/25 Altered landscape

Riitta Päiväläinen

River Notes

Riitta Päiväläinen is known for her temporary site-specific installations in nature. Often consisting of second-hand clothing and flea market fabrics arranged in familiar shapes or abstract patterns within the landscape and captured in color photographs.

Landscape plays an essential role in Päiväläinen’s work. The isolated landscapes in which her work is installed becomes a starting point – a specific feeling, memory, shape, structure, color or element of the surrounding nature functions as inspiration as well as a temporary stage for the work.

“Each of her installations, with a “setting” (the landscapes), “actors” (clothing), and “atmosphere” (light), is carefully prepared. However, in working in natural elements, Päiväläinen is also open to the accidental, the unforeseen, and surprise. By using photographs instead of the installation as the final work of art, Päiväläinen is able to choose the exact frame and moment she is looking for and in so doing, maintains control over the decision as to what she includes and what she leaves out.” Andrea Holzherr, publicist and curator Magnum Photos, Paris

Päivälänen’s imagery has evolved during a period of working on a similar theme utilizing similar subjects. In ”River Notes” the artist explores the combination of ribbons and water reflections. The structures reminiscent of bandages wrapped around limbs in the forest. The water reflections changes the installation continuously: it can disappear in a blink of an eye as soon as the wind starts to blow. Working in nature changes the way the artist observes and moves.

“Wading in the rivers, streams, and flooded areas gives me a totally new perspective of seeing. I am in the world of beavers, fishes, and other water animals. I observe the nature from an angle and perspective that most of the people never do.” Riitta Päiväläinen
In “River Notes”, water represents a mirage to our dreams, memories and our subconscious. Combined with the ribbons, the result is a riddle that lures the viewer further into the image.