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7. Corinna Helenelund

On the Subtle Influence of Nature, 2021

Installation with textile works.

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The starting point for the sculptor Corinna Helenelund’s installation of textile works is the mystic, composer and abbess Hildegard of Bingen’s book Physica (published 1160), a medieval encyclopaedia of recipes on the effects of nature. Hildegard of Bingen used nature as a healing palette and saw body and soul as one. Helenelund has had these recipes printed on sculptures in textile media according to their effects. The parts of the body change proportions and the soft sculptures depict big questions in a playful way. The installation as a whole shows how we are a part of a healing unity, a green flux that permeates all living things and makes us well.

Helenelund has taken up Hildegard of Bingen’s alphabet – Litterae Ignotae. For example, on the green clothing Helenelund uses this language to give the plants prominence, like flowers on a meadow, with each name having its own plant colour. Together with the adjacent colour circle these textile works constitute an encounter over time and space. We can to some extent understand and recognize ourselves here, while at the same time marvelling at the distances.

Overall Helenelund creates environments about how she experiences existence atmospherically in the moment. This stems from her interest in how we humans experience and encounter the outside world differently depending on where we are mentally, on our inner moods, wellbeing etc. Helenelund shows us how we can express feelings and other abstract experiences in many ways other than with words alone, among them with the aid of colour and form.

The sculptor and installation artist Corinna Helenelund (b. 1985) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2013 and is currently a Pro Artibus Villa Snäcksund grant holder. This year, she took part in the group exhibition Uncertain Horizon at WAM in Turku. Last year, she showed solo at HAM Gallery and, in 2019, together with Lauri Anttila at Gallery Sculptor. She has also shown at: Titanik in Turku; Gallery Sinne; Kunstverein Göttingen in Germany; Norrköpings konstmuseum in Sweden; EKKM in Tallinn; The Community in Paris; and with Jupiter Woods at Interstate in New York. In 2018, she was a HIAP resident artist at Suomenlinna, Helsinki. She has also spent time as resident artist in Italy, Lithuania, Salzburg and Berlin. Helenelund has made a public work in Porvoo in the form of a blue-and-white bus stop, and also created stage designs for the theatre. She frequently returns to textile and colour, which involve slow, meditative work. Her artworks can be sown, knitted, modelled or sculpted. Somatic thinking, embodied time, forms and formlessness in our “inner life” are recurrent themes of her work.

Photo: Sergio Urbina