Anu Sari Anette Riestola

b. 1970, Liminka
Visual Artist
Residence: Kemi

Contact information

Phone number: +358 (0) 50 5346251

Artist’s Statement

Nowadays I paint, I use acrylics and oilcolours. Its my main media.

I make art because it brings me joy, and happiness .

Painting is making decisions and pictorial problem solving.
It is fascinating.

In my works I am interested in the relationship between nature and human being.
Lapland based identity is affecting in my paintings.


I had this speech in exhibition called "I live on the arctic circle"-opening in Riga, Latvia,in autumn 2012. It was curated by Mrs Reet Varblane, an Estonian art-curator.This speech describes
art and artists from Lapland.
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.
Show biography

Current information

Minulla on maalauksia myytävänä ja lainattavana  Lapin Taiteilijaseuran  Taidelainaamossa  Kemin Taidemuseossa.Taidelainaamon avajaiset ovat myöhemmin, sitten kun taidemuseo on taas normaalisti auki.

Keväällä minulla on tulossa kaksi yksityisnäyttelyä :

Black Wall Gallery:ssa Vaasassa 24.4.-17.5.2020 sekä Varikko Galleriassa Seinäjoella 22.5.-14.6.2020.

Molemmissa näyttelyissä tulee olemaan akryyli- ja öljymaalauksia.

Syksyllä töitäni nähdään Helsingissä Galleria Foggan "Listening to Each Others"- nimisessä yhteisnäyttelyssä  23.8.-10.9.2020

sekä Kiimingissä Galleria Jauhiaisessa 14.10.-14.11.2020.


Anu Riestola (born in 1970) lives and works in Kemi, Northern Finland.

She is  painter.She paints strong and colourfull works.

"I am interested in nature mythology and human beings relationship to nature,"Riestola says.

Riestola has graduated from Fine Art School of Turku in 1996 and

Aalto University, Arts and Crafts University of Helsinki in 2010.

Her works are in Salo-and Kemi Art Museum Collections, Finlands Gallup Art Collection , and Turku Swedish Speaking Universitys collection.(Most important collections)

She is a member of Finnish Painters Union.


Riestolas family-origins are strongly based in  Northern Lapland:Her father was from the village of Huuhkaja near Ivalo and her mother is originally from the village of Sattanen near Sodankylä.

She has got one sister and one child (born in 2011).