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Tommi Hämäläinen

March, 2012

“I’m always looking for the right kinds of stuff – like going through a pile of puzzle pieces. I enjoy old, rusty, weird, simple objects; the stuff that people have thrown away. I just keep my eyes open to what I might find anywhere – from trash bins to backyards.

I salvage lots of little pieces of various ages and places: car parts, post cards, old medical and cook books, fabric, rusty pieces of metal, shoes, teeth, etc. I have an always-growing archive – a sort of library of broken things.

Objects that have belonged to someone – have been a part of a particular person’s life for a time – often have a sympathetic mark on them from that former life. I like to modify and adapt these simple objects, and to slowly see how these various pieces may discover their “right partners” as my artwork comes together. The whole process has the distinct feeling of “life cycle” for me.

I tend to be a dark-minded person, but I think that I feel both sadness and joy quite intensely. For me art is a kind of natural way of hiding – of going to a very private place to process my personal life. My current series – which is not yet complete – explores issues related to sickness and personal hurt, and to those moments in our lives when something has gone seriously wrong.

The technical aspects of my art making are sometimes enjoyable – sometimes quite frustrating.  I consider it a Zen kind of journey that is messy and dirty, and at the same time one that contains many little layers of happy and unhappy feelings. Sometimes everything’s working, sometimes it’s all going straight to hell.

In terms of media, my art has elements of collage, oil painting, and sculpture, and I am interested in blurring the lines between these three.”

– Tommi Hämäläinen

© Love & Money, 2018