Residency artists and researchers

Painting, drawing, printmaking

Hilja Roivainen

visual artist

I am a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2010) and Master of Arts in Fine Art (2011, 12-month full-time MA programme), University of East London. In my oil paintings, I have depicted the concepts of landscape, memory and place. I was a first-year postgraduate student in the PhD in Art History and Theory programme in the University of Essex, England, from 1 September 2011 to 30 June 2012. During my studies in England, I also worked as a university student counsellor and art teacher/educator in various schools and organisations. From September 2012, I have been working on my doctor’s thesis in the University of Turku, taking part in exhibitions, directed art workshops for senior citizens and young people, and taught an Art History course based on my research in the University of Turku.

”The utopian landscape in 21st century Nordic painting”, the doctoral monograph in art history I am currently writing with the support of an academic research grant from the Kone Foundation, will produce a theoretical interpretation of the concept of the utopian landscape, along with a visual analysis of utopian landscape painting in contemporary Nordic art. I compare the landscapes painted by six Nordic artists in the 21st century in relation to pictorial and intellectual forms of depicting utopias (from the Greek eu- and ou-topos, good non-place) in Western literature, painting and art discourse in the 16th to 21st centuries. The form of the paintings in my 21st century material is defined by the utopian topos and the fragmentation of landscapes. My research method combines iconography and intellectual history.

During my Saari residency on 1 November – 31 December 2016, I will be working on the manuscript of my thesis, of which I will finish two chapters. The first chapter will define the utopian topos or mode in the history of Western landscape painting and major utopian literature and synthetise the landscape metaphors in Ernst Bloch’s philosophy of utopias (The Principle of Hope, 1959, 1986). The second chapter will analyse the utopian topos, partly coloured with dystopia, in the landscape paintings of Anna Tuori, Petri Ala-Maunus, Andreas Eriksson, Astrid Nondal, John Kørner and Eggert Pétursson.