Heikki Marila is a leading figure on the Finnish contemporary art scene whose paintings often draw from history. In his recent works, Marila has turned his attention to the first stages of Finland’s independence – the dark period of the civil war. The common subject of the works is memory and the suppressed traumas of history, both at a collective and at a personal level.
The paintings on display can be divided into four themes. The works addressing the reluctance to talk appear as emotionally-laden abstract signs. In the works inspired by the unspoken stories of fathers and forefathers the artist has used material from his family albums and his own vague recollections. The artist has distanced the portraits from subjectivity by transferring them to the sphere of the collective Finnish identity.