Heli Penttinen: Wandering Paths on the Surface

Heli Penttinen: Wandering Paths on the Surface




12:00 – 17:00


clear sky

31 August–24 September 2023

Surface: the outer or top part or layer of something (Cambridge Dictionary)

“Someone can see beyond the surface, things may rise to the surface or you may find yourself on a slippery surface. You may even bury your feelings beneath the surface. The surface of a painting is the first thing that a viewer sees. All the stories, interpretations, messages and statements behind the layers of paint are subjective sensations and a figment of one’s imagination.

I have imagined what different sensory experiences could look like on the surface of a painting.

I spend a lot of time outdoors, at different times of the day and year. It is my way of clearing my mind of excess information and making room for sensations. Sometimes the gray sky hangs heavily on my shoulders, sometimes the forest is high and filled with colors, sounds, smells and light.

In the works and in life, small changes, repetition and slowness create peace and clarity on one’s routes and wandering paths.

The ‘Wandering Paths on the Surface’ exhibition features oil paintings and pencil drawings as well as combinations of these two techniques, in which materiality and the technique give the works their visible content.”

Heli Penttinen has studied at the Turku Drawing School and the Academy of Fine Arts and at Pratt Institute in New York as a Fulbright scholar in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2011, she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Penttinen uses a wide range of techniques from drawing and watercolor to oil painting, lead glass and paper making. Over the years, the themes of her works have varied from being a woman to exercising power and exploring darkness. In her latest works, she combines pencil drawing with oil painting. Her works explore sensory experiences and the effects of darkness and the grey time of the year on people.

Penttinen has had dozens of solo exhibitions since 1986. The most recent ones were held in 2021 at Galleria Mältinranta in Tampere and Galleria Joella in Turku, in 2020 at TM-Galleria in Helsinki and in 2017 at Porvoo Art Hall. Penttinen has also participated in several group exhibitions, including the fourth Finnish art triennial in Kyoto in 2003, Suvi-Pinx in 2004, Splätsh! at the Amos Anderson Art Museum in 2008 and Nektar in Hungary in 2012.

Penttinen’s works are included in the most significant Finnish collections, including the collections of the Finnish State, the Jenny ja Antti Wihuri Foundation, Kiasma, HAM and Eläke-Fennia.

Penttinen has made the lead glass windows of the ecumenical hospital chapel at Peijas Hospital in Vantaa. Together with artist Päivi Eskelinen, she has created a painting, mosaic and lead glass installation for the Southern Finland C4 Centre of the Finnish Defence Forces.

Thank you Arts Promotion Centre Finland

Thu 31 Aug 2023 – 24 Sep 2023 12:00 – 17:00


clear sky

Panimokatu 1, Kalasatama