The Young Artist of the Year 2022 – Emma Jääskeläinen, At Her Fingertips

Sculptor Emma Jääskeläinen (b. 1988) is the 38th recipient of this nationally notable art award. She is known for her massively monumental stone sculptures that the artist makes out of classical types of stone such as granite, marble and travertine, updating the materials into the language of contemporary art. The artist avoids excessive seriousness through the use of surprising choices of material. A pocket-sized monumental sculpture illustrates well how Jääskeläinen plays with greatly varying scale: palm-fitting, huggable and impossible, as the artist herself describes it. Other opposites, such as hard and soft, are also present in the artist’s works which can also be seen as portraits in the broader sense of the term.

Corporeality is a key contentual starting point in Emma Jääskeläinen’s art. Masses are treated in a physical manner where the dialogue between the artist and the material gains a tangible form without losing its sensitivity. It is motion and presence, the working of mass and volume through which the artist’s intuitive experience becomes publicly visible and open for experiencing.
Jääskeläinen, who graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2018, began her studies on performance art from which the physicality shifted into three-dimensional sculpture. The memory imprint and experiences of one’s own body become part of artistic work in a very tangible way. The theme of motherhood is topical for Emma Jääskeläinen and is evident, for example, in the titular work of the exhibition, At Her Fingertips. The cell division within the body has been transmitted tangibly into the works in the form of things such as the bonds between different parts. Grooves, marks, shadows and the weight of mass also become visible in multi-material works. Finnsheep wool, glass, a ring, a chili pod, fake fur, hair and a baseball cap are amongst the materials used by the artist. Multisensory dimensions are audible in audio works and even as music made by the artist. The sense of taste also becomes part of the expression through things like the use of bubble gum.

The Young Artist of the Year 2022 exhibition is implemented in Tampere in two parts: in addition to the large private exhibition at the Tampere Art Museum, Emma Jääskeläinen’s works are displayed at Finlayson’s TR1 Rullaamo as part of the Finlayson Art Area event. In the autumn, the exhibition will move on to the Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art in Vaasa. The exhibition is produced by the Tampere Art Museum.