“In an age of global information, her works acts like a reminder that visceral mark making can have a significant affect on the viewer.”
Courtesy of the artist.
SIRPA MIETTINEN: A CALL TO ACTION
By: Jill Smith
Sirpa Miettinen is an artist who feels very connected to nature; she believes in a responsibility for its future, and you can sense that in her art work. Using recycled materials, Miettinen composes paintings that burst at their seams: she brings volume to the canvas and expands the limitations of the surface. Her most recent paintings are dark and eerie, with inauspicious drippings and compositions that remind you of abandoned caves, and it sends a shiver running down your spine. She describes her environmental artworks as ‘a reaction to the electronic global image flood.’ We are living in the midst of a hyper digital age, and this means major shifts in thinking and feeling. For Miettinen, we must go back to the essence and the uniqueness of life; there we are more abstract and primal, and so these new works bear a similar relationship. Leaving behind the obvious, she takes an experimental track where black and bronze colors characterize most of the paintings. Some of them, however, have intense petroleum blue, red or pink in the leading role, supported by a hint of yellow, almost gold.
Courtesy of the artist.
Miettinen says that she wants her paintings to work like a disease, and that is exactly what they do: like a virus, the image crawls into your eye. In an age of global information, her works acts like a reminder that visceral mark making can have a significant affect on the viewer. The interaction between the artist, her work and the spectator, seems like a firecracker, going in every direction. Based on Africa’s flora and fauna, Miettinen shows what is still left of the beauty that mother earth has created; trying to evoke a common consciousness. Even today, there are many people who are not aware, or who try to ignore, that pollution of any kind is working towards the destruction of humanity. Miettinen’s work is a prelude a preview of what may come in the future, yet they also offer hope. In a sense there is an aspect to Sirpa’s works, which is eastern in thought. The Dali Lama has stated “Since I deeply believe that basically human beings are of a gentle nature so I think the human attitude towards our environment should be gentle. Therefore I believe that not only should we keep our relationship with our other fellow human beings very gentle and non-violent, but it is also very important to extend that kind of attitude to the natural environment.” So in way, Sirpa’s works attempt to re-align our connection to nature, so that we cohabit in a more peaceful manner. This is a bold message. One will notice that there is a unique, profound elemental quality to these works, which draw the spectator in and do not let up. But, what is most compelling is the scale and dynamism of these works, which capture our imagination with stunning results.