ÖSTNYLAND Sep 10th, 2021

Victoria Forsman: Pencil Drawings Beyond the Ordinary Explore the Soundscape of Our Lives

”The former laundry building that belonged to the old mental hospital in Nickby is filled with Inka-Maaria Jurvanen’s pencil drawings. Large boards of plywood and marble work as ”drawing paper”.

The echo is the first thing you notice when you enter the Pesula Galleria, the second is the large work of art, Hajoamisen irstaus – Lewdness of Disintegration, that towers to the right. The artist Inka-Maaria Jurvanen has used large boards of different materials which she has then drawn with pencil on.

In the past, Inka-Maaria Jurvanen has dealt with themes such as power and truth and lies. In the exhibition at Pesula, she has undertaken to investigate sounds and silence.

– Over the years, I have thought a lot about, for example, noise and how it affects people and also animal life, we really don’t know much about this yet, she says.

In her artworks, she has approached the theme from different points of view and on different levels. She does not want to preach with her art, rather raise questions in the viewer.

– I have thought a lot about the question of how to portray sound, concretely but also symbolically.

The whole is revealed last

Creating the large works of art, from the first line on the sketch to the final fine-tuning, takes around nine months. Inka-Maaria Jurvanen starts by drawing a sketch and then moves on to the plywood surface.

– In my head I have a picture of the whole I want to achieve, and I also use pictures I find online to get references to various details.

Jurvanen draws on the boards while lying on the table, so she only gets to see the final result and the whole work when she is done and lifts them up.

The exhibition Pulssi ja katkos – Pulse and Pause is in itself an entire installation and not just an exhibition of individual works of art.

– For over ten years I have worked with pencil drawings. They have often been in more traditional form as works that you hang on the wall, but now the works are part of a larger whole, an installation.

The snake from Mexico

One of the drawings,  Ja käärme pysyi takana – And the Snake Stayed in the Back, has an interesting background story, based in Mexico.

– My friend who lived in Mexico was bringing across the border to Texas a large wooden snake that they had hidden in the back seat. They made it through customs and commented ”We made it and the snake stayed in the back!”. There is a lot going on in the artwork, but the concept of the snake is always in the background, even if the elves try to distract us, says Jurvanen.

Some of the material she has used is recycled. An old door became a canvas in the installation Ajan peitto – Time Cover and on the marble slab found in a ditch she drew the artwork Äänen paino – Weight of Sound.

– The marble must have been a table top that someone then threw away, she says.

After a bit of sandblasting and fixing, the marble became an excellent base for the work, which depicts the noise of the big city hanging over small rickety cottages.

Audible history

Pesula Galleria is an art gallery led by artists who want to offer a diverse range of art in Sibbo, Finland. The gallery has previously been Nickby’s old mental hospital laundry.

– This space is made for this exhibition, it fits better than I had hoped for, says Jurvanen.

And of course the old laundry is full of noise; the echo of visitors’ voices, shoes scraping against the floor and also the building’s own buzzing sounds.

– With the history that this place has, you can’t help but also think of all the sounds it must have entailed in the past, says Jurvanen.”