SAARA SALMI: Myrskynkaatamat – Stormfallen
14.1. – 7.4.2022 // Tripla Urban Art Wall
Saara Salmi (b. 1981) received her MA degree in 2020 at Aalto University. Her previous education includes fine arts and animation (with a BA in visual design).
Her most known work is the Neo-Victorian art project and photo studio Atelieri O. Haapala. Documenting people from different scenes and subcultures, it explored the construction of identity through role play, and offered nostalgic escapism in a shared performance. The project was published as book in 2018. Salmi has exhibited internationally and has works in several collections, including the Finnish State Art Collection.
My paintings depict the roots of storm-fallen trees. I’ve discovered my models for these portraits while doing my life-long hobby, orienteering, in different forests in Finland.
When orienteering, I have encountered monumental, storm-fallen tree roots, which have made me pause. They spread out in front of me like the limbs or bones of an ancient creature. As I stand in front of the roots, my imagination begins to form stories about the spirits of nature, and I see an altar, or a portal to another, underground world. I feel awe and respect. In front of me is a proof of the enormous power of both the tree and the storm that tore it from the ground.
Roots lead my thoughts under the surface in many ways. In many cosmologies, the tree appears as the tree of knowledge or the tree of life, and it often represents the connection between the worlds above and below. When a tree falls revealing its roots, another set of branches, a mirror image of the above, emerges from beneath the earth. The underground branches are strange and enigmatic. During its lifetime, the tree has dug its roots through the soil and created an extensive network together with fungal mycelium. It is like our own subconscious: hidden, deep and dark.