Dialogi - Milla Vaahtera x Artek

Dialogue – Milla Vaahtera x Artek is a playful exhibition at Artek Helsinki for the first weeks of this year. Exhibition time 13.1. - 15.2.2020.

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Photographer: Hannakaisa Pekkala, assistant: Pia Johansson

Milla Vaahtera (born 1981) is a Helsinki-based furniture designer and artist whose recent work includes airy mobile and stabile decorations made of glass and brass. Dialogue – Milla Vaahtera x Artek is a playful exhibition at Artek Helsinki for the first weeks of this year. It features colourful, organic items communicating with the space and furniture in the store.

Dialogue between artist and artisan

Milla Vaahtera’s works are created in tight cooperation by the artist and skilled artisans. The process is based on communication and is open, leaving room for insight and indefinite opportunities. Vaahtera is interested in the role of intuition and chance in art – the final work may be something completely different compared to the first sketch. Her items are made of brass and glass and by hand from scratch. The glass parts are blown in Nuutajärvi by Sani Lappalainen, Pauli Vähäsarja, Otto Koivuranta, Jonas Paajanen, Henni Eliala, Tommi Tikkinen and Paula Pääkkönen. The brass parts are made by silversmith Kirsi Kokkonen and Milla Vaahtera. When working with these materials, Vaahtera wants to discover their preferred forms of being. She finds the final form of the item by listening to the material.

At the end of such open process full of opportunities, the resulting artwork is bound to be animate by nature. Vaahtera says the mobile and stabile decorations that sway by the power of touch or airflow are giving us a performance.

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Photographer: Hannakaisa Pekkala, assistant: Pia Johansson
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Wild and colourful organicity meets the standard

At the exhibition built in the Artek Helsinki store, the strong imprint of Milla Vaahtera’s work – including occasional technical fouls and the organic form of the materials – meets the Aalto standard. Vaahtera considers her art completely freeform as opposed to Artek’s semi-industrial manufacturing method that utilizes standardized parts in wooden furniture. The exhibition consists of the dialogue between the works and the furniture, which according to Vaahtera is “an explosion of organicity in an organized atmosphere”. Having worked as a furniture designer, too, Vaahtera is interested in the relation of artwork and furniture. “The works end up in homes where they will be again surrounded by furniture,” she notes.

With this exhibition exuding youth and colour in a series of mobile and stabile decorations, Vaahtera brings a lively vibe to the Artek Helsinki store. The works repeat her airy and sensitive signature style while taking a bold step towards modern art. The exhibition area is designed in cooperation by the artist and Artek’s interior architect Henna Palonen.


Dialogi – Milla Vaahtera x Artek

13.1.–15.2.2020

Artek Helsinki
Keskuskatu 1 B
00100 Helsinki

Monday to Friday at 10–19, Saturday 10–18

Previously at Artek Helsinki

Artek Helsinki 
Keskuskatu 1 B
00100 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358 10 617 3480
artekhelsinki@artek.fi
Mon-Fri 10:00 – 19:00
Sat 10:00 – 18:00