Hannaleena Heiska
Photo courtesy of Gothenburg Museum of Art / Hussein Sehatlou

Hannaleena Heiska’s paintings, videoworks and installations create illusions of captured moments, different worlds and subcultures. Her art is characterized by images taken from the themes of popular culture. She makes her paintings in a single sitting, “alla prima”. She strives to achieve brushwork that looks effortless and easy. This gives her paintings the feeling of being a fleeting moment, and a sort of nostalgia. At the beginning of her career, Heiska was inspired by furry animals, Nordic heavy-metal bands and tattoos. She made portraits of masquerade characters and anthropomorphic animal figures. Recently, her works have dealt with questions of mortality and human nature. The melancholy characters and scenery from the film Blade Runner have entered her canvases.

Hannaleena Heiska (b. 1973, Oulu) graduated from the Department of Painting at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006. She was one of the artists nominated for the biggest art prize in Finland, the Ars Fennica, in 2011. Heiska has exhibited internationally, for example, at Gothenburg Art Museum, Gothenburg, 2015; Espace Louis Vuitton Gallery, Tokyo 2012; and the CAC – Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania 2010. Heiska’s works are represented in many significant public collections, such as Gothenburg Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Her videoworks have been shown at numerous film and media-art festivals in Europe. Her film Today We Live won first prize in the Helsinki Short Film Festival in 2013.