Lecture by Maria Nuutinen at the Koru2 International Contemporary Jewellery Symposium.

Article  /  Artists
Published: 23.03.2007
Lecture by Maria Nuutinen at the Koru2 International Contemporary Jewellery Symposium..
Maria Nuutinen
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The main idea of my work is people and our behaviour.
Lecture by Maria Nuutinen
Koru2 International Contemporary Jewellery Symposium

I have thought about my lecture and my works. And I think the main idea is people and our behaviour. I enjoy waching people, I find interesting to listening stories and destinations and also makeing my own stories. I like to be with people who dears to be just who they are. I don't like to talk with words that are so 'fine' that nobody understand. I like to be me.

I heard that some seminar people were suprised how I put pins through human figures on my pincushions. To me pincushions are just objects of my normal daily life. When I was little my mother used to make our clothes. I loved beautifull pins with different colours and I made figures and decorations by pins. I knew that pins can hurt but they never were woodoo objects to me. I don't mind that kind of things. I don't want to hurt people. But I also know that everybody hurts. There is not just happy life. Life goes up and down, that is a fact, I am sure. I like to give comments. My works can have a very clear message, but it may not be my personal opinion. It can be something I have notised and found interesting or something that someone has sed to me in the street.

-My name is Maria Nuutinen.
-I have graduated from here Lappeenranta South Carelia Polytechnik department of jewellery and stonework design in 2001.
-I also live and work here making jewellery, objects and installations.

-My favourite hobby is collecting.
-It has a great influence on my work.
-I used to work in a second hand shop, which was owned by a friend of mine. I started to collect old toys, shoes, dresses, bags and many other things.
-With those objects I decorate my home and studio. I play with them and make some kind of group of objects around me. Later those can crow to peace of jewellery or just inspire me.

‘Nostalgia’ 2003, object
These old shoes are from my collection, but in one night I got an idea and made this work.
Shoes are little bit lost, sad looking, like the owner had disappeared by some weird accident.

‘Who is afraid of lestadians’ is installation from year 2001. It’s made of old children’s shoes.
I’m from a very big religious family. Almost all of my relatives are members of the firstborn Lestadian Religious Movement. It’s one form of Christianity.
Their lifestyle is modest, they are family orientate with lot of children and Christian devotion.
So every Sunday after church we got visitors (other Lestadians), the house was full of kids and our hall was full of shoes.

‘Imaginational High heels’ 2001
The idea of this work is from my childhood plays.
My little sisters and me wanted to play princes and desperately needed high heel shoes. Our mother wore only practical and simple ones.
So what to do? No problem. Children’s imagination is amazing. We put a toy prick inside of our socks and it really worked.

Here I have series of brooches called the school of hard knock. I wanted to comment about narrow-minded thinking.
Time to time I was angry. I got a lot of pleasure by cutting peaces from Barbie dolls.
I did some changes and put together with a word or sentences from the Bible or old sayings.

The brooches have quite naïf and strong message but still they contain double meanings.

When I studied I used to work with old people helping them with their daily life, by doing shopping and cleaning and so on.
I was surprised that so many of them wanted to talk about their memories and past. At the same time I found a big book full of faces. There were collected photos of people who have died in the winter war.

‘The First’ 2001
This is a medal of honour. Girl on it is known as the first victim or that war.

I made faces by etching and then I have just covered copper sheets with white and black paint.

How did war change people’s life?
It has had an influence on not only them who have lived middle of war but also their children and even next generations

‘Tie’ 2003
I have printed the war victim’s faces on gauze.
It’s like family tie bonding generations together.

The name of this installation is ‘Our father in heaven’.
Death of father is quite big thing to deal with for a fourteen years old girl.
For a long time I just pluck it out of my mind.
We just continued our life, every thing changed, our mother had to take care or six children of her own.
And she was only 32 years old.

When I was ready to face it I enjoyed by making this installation full of my fathers faces.
He turned to like some icon or comic book hero.

‘The Howling Rabbit’ 2003, installation
This installation is based to my collections of toys and clothes from 70’s and a toy rabbit with teeth marks all over her body.

I have cobied that rabbit and put it to middle of chaos in different situations.

Maybe I am trying to catch the time that does not exist anymore.

I have named my series of pincushions The best days of my life. This old lady is Aune. She used to be my client but turned to be my friend.
Both of photos are of her, one from this year and another almost 80 years ago.

Pincushions are telling stories and destinations. If you put pins to new places stories chances.

Then Aune’s hands photographed by me. She used to spend her days by making handkerchiefs.

Aune has taught me how to crochet borders of hankies.
I did exactly how she advised.
I have decorated these handkerchiefs by printing her beautiful hands on it.

I have collected my peaces as a first Aid package.

During this year I have played with some religious pictures. This is icon made off medicine cabinet.
I have just put the light inside and made howl trough the door.

This is a pincushion with Jesus.
I like putting Holy pictures to normal daily life objects.
And this chair is one test of mine. Who dears to sit on Jesus?

I can’t stand fanatic people who make so much noise about their faith.
The real faith is natural part of life.
I like the idea of connecting holy pictures and daily life objects.

Talking about my work I can’t be mentioning the group Amazing Animal.
We started in 2001.
We wanted to explore new ideas to exhibit our work.
Showing pieces in showcases or boxes wasn’t interesting enough and we wanted to work without putting ourselves into categories.

Here is exhibition from Gallery Rantapaja Lappeenranta last summer.
We showed this project earlier in cable Factory in Helsinki exhibition of socio design.
Artists invited people to participate in their work and meet each other as well.

We created space of a dressing room with big mirrors and plastic carpets.

We printed images of our peaces in hospital shirts

So people could wear our shirts and meet others without identity and be equal.

It’s funny to play ideas and think who would wear with our peaces and what kind of situations.
The first time we played with models when we had exhibition in Platina. We combined these large cartoons like images with galleries show boxes.

We wanted to continue using models.
We invited our friends and relatives to wear our jewellery.
Young Photographer Terhi Korhonen had taking next pictures.

At first I’m going to show you some Kati’s work.
This is Laundry Day. Small pants are made of fabric and latex. These works are a reminder of an innocent childhood.

Kati has used the same technique whit these brooch and necklace.

Fragile. Made of white clay and porcelain painting.

For Better and for worst. Boxing ball is remade of latex.

In mourning dress is about grief, time and history.
By crocheting Kati uses time for herself, like meditation and honour the tradition of crocheting of the women in her family.

Then some Mervi’s work.

This peace is Steto for Wacko. Silver stethoscope with pink satin ribbons.

Lately she has worked with ceramics with her aunt Tarja Häsä.
This peace is called The grandmother.
It’s a ceramic pastry with hand painted porcelain portrait.
She wanted to create something delicious with love and care.

And here is A peace of heaven whit painted clouds and with lots of heavenly things. Mervi is now exhibiting her latest work in Gallery Norsu in Helsinki at the moment.

This peace is called The holy grail. It’s plastic senior mug with religious paintings and silver. Mervi is inspired of working with details.

Here is the Svan. It is a plastic vessel for urine decorated with silver and pearls.
Mervi likes to change objects into another perspective and create new meanings by combining something precious and something ordinary.

And then my model pictures. I feel strong connection whit a rabbit and have made some experiments with the fur.

The peaces are made of very simple materials, plastic pearls and plaster. This work is called ‘wounded’.
I have used model photos also on my other objects. This is the first aid medical cabinet

And here is a medical cabinet with light.

Here is Bra, made of dishwashing gloves and a skull chair made of skulls of dolls.
A young mother and an old woman without children.

We wanted to use model pictures in our exhibition. And we decided to make them in real human size.

We didn’t really have money to order those human figures from some advertising agency.
So by using our imagination we found solutions and made figures by ourselves.
There were real mess around.

And we used every corner of our little studios and the garden as well

This is our installation in graft biennal in Röda sten Göteborg Sweden.
We combined big pictures and baby beds.
Space is factory like. Our peaces were shown in those beds and persons were like protecting.
And also modelling, wearing the jewellery pieces.

Then almost the same installation. But now in Gallery Norsu Helsinki, We changed the baby beds construction to be more simple and clear.

And group of standing figures, from installation that we showed in Norsu.

And you can see our home page addresses; young jeweller Tuulia kasonen has just updated them.


Maria Nuutinen, born in 1975 in Finland, jewellery artist. Lives and works in Lappeenranta. She was educated at the South Carelia Polytechnic. She exhibits In Finland and abroad. She belong to Amazing Animal artistic group.
Object: Nostalgia, 2003.
Object: Nostalgia, 2003

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Installation: Who is afraid of lestadians, 2001.
Installation: Who is afraid of lestadians, 2001

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Object: Imaginational High heels, 2001.
Object: Imaginational High heels, 2001

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Brooches: school of hard knock, 2001.
Brooches: school of hard knock, 2001

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Brooch: Medal, 2003.
Brooch: Medal, 2003

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Installation: Our father in heaven, 2003.
Installation: Our father in heaven, 2003

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Installation: The Howling Rabbit, 2003.
Installation: The Howling Rabbit, 2003

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Object: Pincushion, 2003.
Object: Pincushion, 2003

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Object: First aid package, 2003.
Object: First aid package, 2003

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Object: Passio (pìncushion), 2003.
Object: Passio (pìncushion), 2003

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Wounded, 2003.
Wounded, 2003

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Scall chair, 2003.
Scall chair, 2003

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