Heidi Elisabeth Hänninen (1982)
Visual Artist (M.F.A) / sculptor, monumental painter, community artist, activist.
Art educator (M.A.)
xeugux (at) gmail (dot) com
For me art is tool for better life. Art can be more humane point of view in our society that depends on the constant growth of economy and competition. Art can be an alternative for all of us one way or another.
I have done my MFA- studies in Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, at sculpture-department (2016) and MA- studies of art pedagogy in the University of Lapland (2017). Being an artist and art pedagog goes hand-in-hand in my thinking and they are both important parts of me. Making art and teaching it can work together reflectively, through discussions and working with other people I get more perspective to my own art-making process too. Art has a capacity to bring new viewpoints also to the school-world as well to other communities. As the whole capitalistic world, also the school-system today lies on the efficiency – thinking which is limiting creativity. In children’s culture (toys, movies, plays, communication etc) we can also see and feel the atmosphere of surrounding society with it’s often hidden aims and unspoken values.
I use many different materials and techniques in my art. I cast concrete, make short videos, photograph and write. I like to ensemble different materials by creating a certain atmosphere and stage for current humanitarian questions. Since studying in the State academy of art and design in Saint Petersburg, in the faculty of monumental painting (2008-09) I have been also painting on big scale: making public works as murals and street art in Finland and abroad. Different cultures with their historical heritage, religion, languages, habits, values and social ways of existing are great source of inspiration for me. For instance our neighbor-country Russia has given essential impact to my artistic processes.
Community art has become naturally very crucial way of art processing for me too as I have been all my life connected with activism. I think art is all about social meanings and about making change in one’s life. When working in communities art is our shared tool and topics come from peoples everyday life and surroundings. During the art making process we share humanity and basic human values, and learn from each other. That’s also the way to learn, to find each other and make together any change in our shared community: in the society, through the feeling of change first in one’s own life.