Helsinki Photography Biennial 27.3.–14.5.2014


HPB14 artist Tuula Närhinen’s Baltic Sea Plastique in Kaisa House

Helsinki Photography Biennial is pleased to introduce Helsinki-based artist Tuula Närhinen. During HPB14 her artwork will be on display at the Helsinki University Main Library (Kaisa House) from March 27 until May 14, 2014.

In Tuula Närhinen’s work science and art are often intertwined. Natural science with its imagery forms the base of her work. The themes involve natural themes, especially water. Tuula Närhinen works mainly with photography but uses also other techniques and materials.

Närhinen uses scientific methods. Making the observations and collecting systematic data makes artist the researcher of natural phenomena. The process descriptions displayed in the HPB14 exhibition have also a connection to natural sciences. They give the viewer a possibility to examine Närhinen’s work process step by step.

Environmental issues that have been important to Tuula Närhinen’s work in the past are also present in this exhibition. Multi-piece installation draws attention to the human-created marine debris and its devastating effects on the marine ecosystem. The name of the installation Baltic Sea Plastique refers to the plastic waste in our own home shores of the Baltic Sea.

Tuula Närhinen describes her works as follows: “Baltic Sea Plastique is an extension of Mermaid’s tears (2007) and Frutti di Mare (2008). In my new piece imaginary organisms made of plastic garbage come alive and merge into the life of the sea.

I shot the videos in October 2013 while wading on the shore of the island of Harakka. One day I noticed that the water was full of thin plastic shredding which increased continuously. The plastic originated from the Helsinki metro construction site, where the garbage was thrown into the sea. The idea of plastic sea, where the living nature and man-made materials are irreversibly mixed that I have in my works, had become reality.” 


Tuula Närhinen graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (MA) in 1999. She also has a degree in architecture from the Helsinki University of Technology. Her work is been widely exhibited in Finland as well as abroad. Tuula Närhinen has a studio on the island of Harakka situated in Helsinki archipelago, place well known for its natural beauty.

Written by Heli Tuovinen 

Tuula Närhinen, Baltic Sea Plastique, 2013 © The Artist