Anu Sari Anette Riestola

s. 1970, Liminka
Visual Artist
Residence: Turku

Contact information

Phone number: +358 (0) 50 5346251

Artist’s Statement

My roots are in Lapland and in North-Finland.

I am married with one child.

My works are about identity, life and its ' preciousness and death.

I draw, paint, photograph
and I do mixed-media works , collages and installations.
It is allways winding at the high hills, but from there on you can see far away

What is art from Lapland? What is it like to be a Lappish artist?
Worst scenario, which could come to your mind, is a fake sami man (who is originally from southern finland),who is drunk, selling pancakes and bad paintings
of reindeers and high hills in a souvenir-café somewhere in Lapland. I am happy to announce that there is more and better going on in the artworld of Lapland.

In Finland if you are an artist you are living in a marginal. If you are living in Lapland you are also in the marginal. If you are a Lappish artist you are in marginal double. Furthermore if you are a woman you are in marginal again.( I have to say I am reasonably
okay eventhough I am a female artist from the region of Lapland.)

They say that artist are human beings or persons as well. What about Lappish persons?
In what way Lappish artist person differs from the one for example from south? It would be easy to answer: nowadays not in a single way. We are all the same staring at the television or computer. When I sit with my laptop on the top of the hill or in the forest I can contact anyone via Skype or Facebook just the same way than in the Helsinki. Technology brings the world to me, which is similar everywhere, global culture seems to modify local culture, it’s all the same, we all eat pesto and mozzarella-cheese-balls from Utsjoki to Tel Aviv, we all watch same tv –series, we all listen the same pop music and wonder what the Lady Gaga is going to wear next… We are all civilized western europeople from the ice sea to the Mediterranean sea. Only the language changes on the way. Isn’t it true? Is that so?
Oh yes, indeed. And the cows will fly (or should I say reindeers).

They say that people are everywhere the same, only the environment is different.
Environment influences us quite a lot, eventhough we wouldn’t like to admit it to ourselves. We live in the modern era with the help of fridgerators and electricity, though it’s not the same to be born to the middle of the dark extremely cold winter than to the warm shores of Mediterranean sea near the wineyards and fruittrees. It’s different to eat raw salted fish or dried reindeer-meat or fridged icy cloudberries, than eat fresh fruits and vegetables all year round. It’s different to grow under the snowy birch than under the apple tree. The history of Lappish people is the history of surviving. Only the toughest survived.You had to cope with extremely cold, long winter. Nothing else grew at the high hills than reindeers and some stubborn people.

When it was cold outside, one looked the shelter inside the hut, fire and from the other people. There were not many people necessarily around, distances were long, so that’s why the other people were valuable. After the dinner was eaten, people fed each other with the stories, especially ghost stories at night. Nowadays your broadband makes noise
and you can order Louise Vuitton –bag from the net , if you are wealthy enough, but still there is more superstition and mystics in Lapland than in the other parts of the Finland.

Before Lapland used to be a poor area;
it was said that you didn’t herit anything else but the bag full of stories. The narrative tradition of Lapland is juicy, bloody and and rough. In my opinion this reflects to the fine arts too in Lapland.

Also the extreme light conditions affect us: We, Lappish artists are part of Lappish light and environment. I haven’t met a Lappish person, who wouldn’t be affected by the blue light of KAAMOS (dark winter time) or the white everlasting night of midsummer.
Long KAAMOS opposite of nightless, manic,hysterical night. These things definitely leave
a somekind of mark to a person.

We born again every spring and every spring you have the same joy that you survived dark winter again. Nowadays it is more mentally surviving though.

Current information

I have ongoing exhibition in Gallery Hella in Kauhajoki,3.9.-28.9.2014.
It's name is Kun olet poissa (,When you are gone).It consist of installation and photographs.

Future exhibitions and happenings:

Hallaa-exhibition,organized by The Artist's Association of Lapland
in Korundi in Rovaniemi 3.10.-30.10.2014.

Tuubit auki-open studios in whole Finland by Artist's Association of Finland 11.-12.10.2014 from 12 till 4.00 P.M.My studio is in Logomo,Address is Köydenpunojankatu 14,Turku.

Group exhibition called (Animals of my life) "Elämäni eläimet"
in Gallery Fogga in Helsinki

Private exhibition in P-Gallery in Pori 22.10.-9.11.2014.

Past exhibitions and happenings lately:

Kulkulupa ,open studios of Turku-based artists 6.-7.9.2014.

"Kun olet poissa"(When you are gone) -private exhibition in Gallery & Cafe Dada in Tampere 17.6.-13.7.2014.