2015 APR–JUN

Elina Aho

Elina Aho: Extended Body series, 2013. Oil on canvas, courtesy of the artist

Experiencing art can bring forth a heightened sense of perception, a peculiar state of awareness where the now is the only thing that matters. For visual artist Elina Aho it was the touch of charcoal on paper that initially ushered her into that state of flow and triggered a deep love for art.

After finishing her studies in psychology, she was quickly taken aloft by visual arts and graduated from the Glasgow School of Art, specializing in dealing with the concept of corporeality. In her work Aho emphasizes the physicality of drawing and painting, endeavoring to express observations in the simplest possible way – almost as a direct nervous system reaction. Thus she utilizes experimental and performative techniques including special body extensions and automation.

To her, painting and drawing means mark making – working intuitively from direct observation. Aho regards vision as being directly related to the viewer’s body, eyes working as the sensors of touch. This haptic visuality is central to her artistic work, as is evident in the tactility and rhythm reflected in her Extended Body series. The questions of corporeality are explored by using the artist’s own body as a tool, and by looking, we touch the objects with our eyes.

Elina Aho, from series Performative Drawings, still image from moving image, 2012

Aho feels that the artistic process can be utilized in many walks of life, including work communities and health care. In order to invite more people to explore and observe corporeality through drawing she has developed a further education course for artists and therapists called “Ruumiinkuvia – Corporealities.” She has worked in many multidisciplinary collaborative art projects and feels that art is best done in a collegial working environment.

Elina Aho will be participating in the Triangle Arts Association’s Residency Program located in Dumbo, Brooklyn, spending her 3-month residency period in New York in April-June 2015. As a part of Triangle’s international network of professional artists she aims to explore the field of expanded drawing and painting and study the gesture, action and trace of mark making.