Kati Immonen
4 Jul – 31 Aug 2008
The first Henry Lönnfors Stipendiate for the years 2005-2008 has been Kati Immonen.   
Turku Art Society established an Artist-in-Residence programme in 2004, which was made possible by the  generous will of Henry Lönnfors (1939-2004) who was a long-time treasurer of the society. The Henry Lönnfors Atelier is situated in a former attic apartment at Albatross Art Jugend house in museum’s vicinity. This atelier is given, rent free and after application process, to a local artist selected by Turku Art Society’s Board for a three year period.
Kati Immonen (b. 1971) is known of water colours depicting her experiences of both contemporary events as well as those from the history. In the exhibition in Turku Art Museum’s Studio Immonen will present Winter Tale series (2005-2006) which is based on her encounters with the stories and imagery of Finnish Winter War. In addition to this she will present a new body of work investigating the contemporary Finnish reality.  

Winter Tale came into fruition when the artist reflected her ideas about Finland and Finnishness. She ended up portraying the Winter War based on the stories heard from her relatives and read from the school books. Usual imagery of Finnish wars consists of snowy winter scenes and for a contemporary observer these events seem almost fairytale-like. Heroic acts and bravery became synonymous with Finnishness and acquired almost mythical qualities. In Winter Tale the young ladies waving farewells and tree branches heavy with snow create an almost romantic setting for the soldiers. Immonen has also recruited animals to this tragic battle which adds strange layers to these sad events. The individual water colours of Winter Tale are bound to a book which can be leafed through by wearing white angora wool cloves.

After having completed Winter Tale series Kati Immonen moved to a more contemporary pictorial setting. She started to investigate the norms and expectations that the society has for today’s citizen. Especially the actions and selfishness of man started to trouble her. Sleeping provided an all encompassing solution to these problems and in her latest works we are encountered by people who have fallen asleep in unexpected places and settings; to cafés and in the middle of market places. In contrast to these inactive persons Immonen has envisaged proactive animals. In the Cat Demonstration (2007) individual felines take a stand, though not as a group but as solitary beings in their own way – without creating a mass effect.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2014