The main theme of my photography is the experiential nature of landscapes, which I approach by spending time in the great outdoors. Going slowly—a stone’s throw away from my home or further, off the beaten track—I survey the matter of terrains. Bushes and thickets, forests and open uplands inspire me to an adventure with images.
Making art and leaving for the outdoors are similar experiences for me: I feel inspired and look forward to what is going to happen. I approach the landscape from the perspective of human, phenomenological geography, which examines experiences, emotions, and meanings related to places. I am awed by the objects of admiration that ordinary-looking terrain and environments can offer. I try to find the boundary between the imaginary and the real. My focus is on something I like to call the hidden place. When looked at again and again, with an open mind, a hidden place discloses new visual scenes. A familiar hidden place is not empty or uninspiring for me. With my photos, I reflect on the concept of place as a lived situational experience. In addition to its properties that can be perceived through the senses, I explore the images, atmosphere, and genius loci—the spirit—of a place.
My interpretation of the landscape is not based on movement only, on documenting the passing and changing view. Instead, my photographs also transmit the feeling of a standstill and immobility. The northern, Arctic environment, both natural and cultural, is my spiritual home and frame of mind. The visually fascinating Utsjoki area and the Varanger Peninsula attract me with their silence. Surrounded by the rich nuances and forces of nature, life is uncluttered and simple and allows living quietly in the moment.
Photography is my way to empowerment and longing. Melancholy is a feature of my imagery. I watch the open sea and the infinity opening from the top of the fjeld. Slightly melancholic and sad, I examine the landscape using a “romantic look”. A romantic look, for me, is a peaceful and personal, spiritual relation between the experiencer and the object. When examining the landscape, I notice I am looking at myself. The landscape is my experience and my mirror.
Minna Rissanen is a photographic artist based in Jaala, Finland. She graduated from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences (with a bachelor’s degree) and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences (with a master’s degree, now LAB -University). In her photography-based and spatial works, Rissanen explores nature’s experiential nature and landscape and ponders the human-nature relationship. Her works have been on display in several solo and group exhibitions. Rissanen is a member of the Association of Photographic Artists and Kouvola Art Association.
CV | CURRICULUM VITAE
SELECTED STUDIES | Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Master of Culture and Arts, 2015. Haaga Helia - School of Vocational teacher, 2005. Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Art, Media Art -studies, 2003. Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Art, Bachelor of Culture and Arts with Honours, 1999. Byam Shaw School of Art, London, 1989
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITONS 2021 - 1991 | Art Centre East - Gallery Roikka, Lappeenranta 2021 (Rohtu). Gallery Uusi Kipinä - The Artists’ Association gallery of Lahti, Kenno, Lahti 2017 (Herbario Mystique). Mikkeli Centre of Photography, Studio I, 2017 (Herbario Mystique). Kouta-gallery - Art Museum Poikilo, Kouvola 2016 (Wondering about wandering). The Centre of Photography - Rantagalleria, Oulu (Desert Inn) Helsinki Art Museum/ Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki (Desert Inn) Galleria Just - The Artists’ Association gallery of Turku (Desert Inn), Galleria Kipinä - The Artists’ Association gallery of Lahti (Desert Inn), Kouvola Art Museum, gallery (Desert Inn), Gallery Becker - The Artists’ Association gallery of Jyväskylä (Let the sun fall), Savonlinna Art Museum (Paratiisi on aina jossakin muualla) Kouvola Art Museum, gallery (This story is old but it goes on), Photographic Gallery Hippolyte, Helsinki (The little things that kill), Rauma Art Museum (in my heart it was so real), Porvoo Art Hall (no hope - no harm), Mikkeli Centre of Photography (kuolemaksi hänen untaan luulimme ja uneksi kuolemaansa), Imatra Art Museum (no hope - no harm, just another false alarm), Joensuu Art Museum /Temporaali (Office of marriage counselling), 1991
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITION 2020 - 1992 | Metsä - Kaakko 22/23 , Art Museum Poikilo, Kouvola 2022. Pientä rajaa - The Artists´ Association of Kouvola, Galleria Pato, Kouvola 2022. Myötä - The Artists' Association of Kouvola, Art Museum Poikilo, Kouvola 2020. Läheisyys - Kaakko18, Lappeenranta Art Museum 2018. Vimma, Kouta - The Artists’ Association of Kouvola, Gallery of Kuusankoskitalo 2017. Karonkka, Art centre Mältinranta, Tampere 2015, Art Fair Finland 2015, Cable Factory/Helsinki 2015. Karonkka, Art centre Antares, Sippola/Kouvola 2015. Masters of Saimaa ‘15, Cable Factory/Puristamo, Helsinki 2015. Mikkeli Centre of Photography, Imatra Art Museum Kouvola Art Museum, Aika uusi - South-Karelia Art Museum, Lappeenranta -“L’amour” - Tikanojan Art Museum, Vaasa -Comment - Young Artists’ in Finland, Espoo -Mänttä Art Festival, Mänttä -“Pentagoni” - South-Karelia Art Museum, Lappeenranta Borey Art Gallery, Saint Petersbourg, Russia -“Salainen puutarha - The Secret Garden” - Hämeenlinna Art Museum
MEMBERSHIPS The Artists’ Association of Finland/Photographic Artists’ | Association Kouta - The Artists’ Association of Kouvola | Kuvasto - copyright society for artists working in the field of visual arts