Interview edited by Mia Dillemuth | English editor Julie Uusinarkaus | Artwork pictures by Hermanni Saarinen | Portrait of Laura Väinölä by Osma Harvilahti

In her work, Laura Väinölä boldly combines graphics, design and visual style. The Young Designer of the Year 2016 has conceived Flora & Laura, a non-existent company at which owers are the materials. She is inspired by a dialogue between artistic disciplines, and her creativity extends to concepts, events, and spatial design. Väinölä works as a creative director at Duotone, as a brand manager at Pre Helsinki, and at the Elsa Eventful event management company. Väinölä chose to include three sculptures from visual artist Hermanni Saarinen in the Signature exhibition.

LV: What kind of design/architecture do you like, and why?

HS: I really like so many different things, and architecture especially resonates in my own sculptures. One art museum that I have visited, which I remember especially because of the building itself, is the Museum Abteiberg near Dusseldorf. The designer is Hans Hollein, and the building was completed in 1982. Stylistically, the building represents a kind of peaceful eclectic postmodernism. The building is not overly large or offensive, just interesting and multifaceted, and the exhibition rooms are pleasant to explore. There was also a good show when I visited, and the right building made the works stand out. As I remember, that was the time of the exhibitions of the 1970s and 1980s, and the building and the works were in harmony with each other.

Hermanni Saarinen, A complete part, 55 x 32 x 32 cm, wood, plywood, foil, paint.

LV: What does color mean in your works? How do you use color in your work?

HS: Colors are a very subjective world, and thus also endlessly fascinating. When I study a lot of paintings, I’m focusing on their colors. Further, the combination of sculpture and color is not very straightforward. A good or right way to find the color that works is not always easy. Color so much depends on the situation, and is susceptible to changes depending on the light, materials and alignment. Sometimes I see some color combination that works really well, which I would like to apply to the sculpture, but when you start to imitate it, it leads you astray. The best method is to make these mistakes directly onto the sculpture, which makes the result more organic, and when you find a satisfactory color, then it is already in place.

Hermanni Saarinen, RR, wood, plywood, foil, plastic, paint 108 x 72 x 18 cm.

LV: Tell us something about the creation/process of the works to be shown at Signature.

HS: I usually work on more than one piece at the same time when I’m developing parallel themes and topics. It is important to develop each work far enough so that it can stand on its own and that it says something in its own special way. I might sometimes put figurative elements into my works, but then I usually take them away because they are disruptive or too definitive. This is part of the process, an intermediate phase, which is meant to move the work forward. The body works in many ways as a model and reference point for sculptures, although this is not very clear in my works. The movement and posture of the body are interesting by their nature. For example, the work “Wandering” embodies such a bodily physical situation, a kind of active posture, which, however, strips off any actual figurative presentation or clear figurativity that would prevent the work from saying something other than what the work now represents.

Hermanni Saarinen, Wandering, wood, plywood, paint 163 x 90 x 60 cm.


Galleria SculptorHermanni Saarinen
The work of the visual artist Hermanni Saarinen (born 1979) includes original sculptures and installations. The artist studied sculpture at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts from 2006 to 2011. In recent years, Saarinen has held solo exhibitions, for example, in Turku and Helsinki.

 Signature at Habitare fair

Sept 13-17, 2017