Sirkku Ketola

Sirkku Ketola’s work consists of visual poems and situations. Separate word and image elements are placed side by side to repeat each other. Logic and intuition play with familiar symbols and are abstracted into parallel twists. A squirrel, wood, paper, bird, human, hand, foot, mark. The seeming disconnection between the works underlines the connection because everything is the same – living and dying. The universe is an ornament repeating itself.

A Body Called Paula, is an installation based on repetition and a meditative performance in which Ketola, taking the role of Paula, works on a large ornament on fragile paper. The name Paula is derived from the Greek word “paulus” which means small. Paula is an allegory of a human as part of the universe and as a builder of technology. With the help of serigraphy, her hands and the space form a human printer, a sensual machine. Paula is enchanted with the ribbons, trapped in the activity, intoxicated by beauty and fettered by the body and matter. Tension is always present in the seemingly calm performance as the characteristics of the matter are in danger of being revealed when the fragile paper gets stuck. The ethereal soundscape of the performance has been created by Ketola.

A Body Called Paula grows among the process and also reflects on time. In Liege, during the artist residency in Ravi, Ketola will feature the fifth part of the ten-year process. So far the project has been seen in Toronto, Turku, New York and Helsinki. Every year three to four ornament ribbons are created in different parts of the world and the characteristics of the previous place can always be seen in the patterns of the following work. The performance is physically demanding and the endurance of the artist’s hands and body will determine the rhythm of the ten-year project. Who knows what will happen with the ribbons once all the works have been completed. Time will tell in which direction this large installation is going. Until then, each part works as an independent installation and performance. The performance schedule for Ravi will be launched in near future. In Liege also some new visual poems will be created and mixed side by side with the earlier visual situations.

Sirkku Ketola is a contemporary printmaker who combines serigraphy with different materials. She is a civilized savage who slows down the digital image stream through handicraft methods, trying to understand the relationship between human rhythm and matter. Ketola earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and she has taken part in numerous Finnish and international projects and exhibitions. She lives and works in Turku and occasionally in Brussels.

The artist’s work has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and A Body Called Paula project by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland, The Finnish Cultural Foundation and Turku Art Society. Thank you for your support!