“Art doesn’t have to be forever” is one of the central principles of Marja Kanervo’s (b. 1958) work. The artist’s unassuming works made from everyday elements are usually created in carefully selected spaces, and they cannot be moved from one place to another. Although the artist re-builds some of the works in new venues, her spatial works are non-permanent in nature.
Kanervo, who trained as a painter, became interested in three-dimensional work during her studies. In her work she often brings out layers of time by demolishing and exposing, for example, by removing a layer of paint. The artist creates spaces that both ease and provoke thoughts. Various everyday objects left behind by humans, such as cardboard boxes, plastic bags or glass, are the material for Kanervo’s work. Kanervo is interested in the life that is lived and human traces. For one of her works, Kanervo collected hair from hairdressers in Helsinki, using it to weave mattresses and pillows. Kanervo’s work Ryijy (1992/2013) was created from feathers treated with waste oil and it reflected on the irreversible changes that humans inflict on their environment.
Photos: Matti Pyykkö