Hanna Heinilä, Self-portrait (1910's)
Hanna Heinilä, Self-portrait (1910’s)

In Her Country 
– Village Photographer Hanna Heinilä 

At Rauma Art Museum ground floor exhibition space 16th October 2021 – 31st January 2022

The photo exhibition In Her Country – Village Photographer Hanna Heinilä presents a large selection of photographs by Hanna Heinilä, mainly from the 1910s and 20s. The insight of Heinilä’s amateur photographs, as well as the warmth and playfulness conveyed by them, have aroused great wonder among those interested in early photography in Finland. In many ways, Heinilä can be considered an art-historical discovery that expands the ever-diversifying understanding of early photography in Finland. 

Hanna Heinilä started photographing at the age of 16 in the summer of 1906. Soon the young woman ended up photographing her hometown Luvia’s entire life. Heinilä’s own family life also appeared in the photographs. The images are valuable documentaries about Luvia a hundred years ago, as they convey the past cultural landscape, the relevance of the village community and family relationships, celebrations but also ordinary everyday life, children’s games and women’s work. The exhibition utilizes oral history as a part of its background work. 

The photographs in the exhibition have been gathered from the collections of Luvia Seor ry and Hanna Heinilä’s family. For the first time, Hanna Heinilä’s production has been exhibited this extensively. The photo exhibition is curated by Heta Kaisto. Children have been given their own section in the exhibition as well, curated by the visual artist Mollu Heino. The children’s section offers the opportunity to look at the photos in a slightly different way. Heinilä’s pictures offer a glimpse into children’s lives a hundred years ago, and the exhibition explores them with wonder and insight. 

The curators work closely with Matti Luotola from Luvia, who has done a great deal of rescue work in tracing and digitizing Heinilä’s photographs. Photographic artists Katri Lassila and Päivi Setälä have been invited to take part in the exhibition. 

In connection with the exhibition, the Rauma Art Museum and the village association Luvia Seor ry are publishing a photo book of Hanna Heinilä’s photographs. The publisher of the book is the small publishing house Parvs, which specializes in high-quality art books.