Hi, my name is Heli

I am a Helsinki-based artist who mainly works with oilpaints. I graduated as a Master of Fine Arts from the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts in 1995. Currently I am particulary interested in portraying people in my works.

Picture of the author



High School graduate, Torkkeli Art High School, Helsinki
Folk High School of Fine Arts, Liminka
Nordic School of Art, Kokkola
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki
Master of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki

Solo Exhibitions

Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
Thesis exhibition, Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki
Jyväskylä Winter
Seven Giants, Galleria Pintura, Helsinki
Grand Tour 99, Galleria Becker, Jyväskylä
(Invitational exhibition of the Jyväskylä Artists' Association)
Heroes and Bystanders, Porvoo Art Hall
Paintings about Toys, Children's own Gallery, Helsinki
Zäkkärä, Malmitalo Gallery, Helsinki
Marie et Maximilien, l'Institut français de Finlande, Helsinki
Modern Woman and the Unicorn, Galleria Rikhard, Helsinki
At the Beach, tm-gallery, Helsinki

Group Exhibitions

Gallery of the Nordic school of Art, Kokkola
Joint exhibition of Nordic art school students, Kokkola Art Hall
46th Youth exhibition, Helsinki Art Hall
47th Youth exhibition, Helsinki Art Hall
Lumo - trip to East Karelia, Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts
Sugarcube, Oulu Art Museum
Sugarcube, Myyrmäki house, Vantaa
Sugarcube, Joensuu Art Museum
Sugarcube, Hämeenlinna Art Museum
Sugarcube, Uusikaupunki
Planet and Canopy, Gallery Borey, St. Petersburg
Érotique, Gallery Katariina, Helsinki
Self-portrait, Gallery Rantakasarmi, Helsinki
Quintet - Colouring Book, Gallery Katariina and Studio, Helsinki
Quintet - Disappearance, Kanneltalo Gallery, Helsinki
Human Way, Gallery Kookos, Helsinki


Finnish Painters 'Association, Helsinki Artists' Association

Teaching Responsibilities

Teacher at the YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company Arts Club
Teacher at the Mannerheim Child Welfare Union Fine Arts Club
Deputy teacher at the Northern Helsinki School of Fine Arts
Teacher at the Helsinki Artists' Association School of Fine Arts


Member of the Board of the Helsinki Artists' Association 2014–2016


Sugarcube Catalog 1996
Taide-lehti 1/95, 5/96
Circle Quarterly Art Review / 5

Artist's Statement

In my works, I often deal with the present in a distant way through the past. For example, the oil paintings in the Rannalla series depict events at or near the sea. The sea symbolizes the other side, the beach the world we live in. I have used old photographs as a starting point. The expression or attitude of the people in the photographs has aroused my interest and enthusiasm to tell a story. Sometimes the starting point has been a strong image, such as in The Friend, where a white horse acts as such an image. I wanted to place the horse at the top of the painting, the painting was completed around this starting point. In telling the story, I also use other photographs, found or self-taken in the details. My works are not tied to a specific time, but rather time acts as an alienator in them. These works deal with the temporality of life and our relationship to it. Photographs from different times have helped me create a timeless atmosphere in the paintings and deal with the afterlife, the depiction of which is central to the works. I primarily seek to express a person’s basic feelings, such as sadness, longing, joy, and pain.

In the past, I have also made paintings and installations about French Revolution and the reasons for it. I have dealt with the subject through a two persons on opposite sides of the revolution: Marie Antoinette, and Maximilien Robespierre. In these works I have been researching the past social justice, which is facing challenges in modern Europe. The starting point for the works has been e.g. authentic wax dolls in Madame Tussaud’s wax cabinet in London and literature on the Great French Revolution.

I am also interested in using everyday objects as a starting point for paintings. Toys or other small ornaments may act as actors in imaginary events in some of my works. An example of this is a painting depicting a rubber duck lost at the North Pole. The picture has its counterparts in reality. In 1992, a huge number of different rubber toys were accidentally unloaded from a Chinese container ship: ducks, turtles and frogs. These toys have since drifted along the seas of the world all the way to the British coast and Hawaii, among others. Although the end of the rubber junk at sea is an environmental disaster, the travel routes of toys have at the same time provided scientists with valuable information about the movement of sea currents. However, it is strange that when I painted the Arctic rubber duck, I knew nothing about this accident. I only read about it much later.