Adele Hyry & Lydia Toivanen Koivuniemi 9.8.–1.9.2024

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

The starting point for Adele Hyry and Lydia Toivanen’s joint exhibition is Koivuniemi, the shared family summer cottage of the artist’s cousins, located in Korpikoski, Mikkeli. The exhibition combines the memories of the two artists from their childhood summer cottage and the artistic legacy of their grandmother, Salme Toivanen. The exhibition’s arrangements, composed of pictures, constructions, and various frames, are intuitive reinterpretations and snapshots of the cottage’s landscapes.

Koivuniemi, as a place, is a complete work of art that served both as an artist’s studio for their grandmother and as a summer home for a large family. It’s a living and adaptable installation in harmony with nature. Hyry and Toivanen have drawn inspiration from their artist grandmother’s unique and inventive ways of creating. Their work and artistic process have been guided by Salme’s humour, playfulness, use of colours and materials, and hands-on approach. Salme did not care about others’ opinions or how things were supposed to be done, and the artists have aimed to preserve this freedom in their own work as well.

While considering various solutions, they have thought about what approach their grandmother would have taken. Salme’s meticulous way of doing things and her sustainable reuse of materials have particularly guided the artists’ work. Shared and personal interpretations of Koivuniemi interweave in a multi-material installation. The artists have aimed to bring glimpses of intriguing worlds and emotional memories associated with the place into the gallery space.

Instead of thinking about what kind of picture to create, you can start with the frames. The sprouting yellow window frames harmonise with the red-and-white checkered curtains in the small room. On the door, there are squares with a white interior and orange frames. Through the door, there’s a shortcut to the outhouse and sauna. The journey without shoes, however, is quite stinging and prickly.
– Adele

Childhood cottage week, long summer days, battling boredom. Inventing stimuli, exploring nature (dragonflies, anthills, wild strawberries…), rummaging through shed shelves and drawers (ropes, clothespins, bumpy gloves, nails, hammers, oil cans…).
– Lydia

Adele Hyry
(b. 1994, Espoo, Finland) is a Helsinki-based visual artist. They are fascinated by integrating photography and moving images with other materials into site-specific installations and sculptures. Hyry’s works often explore the continuous change of interaction, nature, and identity, stemming from their experience of existing in the world. 

Hyry graduated from the Lahti Institute of Design with a major in Photography. Additionally, they have pursued studies in photography at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg, and Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki. Collaboration is a significant aspect of Hyry’s artistic practice, and their debut artist book Chicken-Legged Hunter Ladybug (Kananjalkainen Metsästäjä Leppäkerttu) was published in 2022. Hyry’s works have been exhibited at various venues in Finland, including WAM Turku City Art Museum, SIC Gallery, the Ostrobothnia Photography Center, and internationally, such as the Tokyo Art Book Fair in Japan.

Instagram: adelelula

Lydia Toivanen
(b. 1987, Kerava, Finland) is a Helsinki-based visual artist who works with photography, video, and spatial elements. In her work, she captures the internal dynamics of her large family in relation to individual growth and the spiritual legacy of home. Toivanen also collaborates in multidisciplinary artistic groups and productions.

Toivanen graduated from Saimaa University of Applied Sciences with a focus on sculpture and from Turku University of Applied Sciences, Art Academy, majoring in photography. Currently, she is completing her studies in the master’s program in Photography at Aalto University. Toivanen’s works have been exhibited at venues such as the Finnish Museum of Photography, Titanik Gallery in Turku, Fotografia Calabria in Italy, and Fotografihuset, in Oslo.

Instagram: lydiatoivanen

Salme Toivanen
(b. 1925, Riihimäki, Finland; d. 2023, Mikkeli, Finland) included painting, drawing, woodworking, textiles, other materials, and interior design in her artistic practice. Toivanen pursued art studies at Ateneum’s evening school. Her artistic journey continued in Mikkeli, where she moved with her spouse in 1952.


Adele Hyry’s work with the exhibition has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) and the Finnish Art Society.

Thanks to Ida Enegren for discussions related to the exhibition texts.




Adele Hyry & Lydia Toivanen
9 August – 1 September 2024
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte


image: Adele Hyry, Seitti, 2024 & Lydia Toivanen, Mummonkammari, 2018