Marja-Leena Rathje
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ARKEO series


detail from ARKEO #2

My latest completed work may now be viewed in my gallery*** - please have a look at ARKEO.

Regular readers may find the first one looks familiar. Now titled ARKEO #1, I had posted about in its earliest form, then in a later state. You may find it interesting to compare its development.

I work mostly in series and I usually wait to complete the whole series before I come up with the title. This time I have only three completed pieces to start with but the title came to me readily. However I hesitate to write too much about it in case it will limit the directions that future pieces in the series may take.

As always, I struggle with the words summarizing my work. It's particularly challenging for me to do so in one or two sentences, such as for this 'gallery'. A huge thank you goes to my visiting daughter Anita, a writer and editor, for brainstorming with me last night, helping me to clarify what my work is about and guiding me to a concise way to say it. This morning, it was clear to me that I'm still continuing to explore variations on the same themes as I did in my earlier series going back over more than a decade: messages (Silent Messengers series), connections (Nexus series), paths (Paths series), and transformation, deterioration (Meta-morphosis series) in the context of past, present and future. (See, this is wordy. Hope you like the one in the gallery much better.)

*** The 'gallery' is undergoing "renovation" so the link has been removed until the new one is ready. The other works in the series may be viewed by visiting the ARKEO link under PRINTWORKS. (Updated Dec.30th, 2012)

Marja-Leena | 26/08/2008 | 19 comments
themes: Arkeo, Being an Artist, Digital printmaking, Printworks


Oh Marja-leena, I LOVE this work. #3 especially speaks to me. I'll be anxious to see what else happens in this series.

Beautiful work, Marja-Leena.

I find these beautiful, complex and exciting. So much a continuation of earlier work, but a new direction also. The online gallery is a lovely interface, but seeing the detail also makes me realise how much of such delicate, multi-layered work can only be seen in the original. Still, it is wonderful to be able to share your newest work in this way.

A recurring problem for the magazine editor: trying to fuse the skills of the design artist with those of the wordsmith.

You need graphics to illustrate an article. You summarise the article and the artist nods, having failed to understand a single word. What did you have in mind? the artist asks. Well I want you to use your imagination; I'm no artist and it might work this way; but I stress I want you to come up with something much better, an artists's interpretation.

Whereupon the artist dully reproduces that lousy idea you offered as an example.

This is the first time I've heard of this problem travelling in the opposite direction. You're lucky to have someone from the other side of the fence in your family. But then you're no slouch at writing anyway.

Just my sort of thing, Marja-Leena. Mysterious, elemental, archetypal. If we look deep enough, these images are familiar dwellers within our minds. You bring them out of the darkness into the light.

Joan, thank you, I'm pleased you like these.

Dave, thanks!

Jean, I'm so pleased by your thoughtful words, thank you. I've been thinking of posting more of these kind of 'details' and you've confirmed for me that it may be a good thing.

Barrett, interesting story!! Communication by images OR by words and the challenges of making both work together. Yes, I'm blessed by talented and helpful daughters: a writer, an artist, and a designer, all artists really. My husband is disappointed that not one has inherited his engineering genes, though the youngest does have his math brains.

Joe, how beautifully you write about my work, thank you! How would you like a job as my publicist-agent?

they are lovely...

Rosie, thank you.

Oh wonderful, beautiful. I particularly love number 3 which has a huge sense of journey for me. Wow. And what Jean said about the details. I so want to see these in the flesh.

rr, glad you like!

Oh, those are wonderful! So interesting - each of them with two separated spaces bridged by the human touch.

beautiful! Stunning! spirit stirring!

Leslee, you are always so supportive and appreciative, thank you!

Taina, kiitos paljon! Thanks so much for your spirited response.

These speak to me so deeply about our human experience. Beautiful work, Marja-leena. I feel so proud to know you through the blog!

Patry, thank you so much for your positive words on my work, it means a lot to me, as does your friendship!

Marja-Leena, I only caught up with blogs today after a bit of a gap. I am deeply intrigued by your images, and have returned to them a couple of times already. I find them fascinating: layers of technique and manipulated composition, they are so rewardingly contemplative. I suspect that they would stand looking at over years, still giving answers to questions we never thought to ask.

Olga, your always thoughtful and generous responses give me great pleasure, thanks!


Lovely images. Your work only gets better and better my dear! xo

Thanks so much, Heidi! Great to hear from you.