Heidi Kilpeläinen Metanoia 3.–26.3.2023

Photographic Gallery Hippolyte

Metanoia is a multi-channel video installation by artist Heidi Kilpeläinen that consists of footage shot in a sparsely populated rural area in the north of Finland during the pandemic. The work is autotheoretical, multi-layered and fluctuates between past and present. In a near future scenario, in a world where hurting insects is a crime, father and daughter work as insect police patrolling and monitoring a wild meadow from their workstation. Utopian practices are framed by everyday life events between the daughter and ageing father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is grieving the recent death of his life partner.

This single parent father-daughter dynamic sets in motion unresolved issues from childhood, beginning an inner journey of transformation that is gracefully and compassionately witnessed by the father. His presence, decades later, plays an important role in processing these flashbacks and somatic memories—initiating a deeper sense of healing.

While the related research into developmental psychopathology, inner processes and daily life unfold, their police work throughout the seasons saves any remaining insect lives, while also monitoring the quality of the surrounding air, earth, and water by using canvas for painting. The nurturing ecofeminist values of the insect police contrast with the status quo of patriarchal systems, represented by their decaying uniforms—leftovers from her father’s career as a policeman.

This utopian, microcosmic practice between father and daughter mirrors the macrocosm of issues embedded in current environmental concerns. Personal, generational, and planetary traumas interplay, and roles reverse. Hurt, grief, and rage transform into love, compassion, and sensuous environmental actions and activism; perhaps the same qualities that need to be applied to mother earth for the coexistence and survival of companion species.


Heidi Kilpeläinen explores crossovers between visual art and music, merging their boundaries into ‘total works of art’—creating combinations of video, installation art, and performance. Her work is equally inspired by the contemporary world and its technological fascinations, as well as the ancient, mythological forms that run through collective memory. She produces works of aesthetic interest with a critical eye on our social environment, reflecting on our human condition within it.

Kilpeläinen has also released three albums under the title HK119 (One Little Independent Records, 2005-2013) and has performed internationally in clubs, galleries, museums, and festivals such as Performa, Tate Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, Nag Nag Nag, Madame JoJo’s, Casa da Musica, and Kiasma.

Heidi Kilpeläinen’s Land of Dreams exhibition is currently on display at Vaasa City Art Gallery until April 16, 2023.


The exhibition and artist’s work have been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike), the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Kainuu regional fund.



Heidi Kilpeläinen

3. –26. March 2023
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte