Kuvan Kevät challenges visitors to explore the intersection of art and space

For the first time, the annual Kuvan Kevät exhibition is taking over Uniarts Helsinki’s new Mylly building. Mylly offers the artist new ways to use space in their artistic expression.  

What happens, when art and space collide? Sauli Tvaltvadze, Ville Laurinkoski and Natalie Seifert Eliassen tell us how the new space impacted their artistic process.  

Natalie Seifert Eliassen

Freedom and creative possibilites  

Sauli Tvaltvadze is a student of “Time and Space” in the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. Tvaltvadze short film “Targeting” is on display in the Screening Room on the second floor of the Mill. 

For Tvaltvadze, making a film for the exhibition was not a matter of course. “The idea comes first. After that, I think about which medium would suit the execution of the idea best”, Tvaltvadze says. 

The idea for the film sparked from movie nights with other students: “We started hosting a relaxed film club at school, which got me into watching quite a lot of movies. Then came the idea to make one myself.” The Screening room at Mylly also enabled the use of a more sophisticated technology and a movie theatre like experience, which Tvaltvadze wanted to make use of. 

“The screening room also offers the spectator a slightly different experience”, Tvaltvadze explains. “The space is rather different when compared to usual exhibition spaces. Often, the spectator becomes a part of the exhibition, but in the screening room people are alone with the piece in a different way. When you sit in the dark, you get out of reach from public view. I wanted to see, whether a space like that interested people in the middle of the exhibition.” 

Sauli Tvaltvadzen favourite spot in the Mylly building is the Screening room.

Voice and space in motion 

What is a space? 

Ville Laurinkosken’s art challenges the spectator to explore sound and its surroundings. Alongside studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki, Laurinkoski has attended Ed Atkins’ class at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts. Additionally, Laurinkoski has recently completed the Maumaus Independent Study Programme in 2021. 

Laurinkoski calls the work an interior instead of an installation, since it is constructed of its surroundings as much as the pieces brought to the space:  ”First, there is the windowless classroom with a sound that echoes. Then, the mattress, speakers, wires. Walls full of holes and nails. A trash can, a door, the ceiling full of technology.” Everything is part of the work, including the elements of the building. 

The work has been recorded and compiled in its entirety at Mylly, and Laurinkoski feels that it has affected the result. The building has a unique feel, and the space is still a bit foreign due to its novelty. The same automated lights greet Laurinkoski in the sound studio and in the interior. 

According to Laurinkoski, the work has turned inwards in its own way: “Even the space is almost hidden. It can’t be found by accident. I wondered what the sound would be like in there. Indoors, it is absorbed, echoing endlessly.” 

Laurinkoski’s work can be found on the second floor of Mylly. The work lasts 14 minutes and invites the visitor to stop and listen. 

“In the end, it’s an abstract space. In it, something happens.” 

Ville Laurinkoski’s work bends the lines of an inward space

Natalie Seifert Eliassen’s works highlight positive aspects of sexuality 

The works of Natalie Seifert Eliassen, a master student in “Time and Space”, combine video, sound, sculpture and ceramics. The art works can be found in the Mylly lobby and on the second floor. 

In both works, Norwegian Eliassen explores sexuality and the relationship with the body. This focus was clear from the start. “I’ve always been interested in journalism, and my bachelor’s work was based on interviewing a sex worker. I later realised that my interest in sex work came from a desire to develop my own sexuality. I knew I wanted to create something about sexuality for this exhibition. ” 

Eliassen urges visitors to explore the Mill. Her second work, “Sexual Journey,” is located on the second floor of the Mill, and openly asks questions about sexuality. 

“I wanted to focus on the positive aspects of sexuality because much of what is brought up is pretty grim,” Eliassen says. “I interviewed acquaintances as well as strangers who were open about their sexuality. I was interested in bringing up different perspectives, such as queer identity and religion.” 

Eliassen’s second work, “Breastfall,” can be found in Mylly’s lobby. Originally, “Breastfall” was a casting performance and a waterfall display shown in the main gallery in 1th floor, during the Praxis (curator-program) exhibition Tracing Work in March 2022. For Kuvan Kevät, a ceramic breast fountain and more ceramic was added to the artificial waterfall. 

“I thought an open space would be better for a fountain and a waterfall. My artwork has sound, so it fits well in a lobby where there is already sound anyway. The work is also visible as soon as you enter the building. In addition, it is also great for a staircase, although it is usually a bit of a difficult place to place art. The sound of water also adds a new dimension to the space. ” 

Natalie Seifert Eliassen encourages visitors to explore the Mill

Kuvan Kevät is the annual MFA Degree Show of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki. 

Kuvan Kevät presents new works by emerging artists from the Academy’s all four study areas (Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Time and Space Arts). Year 2022 Kuvan Kevät showcases works by 40 art students that are finishing their MFA degree. The exhibition is open until the 5th of June! 

Guided tour in the exhibition on Saturday, 4 June at 1pm in English. Free admission.

Read more about the artists: www.kuvankevat.fi