Artist of the Year Heli Ryhänen (b. 1971) fills the Kunsthalle with her large faux-leather sculptures.
Heli Ryhänen bestows the features of her faux-leather figures with the innermost conflicts of life: ageing, sexuality and death. While blurring the boundaries between good and evil, the familiar and the strange, the works are not without glimpses of humour.
Ryhänen ‘sculpts’ her works with an industrial-grade Mitsubishi sewing machine.
The Species of People in Kunsthalle Helsinki is the most extensive review to date of Ryhänen’s impressive output, covering works from the 1998 Bruise to the present.
Heli Ryhänen has exhibited her work for nearly 20 years in several group and solo shows. She has also created many public sculptures, the latest of them City Animals (2013), a group of five bronze figures on cobblestone-covered mounds in the district of Kontula in Helsinki. Located in the centre of Huittinen, her Roundabout Loonies (2012)was awarded the Environmental Artwork of the Year honorary diploma by the Finnish Foundation for Environmental Art. Balancing (2010), located in Sinetti, the tax administration and employment service centre in Jyväskylä, is the largest public work of art in Finland to be made of artificial leather.