Emma Ainala
Photo: Veikko Kähkönen

Emma Ainala’s paintings often contain references to popular culture and, at the same time, to mythologies and to various periods of art history. They look at history, but also powerfully dissect the present day.

Ainala describes the mood of her paintings as film stills, as moments suspended from time, which have something strangely familiar and yet unidentified about them. In some of her works she juxtaposes figures recognisable as female icons with the imagery of her childhood. Priscilla Presley, Brigitte Bardot and Chloë Sevigny are mixed with My Little Pony and Disney’s Ariel. In Ainala’s large-format paintings real, mythical and dreamlike figures and motifs merge to form their own reality, which can be interpreted in many different ways. In Ainala’s works time appears in pictorial, narrative and stylistic layers, which are tinged with sentimentality and nostalgia.

Human figures are central in Ainala’s work. The artist is interested in identities and human relations and examines these in her work. For her painting is a 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 Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. Ainala’s solo exhibitions have been seen for example at Galleria Huuto on Jätkäsaari in 2014, at Hasan & Partners in 2013. Ainala has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions, the latest being Time that Remains at Helsinki Contemporary and Kunsthalle Helsinki’s Young Artists 2013 exhibition.