PAULIINA TURAKKA PURHONEN

Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. Yksityiskohta tekeillä olevasta työstä, työnimi Palava tammi. tekstiili, n. 250 x 500 cm. brinnande_eken.
Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. Yksityiskohta tekeillä olevasta työstä, työnimi Palava tammi. tekstiili, n. 250 x 500 cm. brinnande_eken.

Pauliina Turakka Purhonen (b. 1971) is a painter and sculptor born in Haapavesi and living in Helsinki 

https://pauliinaturakkapurhonen.com

Pauliina makes a textile work that takes up the whole exhibition space at Critical Gallery. She describes the work during work process as follows:

“I move the patches on the fabric, and they organize as pictures that sharpen when I am stitching. I add more patches, open the stitches and take out decisions I have made earlier, or I diminish its weight. Patchwork is like painting, but it is less final. Everything is always in motion, transferable, albeit slowly.

I listen to my big brother’s sentences, and try to understand the content. Syllables turn upside down, new words emerge, ones I have not heard before. My brother understands us in all languages, I hear how he changes language, and still I do not understand him.

Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. A detail from a work in progress, working title: Burning oak. Textile, approx. 250 x 500 cm. kalle&veikko. Photo by Veikko Björk.
Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. A detail from a work in progress, working title: Burning oak. Textile, approx. 250 x 500 cm. kalle&veikko. Photo by Veikko Björk.

I am one of the oldest siblings but I am still a little sister. My big brother talks a lot, he has something to say about everything, he gets excited easily, he unravels the world, and I listen.

I am a visual artist; nevertheless, I think our perception revolves around language. Our inner selves are so entangled in language that it is impossible to distinguish it from the sentences. We cannot tell which comes first, the character or the word: shy, bold, talkative, mute. 

As a five-year-old I am sitting in a closet. We have started preschool, my twin brother and I. Until then we have been bedfellows, doing everything together. The world comes alive every time we turn to look at each other, laughing or frightened.

We live in the north of Sweden where everybody knows Finnish, but in preschool they speak Swedish. My brother learns the language right away and fits in with the new crowd easily. I freeze in the dark. The crafts closet is my safe space. Of course, I cannot stay there. There comes a man from Haaparanta, uncle Jorma. He has big cards in his briefcase. There is a picture on one side and the other side is plain grey. Slowly he manages to draw words out of me, first in Finnish and then in Swedish. A swan, grey. Svan, the swan translates first.

How ingenious, I think as an adult. Something is permanent, in spite of the language.

I move the patches on the fabric, constructing images. I lift the fabric from the corner and the patches fall flat on the floor or lightly float in the air for a moment before landing here and there.”

Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. A detail from a work in progress, working title: Burning oak. Textile, approx. 250 x 500 cm. kalven_n. Photography: Veikko Björk.
Pauliina Turakka-Purhonen. A detail from a work in progress, working title: Burning oak. Textile, approx. 250 x 500 cm. kalven_n. Photography: Veikko Björk.