Eeva-Liisa Isomaa Self-Portrait as a Waterfall 8.3.–7.4.2024

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

This will indeed become quite a sublime self-portrait. Of course, in reality, it’s just a small hint of a waterfall. Now we’re in a gallery space where the waterfall roars silently, merely a modest cascade unto itself. The cascade serves as a veil, concealing what lies behind, yet through the mirror of the waterfall’s surface, an indistinct figure is visible — existing simultaneously inside and outside.

The waterfall originates from an authentic experience of nature, but the mirror of the cascade’s surface also reflects a personal history tied to places by the water. Mornings along the Tornionjoki river,  reveals a distant village peeking through the water’s tumult, transporting one back towards the paths of childhood. The landscape unfolds expansively, possessing the light and vastness characteristic of northern scenery. Often, the starting point of an artwork is far from  a certain place or moment within a memory, but it pulls one towards the familiar water.

The cascade carries coordinates of distant places and the inevitable passage of time. Always and forever, a new and varied path leads one forward! Yet, along come impediments: memories, old photographs, people, long-lost meanings, and a beautiful setting sun. Drop by drop, minutes turn into years and decades. But still, in front of the cascade, or behind, there remains a figure, a rock.

– Eeva-Liisa Isomaa

Eeva-Liisa Isomaa’s works are based on the artist’s history. She constructs a mnemonic history book where, at times, she revisits old themes that filter and build into a new whole. Memory and recollections play a central role in her work, creating non-linear time, which has always been one of her areas of interest.

The installation series, on display at the Photography Gallery Hippolyte, is comprised of various water-themed elements, including polymer gravures among other things. The inspiration for these works originates from Isomaa’s experiences in Iceland and Brazil. The video piece features the Iguazu Falls, one of the world’s largest waterfalls.

Eeva-Liisa Isomaa
(b.1956, Ylitornio) resides and works in Helsinki. Primarily, she engages in creating monumental, multipart works, and installations. Isomaa graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1987. Since 1985, she has participated in group exhibitions both domestically and internationally, and her solo exhibitions have been showcased at notable venues such as the Aine Art Museum in Tornio, Forum Box in Helsinki, Konstnärshuset in Stockholm, and the Museu Oscar Niemeyer in Curitiba. Isomaa’s works can be found in Finnish collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, Oulu Art Museum, and the Aine Art Museum. Internationally, her works are held at institutions like the Danish Museum of Photographic Art in Odense, Denmark.



Eeva-Liisa Isomaa
Self-Portrait as a Waterfall
8 March –7 April 2024
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Image: Eeva-Liisa Isomaa, Vesiputous, 2022