Emma Ainala

Photo: Veera Konsti

Emma Ainala’s intricate, multilayered paintings are at the same time very much in the present and contain references and subtle hints to art and cultural history. The worlds that Ainala builds in her works are personal yet shared, fantastical but tell of very real experiences. Human figures are central in Ainala’s work. The artist aims to create paintings that are open to all interpretations, where each viewer can find their own points of identification.

Ainala’s paintings are a jungle of symbols, figures and elements. It is impossible to get a coherent impression of a painting all in one go, as more new details are constantly emerging. The artist is intrigued by the idea of convolutedness – of how things can be viewed from many different angles, instead of acceding to the pressure to package and squeeze them into some easily understandable form. For Ainala, painting is a source for joy, and way to make sense of the chaotic world we live in. She says: “painting is pretty hard, but life is harder”.

Emma Ainala (b. 1989, Helsinki) lives and works in Savonlinna. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki in 2013. Ainala has held solo exhibitions at various museums in Finland: Hyvinkää Art Museum, 2020; Jyväskylä Art Museum, 2019; and Mikkeli Art Museum, 2017. Ainala has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions e.g. at Finlandsinstitutets galleri in Stockholm, Helsinki Contemporary and Kunsthalle Helsinki. In the spring of 2018, she took part in Charlottenborg Spring Exhibition in Copenhagen. Ainala's works are represented in such collections as Mikkeli Art Museum, Niemistö Collection and Saastamoinen Foundation's art collection.