TOPI RUOTSALAINENHoliday, another day 3.5.2016 – 22.5.2016
My exhibition draws inspiration from everyday life, as it is lived today. I have gone on the search for fleeting meanings, tiny cracks, brief glimpses of light amidst all the grey ordinariness. My paintings depict isolated jolts of emotion of varying intensity - small bursts and ruptures of joy, sorrow and wonder in a world where an undertow of gloom, which until now remained in the background, appears to have emerged onto the surface.
In addition to everyday scenes, my works are also concerned with special occasions, the moments that seek to distinguish themselves from the mundane, the ordinary, the workaday and yet never quite seem to manage it. The reasons we mark and celebrate our special occasions in the first place have also become hidden, invisible. Our highdays and holidays are just days like any other. The special, the sacred, the divine experiences reside in a different sphere altogether. The foundations that sustain my own life, my home, my work, my beliefs, my country, have borne the brunt of this, too. My life may be mundane but I own that mundanity. Leave it alone!
These days, my everyday contains lots of play. Since becoming a father, my weekly schedule has been punctuated by visits to parks and soft plays. My daily life remains humdrum, ordinary, unexceptional and yet it is now fundamentally more rewarding. You look at the world very differently with a small child by your side. For children, everything is new, interesting, a challenge. Their attitude is invariably open, often enthusiastic. I am enjoying being in the moment, having the opportunity to view the world together, through the eyes of a child. And yet, ever-present, is a sense of loss and of nostalgia. I am painfully aware that everything will come to an end: my child´s childhood, my own childhood, my fatherhood, the childhood and parenthood of my parents and their parents - the steady shift and flux of our lives and our roles.
If my previous works have been gentle attempts at exploring some existential questions, the arrival of my child has opened up a whole new, infinite dimension to this pursuit. In the face of the utter vastness that now opens up before me, I plan to continue my attempts to scratch away, ever so lightly, at the surface of life´s sheer wonder. In fact, this is the very definition of my artistic practice; an attempt to reach for the otherwise unreachable.
The exhibition title Pyhä, arki (Holiday, another day) is borrowed from Antti Rautava´s short film 2006.
The exhibition features augmented reality. I would like to thank Robust North for their collaboration.