Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fantastic artist.... Anu Tuominen

Anu Tuominen is a Finnish contemporary artist that uses everyday objects, often colorful ones, to create new assemblages, memories, and meaning.  She collects things from fleamarkets, often things that we consider useless now or just old and worthless, and put them together into new combinations. Anu also knits and crochets from colorful yarn as part of her art.

I saw her exhibit at the Nordic Watercolor Museum in Sweden and loved, loved, loved it.  To take worn, worthless things, from school project crocheted potholders, short, blunt pencils, old soapholders, and kitchen and tools from previous years and then make it into something more, that is something.

You look at her art and think - "WOW, that is so innovative.  So simple, why didn't I think about that.  Oh, look at how those colors are put together, look, look!"  It is innovative, simple, elegant and basic at the same time. When you see her art you are transported back in time to earlier years, back into memory lane and you think about all those worn erasers you dug into with your pencil because you were bored, the red and blue correction pencils the teachers had, and how the boys hated learning how to crochet in home economics class.  And then they gave their flawed potholder to their grandmother, and now it might be hanging on an wall as an art installation in Sweden.  And so on, and on...

Anu has a fantastic website with much better photos than I took, so go there for more beauty and thinking.  here below are some of the things we saw and loved in Sweden. Thanks, Anu!

'Early Morning by the Sea' [Tidig morgon vid havet]
'Early Morning by the Sea' [Tidig morgon vid havet]. Old soap holders (plastic boxes) with worn Arctic Sea stones inside them... so beautiful.  I think she noted that this art project was started 10 years ago or so, when she started to collect the soap holders.

'Grass' [gräs]
'Grass' [gräs]. The grass is greener in the drawer. Plastic combs as grass in a drawer, making hard things into soft plants, of course!

'Mrs Albers Color Mixtures' [Fru Albers Färgmix]
'Mrs Albers Color Mixtures' [Fru Albers Färgmix]. All of these knitted squares are made from 3 colors, red, yellow, and blue, but they are still resulting in different colors - innovative, random and still so predictive.

'Walk-in Wardrobe' [Klädrum] 
 'Walk-in Wardrobe' [Klädrum]. I remember my grandmother had fancy handpainted hangers, some green and some red. I wonder where they are now. They would have fit right into this rainbow.

You wonder how she starts an art project and how it looks like in her studio... Boxes upon boxes of things, of course...

'Real colour circles' [äkta färgcirklar]
'Real colour circles' [äkta färgcirklar]. And here are the potholders. I stared at this for 10 minutes straight I am sure. Lovely, lovely, and it makes you reevaluate some of the old things that are hiding in drawers at home for sure.

No comments: