Anna Niskanen: Oyster
Anna Niskanen’s solo exhibition Oyster, in Hippolyte’s gallery space, presents a collection of hand-printed photomontages that transform the old cinema into a water-filled room. Water surrounds us and flows within us – the water in our bodies supports us. The movement, shimmer, and sound of moving water remind us of our origins.
The materiality and surface of the large-scale, unique works emphasise the physicality and labour of the process. The cyanotype, dating back almost 200 years, is a printing process in which a light-sensitive emulsion is applied to paper, exposed to ultraviolet light, and finally washed with water. After exposure, a Prussian blue image is formed due to oxidation.
Various waterscapes blend together in the exhibition space. While individual sheets appear abstract, placing them side by side in their entirety reveals new images of the element. The photographs—captured at sea, on shores, of streams, waterfalls, and puddles—serve as a starting point for the artworks. The edited pictures of nature oscillate between memories and imagination.
The collages feature photographs taken during Niskanen’s residencies abroad, where she encountered different bodies of water. Recently, Niskanen has also travelled by sea. The movement from one place to another can become a transitional space that offers a unique opportunity to observe the surrounding environment and nature. Niskanen employs traditional methods of photography and printmaking to reflect on the significance of photography as a means of preserving memories and as a source of imagination.
The accompanying story, by Helen Korpak, suggests viewing the works as suspended scenes played by natural forces.Valokuvagalleria Hippolyte
Yrjönkatu 8–10, sisäpiha, 00120 Helsinki