Sinikka Palonen's retrospective exhibition 5 October 2013 – 12 January 2014
Sinikka Palonen (b. 1948) is a painter born and living in Rauma. She graduated from The Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1975 and has been working actively since then. Her works have been seen in several exhibitions since the mid 70s, but this exhibition is the first extensive overview of the artist's production. There are works from both public and private collections. Themes of the paintings have changed during the long career, but focus has always been on human life and the mysteries of existence. In the exhibition artist's long artistic journey can be followed. Her early happy and nostalgic works inspired by the idyllic Old Rauma wooden houses were made in the spirit of the 1970s optimistic modernism. In the beginning of the 80s cosiness turned to drama in her works: sorrow, loneliness and death entered the paradise. Later themes turned to deeper mystery and personal mythical representations of metaphysical realms. The recent works contain references to religious visual traditions. Colour is important for Palonen. In her paintings colours are often strong and she emphasizes the materiality and three-dimensional structure of the painted surface. As an artist Palonen has always been uncompromising, not attracted by wide publicity but looking at the opposite direction closer to the mysteries of life. For Palonen drawing and painting are comparable to meditation exercises. Her latest drawings follow the traditions of icon painting in form and subject matter and paintings of angels radiate the serene happiness found also in her early works.
An interesting art project of Palonen was the Blue Chamber of Matti, an exhibition space in Palonen's home house in Old Rauma. The special atmosphere of the space can now also be experienced in the exhibition, leisurely sitting in an armchair enjoying the paintings. Palonen has also worked with young sound and video artists. The exhibition includes video work by Janne Rehmonen "Feelings", which is based on the colours, moments, moods and feelings from Sinikka Palonen's paintings, drawings and photographs.