw. I do several works at the same time. The clay sculptures are built by hand from the bottom up. The wooden works – I knock the extra material off with an axe, and then I add the appropriate pieces and then take the extra away and then add. I use color right from the start. I like many shades of color, especially neon, but white is my favorite color. When I’m painting on canvas (I always use live models), the colors are made up of the atmosphere and tones of the room and the model. The wooden sculpture’s colors are made up on the fly or they come in a haphazard way from whatever jars or pigments are handy. When making wooden sculptures, I’ll mark right from the start in color what parts need to be taken away or added to, and if those colors fit the sculpture, they can stay there. For ceramic works I use extra glaze or colors from dishes produced by the Arabia factory. I never do a test piece, and sometimes I’ll have to fire it up to four times to get the perfect result.
H.R.: What are you working on now, and where else can we see your sculptures?
J.A.: Right now I’m working on, among other things, a huge golden unicorn and a crying koala. In the past year I have been preparing for a solo exhibition which is at ARTag Gallery in Helsinki until 1.10. In autumn 2017, my work will be published in a series of postage stamps. In the Helsinki City Museum, three of my sculptures are permanently on show in the lobby.
Jasmin Anoschkin (born 1980) is a sculptor who graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. This year, Anoschkin received the Posti Art Award, and her works will be featured in a special series of stamps. Anoschkin is a colourful expressionist whose works are direct, sincere and funny. Her sculptures often use heavily glazed ceramics or painted wood as materials. Anoschkin works at the Arabia Art Department Society.
Heini Riitahuhta (born 1975) is a ceramic artist working for the Arabia Art Department Society. Riitahuhta graduated from the University of Art and Design Helsinki in 2002, and her style is familiar from the products of the Arabia ceramics company, such as the Runo tableware and the Huvila Suomi 100 mug. She has also created public works, including Mustamamba, an emblem piece for a children’s clinic in Nagoya; and Kukka, a piece for the Arabia district in Helsinki.
Signature at Habitare, 13.9.-17.9. 2017