Artist and art history doctoral student Hilja Roivainen, MA, from the University of Turku will give a talk at the Saari Residence on Tuesday, 29 November at 6 p.m. The talk will be based on her doctoral study The Utopian Landscape in Nordic 21st Century Painting.
As conceptual art gains ground, the continuum of utopian types of images continues to compete in landscape painting. Pastoral, arcadian, paradise, picturesque and elevated themes are translated into the language of modern painting.
In 21st century painting utopian landscapes such as verdant flat lands, sheltered forests, mirror surfaces of the horizon, stormy oceans or awe-inspiring mountains are often depicted with dystopian flaws.
According to philosopher Ernst Bloch (1959), one form of psychological utopian activity of the human mind is visions which, for example, shine brightly with the light of the sky on the horizon or rise to the heights of distant mountains. Like for many utopian thinkers, starting from Thomas More´s Utopia (1516), the tranquil pastoral countryside is for Ernst Bloch, too, a topos of utopia and a metaphor for ideal existence in the world.
Roivainen will analyse utopian types of images in landscape painting on the basis of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch.
The lecture is in Finnish.
Hilja Roivainen is 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 Student Support Worker 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 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.”
hmeroi (at) utu.fi
tel. +358 (0)41 548 6707