Liinu Grönlund reflects on a horse’s role in her exhibition Atlas. The exhibition is a poetic and personal exploration of a horse’s significance, which is part of a broader theme in her work. Although Grönlund is rarely involved with horses anymore, they often occupy her thoughts.
Her earliest memories of horses involve drawing them with her grandmother and modelling them in clay. Her grandmother was never satisfied with her own drawings of horses and would redraw them, again and again. Grönlund sees a connection between the difficulty of drawing horses and the impossibility of understanding another species’s experience. The exhibition at Hippolyte Studio comprises various images of horses that attempt to approach the animal—including photographs, drawings, and video.
Liinu Grönlund’s contemplation on animals and war converged when she discovered old photographs among the belongings of a deceased relative, captured by their father of dead humans and horses from the front lines. In her essayistic video work, Grönlund intertwines images and memories of horses with observations of the remnants of war infiltrating everyday life. The horse is like a ghost from the past among us. The camera calmly observes a herd of horses living in their species-typical way.
Hands search for forgotten images of horses in boxes and flea markets. These hands both care for and restrict, reinforcing human superiority over animals. Grönlund has always been fascinated by old photographs and is interested in the associations that arise when comparing them to present-day images and events.
Liinu Grönlund (b. 1984) is a Helsinki-based visual artist and filmmaker who mainly works with moving images. In her works, Grönlund often reflects on animals and nature. She collects observations and makes notes about the world, returning to these notes when creating new work. Some of her pieces take several years to develop. Grönlund has recently developed a lighter working method. Documentary and essayistic forms are characteristic of her work. Grönlund graduated with a master’s degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 and from the Department of Film, Television, and Scenography at Aalto University in 2016. Grönlund’s works have been exhibited in exhibitions and festivals in Finland and internationally, including at the Turku Art Museum, Forum Box’s Mediabox, the Jihlava Documentary Film Festival, and the Busan Short Film Festival in Korea. Currently, Grönlund is working with Okku Nuutilainen on a long documentary film.
The exhibition and the artist’s work have been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.
2.–30 June 2023
Image: Liinu Grönlund, excerpt from Atlas, 2023