Continuing the story about our travels in conjuction with our Traces exhibition in Vaasa

After Vaasa and Turku, came the beautiful capital city Helsinki, full of interesting things to see. As arranged, we met printmaker Vappu Johansson, who had been a visiting artist at Vancouver’s Malaspina Printmakers Society. She kindly gave us an interesting tour of the printmaking studios at the University of Art & Design Helsinki, as well as her own Arabia Printmakers studio next door.

Helsinki has numerous museums and galleries and the greatest is the very modern KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art. I think my Canadian friends loved the city as much as I do!
Read about our visit to Tallinn, Estonia next.

“Traces” Exhibition in Finland

In May and June 2002, I had the great pleasure of having an exhibition called Traces with friends and colleagues Bonnie Jordan and Steven Dixon at the Pohjanmaan Museum’s Taidehalli (Art Hall) in Vaasa, Finland.

Please look at: TRACES, my site specifically about this exhibition.

We all travelled to Finland for this great event. Naturally, I was translator and guide in my birth country as we toured around. In Vaasa we met well-known printmaker Juha Tammenpää, who kindly showed us his wonderful work, and gave us a very interesting tour of the Vaasa Printmakers Shop (site is in Finnish). Other highlights of the Vaasa area were the ruin area of Old Vaasa and the Stundars outdoor museum.

A quick visit was made to the 775-year old city of Turku and its fascinating Aboe Vetus museum of history & archaeology.

Read about our travels to Helsinki and Tallinn in next entries!

Human Marks

For the past decade now, my work has largely been concerned with the marks left by humans and their art upon their environment. It is also about nature’s marks on humankind’s traces and upon nature itself.

My ideas come from a gathering together of experiences, particularly SEEING images that have a kind of pull or tug for me, with a sense of time, history, weathering, and aesthetic qualities. Some important places have been Italy, Germany, Finland, and Hornby Island, Alberta hoodoos and Royal Tyrrell Museum in Canada, and research on rock art from books and the internet.

Taking photographs when possible is a way of gathering materials and archiving images for possible future use in artmaking. Later, in the image-making process I respond again to certain collected photographs with a flash of intuition and excitement (inspiration?) when I see the connections between seemingly disparate imagery and discovering serendipitious things.

These works rarely show human figures except as indirectly represented, as in some rock art images, but there is a strong sense of human presence in the work. For example, this presence is very strong in Nexus IX & Nexus X.

“Nexus” means connections. I am intrigued by the multitude of connections between the past and present, between places, and even within my own work over many years of artmaking. I often reuse my past images in new combinations as I keep discovering new threads.

Nexus IX and X


Nexus IX (left) and Nexus X (right)

each is an etching printed on 164 x 66 cm. (64.5″ x 26″) paper

Edited January 16th, 2013 to show larger images.

International print competitions

The wonderful thing about prints on paper is how easy it is to roll them up into a mailing tube and send them off to various international print competitions around the world.

The Krakow Print Triennial is an excellent one, with major international participation and numerous exhibitions associated with it. There is a very thought-provoking discussion/forum about printmaking today on their website.

One that is coming up this year is the Tallinn Print Triennial in Estonia. Requested are works of visual art that were produced using mechanical or digital reproduction or printing technologies, produced in 2001-2004 on the topic of “inExile”.

Nexus/Blue prints

Nexus/Blue I (inkjet & etching, on 73.5 x 60.7 cm. paper and film)

Nexus/Blue II (inkjet, on 71 x 75 cm. paper & film)

Nexus/Blue III (inkjet, on 57.8 x 40.5 cm polypropylene & film)
Variable edition of 3

Nexus/Blue IV (inkjet & etching, on 33 x 48.25 cm. paper)

Small Experimental Prints

nexus blue study
Nexus/Blue Study
Inkjet & etching
21.6 x 28 cm.

nexus sami drum
Inkjet print
28 x 21.6 cm. on polypropylene & film

nexus sandfrieze
Inkjet print
21.6 x 28 cm.

Fenno-Ugrian people

Some of my image research delves into the marks left by early humans, particularly the Fenno-Ugrian peoples. Their region includes Finland (my birth country), Karelia (now in Russia), Estonia and Lapland or Sami.

The Gallen-Kallela Museum in Finland had an exhibition called “Ugriculture 2000 – Contemporary Art of the Fenno-Ugrian Peoples” with an excellent catalogue. Besides the art works shown, there is an interesting map of the areas where the many different but related groups live across northern Europe.

Read more: UGRICULTURE 2000, Contemporary Art of the Fenno-Ugrian Peoples

More about Fenno-Ugrians: Finno-Ugric World

About Techniques

A. experimenting with
1. digital inkjet printing in combination with etchings
2. digital inkjet printing on different materials in layers
3. digital inkjet printing on art papers
B. previous work:
1. deep etching
2. photo etching, using digital inkjet transparencies to replace darkroom processes…and use of ImagOn and Z-Acryl photopolymer emulsion.