//the state of being made up of two separate parts

Written by Aleksandra Stasiak
Photos by Aleksandra Stasiak

«Halfness» took place at Brenneriet Gallery and was a cooperative exhibition between Gabriela Florea and Sanna Riihimäki. Following the title, the work reflected on completeness by confronting two or more separate components into one whole piece. The artists used the graphic technique of woodcut, where images on carved wooden plates were printed on paper.

The concepts of halfness and connectivity were displayed in different forms throughout the exhibition, with two distinct installations. In the first one, the artists became themselves halves, while working together on big graphics creating one full piece. The second installation focused on connectivity and was made up of smaller prints arranged in boxes.  

The Halfness installation was composed of four pieces of print, approx. 2m high and 1,2m wide. Here, the artists implemented the carved wooden plates used for printing. This touch gave a feeling of the process of printing itself and brought a warm tinge of natural wood into the ‘black and white’ installation.

In each print both artists had a defined role, and halves of their faces were printed on paper and set aside creating one new face. Each half expressed different emotions. Tranquility and calmness, as well as outrage, were combined, emphasised by size and contrast. The point though, was not to compare or necessarily show opposite feelings - it was to reflect over two distinct parts of people and their features. By working and spending time together, the wholeness and connection found its way out into a full, and completely new, picture, as well as ambience. That relation created atmospheres unique as people themselves.

In the other part of the exhibition, artists worked on separate installations, made out of sets of prints composed into small elegant boxes. While Gabriela Florea focused on rigidly organised pattern, Sanna Riihimäki worked with soft movement. The works provided a continuation to the Halfness piece, where artists segued the idea of connectivity, and how it can be displayed and comprehended. In the series of prints called Network, Gabriela Florea reflected over such themes, by aligning four different shapes of pipes into a linked configuration. By using tubes as a symbol, while showing the way in which they can be joined to fill up a space, the artist brought attention to the way people occupy personal space. Here however, common everyday life objects were organised in a network of aesthetic structure. This duality seemed to reflect human behaviour, where people make themselves in control of the surrounding, through both their mental state and outer presence.

Sanna Riihimäki on the other hand focused on motion in her Liike - movement work (liike is the finnish word for movement), where abstract expressions of flow and light were composed into five boxes, gradually increasing in size.  As the artist explained, the initial focus of this work was that the feeling of connectivity always happens, and it happens through flow, actions and motion. Movement occurs all the time no matter how fast or in which direction. Therefore people create their surroundings through everyday activities, following their aims as well as relations with others. Life eventually becomes a result of movement, where we do not only create but also destroy all those connections on our life-paths.

Conclusively, the artists created all together a contemplative journey over connections and completeness. Throughout the exhibition, attention was brought towards differences between people, personal space and processes, but mainly towards connectivity in its many forms.