My work continues much as it always has. There is for the artist a kind of ongoing lock down and isolation necessary for the work to be made. Each individual human being experiences loneliness and isolation and there is a simple existential reality that we are unique and therefore always, to some extent, alone. Art enables us to connect with ourselves and each other.
My hope is that in these works you will find a way of creatively and consolingly being with yourself. Art always offers a window, a window into a world beyond that takes us out of ourselves and a window that reflects back and gives us new insights into our inner life.
For me, art is a work of expression in response to what is outside and inside. I hope in these days of uncertainty and anxiety you will find in some of this work a space and time simply to be with the reality and beauty of who you are.
At this point I wish to express my gratitude to Sampo, my son who has created this website for all of us to enjoy.
My warmest wishes to you and yours from me and mine.
Marjaana at work in her studio
Majaana´s exhibition at The Old Fire Station Gallery, Henley (January 2020)
Marjaana Vaataja is a Finnish artist living and working in South Oxfordshire. She works predominantly in oil making abstract pieces on canvas using a broad range of traditional and innovative techniques.
Marjaana’s expression is massively influenced by her upbringing by the Baltic Sea on the edges of the Arctic Circle. In recent years her work speaks of the extremes and beauty of nature and the influence on her of sacred art.
From her earliest days light, darkness and the extremes of temperature have brought Marjaana an intimacy with the cycle of seasons marked by local traditions and rites that find their way into her artistic expression. Marjaana’s work invites the observer into a kind of contemplation that both unsettles and soothes.
Marjaana’s inspiration and method is to take an emotion borne of memory and experience and seek to express that through colour and texture. This is a physically and emotionally demanding process. The result is a reflection of the inner and outer realities of one woman’s life in relationship with her environment and the people in it. Northern Finland has a stark beauty, raw nature is never far away be that the forest or the sea, the sunlight or the snow. It is a place of extremes and this is dramatically worked out on the canvas by Marjaana.
The paradoxes and inconstancies are presented to us through the layering and colour on the canvas. There are no easy answers, nothing obvious, but always hope breaks through in each work.
• Marjaana began making art at a young age receiving training at Haukipudas and Oulu Colleges in the late 1980s
• Marjaana has curated a number of exhibitions in Finland most notably an acclaimed display of the work of Seppo Simila in 2009.
- Old Fire Station Henley, January 2020
- West Ox Arts Gallery Bampton, February 2020
- Galleria Kajaste Oulu, March to April 2020