Between sound and silence: Kira Leskinen

Kira Leskinen is part of our IN BETWEEN collection. She is a cutting-edge artist, innovative in her technique and extraordinary in her way of creating art dominated by a fully balanced tension

In her artistic work Kira Leskinen shows a deep interest in sound, and how the concept of sound can be applied to visual arts. Her pieces are playful yet elegant abstractions, all interpreting the dynamics between silence, repetition and rhythm

Kira Leskinen is a Finnish artist, born 1987 and based in Helsinki. She is a member of the famous Helsinki School and has exhibited her work in Berlin, Istanbul, Madrid, Vienna, Paris and New York. The artist combines traditional collage techniques with different scanning methods, such as flatbed scanning under the influence of natural light. Typically her art is offering a strong marriage between vivid colors and contrasting black and white

'The images in this series were created with a flatbed scanner. The technique is known as scanography. In order to create the images, I have placed different materials directly on the glass plate of the scanner. Usually the materials are partly or even completely in contact with the surface of the glass. From this point of view, it resembles the process of creating a photogram on a photographic paper. However, instead of a single exposure, the image created by a flatbed scanner is formed one line at a time as the scanner’s scanning head moves through the picture plane.

Aesthetically I seek clear forms and vivid color combinations similar to the works of Ellsworth Kelly. In my work process, I rely greatly on play, improvisation and chance. As Johan Huizinga defines, play is a voluntary act that separates from ordinary life through a local restriction. It is a closed and isolated space of its own. Before beginning to work with the scanner, I block all additional noise and dim the lights or sometimes even wait for the nightfall. The choice of working in a dark and quiet space is my way of distinguishing the process from ordinary day-to-day cycle. I deliberately create myself a specific space where the play and improvisation can happen.

Wassily Kandinsky has written about the relationship between visual abstract art and music. Inspired by his theories, I combine words with the final images. What I am looking for is a word, a title, that acts as a phonetic correspondence for the visual work. Spanish, Turkish and Estonian are some of the languages that I have used. Instead of emphasizing meaning, I concentrate on the sound of the word - the way it feels in the ears and on the tongue' Kira Leskinen

Look closer at the IN BETWEEN collection and Kira Leskinen's editions here


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