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Lautasen Kokoiset Silmät: Eyes as Big as Plates

Artists - Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth

Exhibit: September 22 to October 17
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 24, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Artist talk beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth’s Lautasen Kokoiset Silmät: Eyes as Big as Plates exhibit is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, Hancock, from September 22 through October 17, 2015.

An opening reception for the exhibit will take place at the gallery on Thursday, September 24, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. with an artist talk by Riitta Ikonen beginning at 7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Eyes as Big as Plates is an ongoing collaborative venture by Riitta Ikonen (Finland) and Karoline Hjorth (Norway). Inspired by characters from Nordic folklore and personifications of nature, the project has evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature. Since 2011 the artists have collaborated with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, academics and 90-year old parachutists from Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden, Japan. The artists will expand the project to Greenland in October, 2015.

“Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place,” note Ikonen and Hjorth. “Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists.”

“As active participants in our contemporary society, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labeled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché,” continue the artists. “It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.”

Originally from Finland, Ikonen completed her BA at the University of Brighton and MA at the Royal College of Art, London. She was nominated for Ars Fennica, Finland’s biggest art prize in 2014, and exhibits, lectures and performs internationally. Her recent works have been in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, London 2012 Olympic Park, Victoria & Albert Museum, Photographer's Gallery and Gulbenkian Foundation. With support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, she works from both Finland and New York.

Learn more about Ikonen at

Karoline Hjorth is a Norwegian photographer, artist and writer. She completed her MA at the University of Westminster (London) in 2009 and is currently based in Oslo. Her photographic work has received the Deloitte Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London and has been exhibited and published internationally. Her first book Mormormonologene (Nana Monologues) was published in 2011 with a second edition in 2012. She is currently working towards an international book publication of Eyes as Big as Plates in collaboration with Riitta Ikonen, along with the production of new works and exhibitions.

Learn more about Hjorth at

Eyes as Big as Plates is currently touring with the Norwegian National Museum and has previously been shown at Fotogalleriet (Oslo), Pioneer Works (NYC), The Finnish Institute in Oslo, Paris and Stockholm, Tetley Brewery (Leeds), Seibu Shibuya (Tokyo), Villa Borghese (Rome), Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Nebraska US), the Ars Fennica exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Arts Kiasma, Bogota International Photo Biennale (Colombia), gallery FACTORY in Seoul Korea, amongst others.

Riitta Ikonen will also work with students from Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design students during her campus visit.

Lautasen Kokoiset Silmät: Eyes as Big as Plates will be on display September 22 through October 17, 2015. The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy St., downtown Hancock. For more information, contact the Finlandia University Gallery at 906-487-7500.

  • Photo 1: Eyes as Big as Plates #Pupi, 2012, Riitta Ikonen & Karoline Hjorth
  • Photo 2: The artists Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth