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Light of the Earth

For almost two decades, the plant kingdom has signified both microcosm and macrocosm for the art of Marjukka Vainio. The main consideration has been the moment of seeing, where something more, a whole universe, opens up things small, unnoticed and ordinary.

Spruce seeds in the air, flower stems, leaf stalks, parts of plants drenched in bog water, rotting, disintegrating. Marjukka Vainio has depicted all these in her earlier works, and through them she has told of skin and memories, loss and beaty.

Her journey with plants has led Marjukka Vainio to an increasingly sparser and reduced form of expression. In seeking the core experience she has sought to eradicate everything unnecessary from around her.

Moving from representations of the world of plants above the surface to the subterranean world of roots, Marjukka Vainio has adopted an increasingly sculptural approach. Although the root is brought to the surface to be seen in concrete terms, it is not in any concrete space. Instead, it is as if the root is floating unshield in the solitude of deep space.

Roots usually hide themselves deep in the black soil. For us who walk on the surface, the earth under our feet feels like an impenetrable dark night, but this is not so. There is light there, just as at midnight there is bright daylight on the other side of earth.

Marjukka Vainio tells of this which is almost invisible, hidden, which she makes visible in her pictures. The interstices of elements are crossed, the underworld gains a strong precence. The works contain so much that is hidden, mysterious, and things invisible made visible, that they seem to tell of the light of the earth. The light of the earth is the beauty of hidden reverse face.

Marjukka Vainio’s works come about through a comblex process. A similarity with crafts imbues the pieces with a strong respect for beauty. Aesthetics blends with ethics. In their beautiful light of earth Marjukka Vainios’s works move in the strata of conscience and memory.

Olli Jalonen