Janne Peltokangas

Published: 23.03.2023


Janne Peltokangas is a Sámi artist from Finnish Lapland. He has studied arts and crafts in Hereford college of Arts, SIU Carbondale, EASD Valencia, EKA Tallinn and Gothenburg University where he got his BFA and MFA diplomas. Peltokangas intuitively explores forms of complexity through traditional blacksmith techniques. He investigates the spiritual belief system of the Sami in relation to objects in nature. For the past ten years, Peltokangas has worked as an artist around Europe and North America. His work has been shown in art museums, galleries and Biennales, together with Eva Hild, Julius Voegtli and Rick Smith, to name a few. He has received several grants and prizes for his art and practice. 


I am a Sámi artist from Finland. I explore forms of complexity through traditional blacksmith techniques. My work is a modern representation of this ancient craft. With it, I express the roughness and sensitivity of the northern landscape and the mythology of the Sámi. I use the plasticity of hot iron to create multilayered forms that relate to my Sámi ancestry and my home region's flora.
For me, the concept that material has life is vital, one which holds a spirit and body of life within the form. My work reflects my experience growing up in a culture where spirits were part of everyday life. Their shapes show the movement of snow when it is piling up on the fells. The layers express the geology of the rough-hewn landscape of the arctic. They depict the state of serenity, between life and death, between resisting and submitting. The entwined uneven beauty of the northern landscape, and the old stories form images in my mind. I fold these thoughts to understand fading memories and traditions by telling stories of my culture. My art is an intuitive dialogue between the material and the maker. I provide the skills at hand, and the iron guides me through the process. Using salvaged metal is central to my working method, as it shows that the material has once been alive. Re-forming only proves that the material is eternal, taking infinite shapes as time moves on.
My creativity is closely connected to a deep respect for nature and circular understanding of time. My art is a work of hands, and through it, I convey my cultural heritage.


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Exhibition  17 May 2024 - 01 Dec 2024  KORU 8 International Contemporary Triennial Exhibition.
Exhibition  31 Mar 2023 - 29 Apr 2023  Layers and Layers of Steel by Janne Peltokangas.
Exhibition  30 Apr 2022 - 22 May 2022  Hirvitalo, Pispalan nykytaiteen keskus, Tampere Finland.
Exhibition  30 Apr 2022 - 08 May 2022  In Fieri: The Thin Line Between Being Made and Becoming.
Meeting  29 Apr 2022 - 08 May 2022  Brussels Jewellery Week 2022.
Meeting  30 Oct 2021 - 13 Mar 2022  Koru 7.
Exhibition  30 Oct 2021 - 13 Mar 2022  Koru 7 International contemporary jewellery exhibition.
Fair  13 Mar 2019 - 17 Mar 2019  Schmuck 2019.