Heli Hiltunen

Heli Hiltunen, Happy House, 2009–2011. Oil, acrylic and ink on canvas, 170x130cm.

In order to remember and maintain a lived experience, we often carry a mental image of it. Subject matter for me is hovering between that experience and its image. Thus, memory and remembering is analogous with construction of an image.

Visual artist Heli Hiltunen works with the themes of memory, oblivion and the act of seeing. For her, memory is full of holes and remembrance consists of fragments, inaccuracies and remouldings, even deception. Likewise, Hiltunen’s work contains multiple truths and overlapping layers.

In her art, Hiltunen skillfully combines painting, photography and collage technique. She acknowledges the significance of coincidence, emphasizing material agency. Hiltunen’s method treasures running paint, visible fingerprints and double exposures. Her work is often intentionally imprecise, leaving room for imagination. 

For Hiltunen, constructing images equals traveling towards long-lost places. She sees her artwork as itineraries – images of time spent making the paintings. Drawing inspiration from everyday tales, landscapes and recollections of childhood, the artist takes us to mysterious places between the past and the present.

Heli Hiltunen is FCINY’s artist-in-residence for the month of September. 

Heli Hiltunen, House of Sorrow – House of Joy, 2015. Pigment print, 72x49cm.