Anna Reivilä (b. 1988, Helsinki) is a land artist and photographer living and working in Porvoo, Finland. Reivilä studied at the Aalto University, School of Art and Design
in Helsinki. Her works have been part of several international group shows, and in 2018 Purdy Hicks Gallery presented her first solo exhibition.
Anna Reivilä creates meditative images revealing the inherent lines and dynamics present within the natural elements she encounters in her native landscape of Finland. Here trees and rocks still carry a strong symbolic presence, inherited from pre-Christian time when such elements were considered sacred. This personifying quality plays an active role in the artist’s process.
Inspired by Nobuyoshi Araki’s images and their mixture of raw violence and beauty, Reivilä studies the relationship between man and nature by referring to the Japanese bondage tradition. The Japanese word for bondage, kinbaku-bi, literally means “the beauty of tight binding”. It is a delicate balance between being held together and being on the verge of breaking. According to Japanese religious ceremonies, ropes and ties symbolize the connections among people and the divine, as a mean to identify sacred space and time. By searching through spaces where nature’s elements combine to create interesting natural tensions, Reivilä continues this dialogue through her interpretations by extending, wrapping and pulling upon these indigenous forms thereby creating a new sense of volume from the existing components.
“Using ropes as lines is my form of drawing. The lines create interactions, making connections between the elements—a reinterpretation of the landscape. These three-dimensional drawings are physically unstable—they exist only for the moment. By recording the process the photograph becomes part of the piece. Robert Smithson installed 12-inch-square mirrors to the site in his project “Yucatan Mirror Displacements” 1969. The mirrors reflected and refracted the surrounding environment and gave a new angle to see the landscape. In a similar tradition of Smithson’s use of mirrors, my lines show how shapes of the elements and the connections between them come visible when something alien is added. I’m not only changing their essence, but also my own point of view. Every space is different and I’m interested in how the volume of any given site can be stretched by the use of several simple lines.”
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