Sini Anttila-Rodriguez

b. 1973, Helsinki
Visual Artist, Painter
Residence: Helsinki

Contact information

Artist’s Statement

The themes for my paintings are usually born out of personal experiences and feelings. Nevertheless, I try to portray the themes in a more general form. Lately my paintings have discussed the relationship between human and nature. My paintings often portray a misty clearing in a forest; more of a romantic illusion than an actual sighting made in the nature. Perhaps the scenery is more affected by the landscape paintings from various eras than by my personal experiences in the woods. The human forms in the paintings are often small and androgynous. The character is not in the nature for nature’s sake but to perform or even compete.

In addition, my paintings discuss certain kinds of fake or set-up experiences in the wild. As someone living in a city, I hardly ever face an animal larger than a European hare in my surroundings.
The inspiration for my paintings did not come out of the wild but of the skilful animal dioramas at the Museum of Natural History. These glass-enclosed spaces create an illusion of a moment in the woods or in a swamp in the spring. The stuffed animals have been put in a setting resembling their natural living environment. The backgrounds for the dioramas are sceneries painted by an artist, seamlessly merging with the events at front. My paintings shatter the illusion, showing the structures behind them. I see my paintings in relation to traditional animal and landscape painting. However, my paintings portray more of the nature experiences of men alienated from nature than the actual nature itself. Neither do I attempt to paint or study the animals in detail; instead, they remain as distant as in the photographs taken at the museum. It is more important for me to combine clearly structured spaces and set-up or fake nature with something that is, or at least was meant to be, alive and wild by nature. Behind the glass, you can see carefully constructed still lives of flora and fauna. The Finnish word ‘Asetelma’ (“arrangement”) does not convey the same image as English ‘Still life’ or ‘Natura Morte’. In my paintings, life has been frozen and the nature is dead.