In Kukka-Maria Rosenlund’s exhibition Rosewater Park, the viewer dives into the middle ground between fantasy and reality. Through the use of rosaceous imagery and the illusion of paradise, Rosenlund contemplates upon the contradictions and expectations associated with beauty. The exhibition comprises photographs and sculptures—where stoneware clay, mixed materials, and murmurous sound conjoin.
The visual language of Rosewater Park connects to childhood toys, girlhood, eroticism, and the aestheticization of feminine culture. The starting point of the works is in the artist’s personal experiences, which together with art historical references create layers in the exhibition—rose-themed objects and textiles and handicrafts of past generations are juxtaposed with images of paradise; of the goddess Aphrodite of the ancient Greek mythology, who was born from the foam of the sea and nakedly waded ashore.
Rosenlund explores the myth of beauty from the perspective of hiding. She is interested in the ambivalence of emergence: the simultaneous desire and fear to reveal oneself. In the exhibition, corporeality manifests itself as turning or covering up, such as in intermediate moments in the bathroom or garden; the feel of underwear fabric; or in hand-built ceramic objects. The works emerge from Rosenlund’s time in Buenos Aires, where she lived and often toured the city’s gardens. Sculptures in these green spaces typically hold a pot in their hands—historically associated with the home and a metaphor for domesticity. In the tradition of Western thinking, a home’s interior has been combined with femininity, and the woman’s body has been portrayed as a vessel and receiver. Clay is strongly connected to Rosenlund’s background—the relationship between a ceramicist mother and her daughter. The growling pot, on view at the exhibition, originated as a collaboration that entwined their generational gap.
Rosenlund has made the exhibition works using various image transfer techniques for clay, canvas, and photographic paper. In the ceramic pieces, made of stoneware clay, Rosenlund has used a variety of glossy glazes, paint, make-up, seashells, and old porcelain objects. Materiality is a vital part of Rosenlund’s working process: she combines the traditions of photography and pottery-making, in which she finds overlapping features—transformation, the behaviour of matter, and the admiration of chance.
Kukka-Maria Rosenlund is a visual artist, whose works combine camera-based techniques and various material structures. She often examines issues related to transformation and identity. Her works have been exhibited in several group exhibitions in Finland and abroad, such as Transeurope Photography (Athens 2019), The Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki 2018), Fotografia Europea (Reggio Emilia, Italia 2017), and Turku Art Museum (2014). Rosenlund has studied fine arts in Antwerp, Belgium, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, and graduated from Aalto University’s Master’s program in Photography in 2020. Her works are included in the State Art Collection.
The exhibition is kindly supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.
Exhibition in media:
Helsingin Sanomat 25.9.2020
Photographic Gallery Hippolyte
Open: Tue-Fri 12-17, Sat-Sun 12-16
image: Kukka-Maria Rosenlund, Rosewater Park, 2020
exhibition images: Milla Talassalo