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Textile art

Näyttely-Exhibition Bulevardi 31, Helsinki 2020. Video & sound Timo Peltonen

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Textile artist, graduated University of Industrial Art 1999
Lives and works in Helsinki.

Outi Martikainen is a textile artist with a classical education. Her works contain influences both from craftwork traditions and the observation which is so central to art. A distinctive feature of the works is the recording of small perceptions and memories in a concrete form. They may be individual works composed of minor details or larger installations made up of big panels.

But they all have in common a certain intense clarity that allows viewers to make their own interpretations.

Martikainen often finds her materials in everyday life and gives them a new life in her works. It is not easy to define the individual works displayed in her exhibition projects.

Whilst the technique used may come from traditional craftwork methods, in their essence they are often closer to conceptual art. In this way, facecloths or crocheted spirals, when viewed from far enough way, can appear to form a portrait of a woman on a wall. It is like a memory in that it has to be surmised rather than being clearly perceptible and therefore also symbolizes the passage of time. Bag fasteners are another everyday element that Martikainen has worked into a number of objects. In these, everyday reality is linked through repetition to recollections of various old traditions.

As well as her own exhibitions, Martikainen frequently works together with architects. Then the idea is to design permanent elements directly for an architectonic space. She experiments boldly with new combinations of material. One example of what this can lead to is the acoustic panels she designed for the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu.

These make up an entire wall of heat-molded polyester felt with machine-pressed recesses. These recesses form geometric breaks in the ascetic gray surface which serve to lighten the harsh precision of the environment. Surprising combinations can also come together in Martikainen's work, such as the work she created by sewing a motif made of fishing line onto a mosquito net.

The interplay of light and shadow is often the theme in the large-scale images she has used to design the facades of buildings together with architects. These panels made for the walls of stark office buildings alter the appearance of the building, introducing depth and variety in the form of various subtle patterns. These alter their appearance depending on the season and the amount and direction of the light. Lace-like ornaments or various geometric abstractions bring the surface of the building alive whilst allowing the light through the windows into the interior. The shadows projected by the patterns between the panes of glass and the wall further emphasize their complexity and spatial dimension.

Outi Martikainen is a multifaceted artist. Her sensitive works contain both personal memories and subtle perceptions combined with unconventional use of materials. These elements go to create simplified entities that allow viewers to see the reality around them with new eyes.

Leena Kuumola

Photos: Stefan Bremer, Katja Hagelstam, Sakari Viika, Jussi Tiainen, Outi Martikainen, Ananya Tanttu, Kari Sarkkinen, Taina Värri

Outi Martikainen

born 9 April 1962 Jyväskylä

Rauhankatu 7 E 35a 00170 Helsinki Finland



1999 University of Art and Design Helsinki, Textile art and design MA

1985-1987 Vihti School of Arts and Crafts

1981 High school of Jyväskylä Lyseo, Matriculation examination

Other studies

2013-2014 Aalto Pro, lighting design, Aalto University Helsinki

1996 Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst, den Haag

1995 Hochschule der Kunst,, Erasmus exchange program, Berlin

1982-1985 University of Helsinki, studies in logopedics 1982-1985

Group exhibitions

2022 U-joints, Knots & Knits, Fiskars

2022 Current LokalHelsinki

2021 Loistava pinta, Orimattilan taidemuseo, Orimattila

2021 Coming Home to Seoul, Factory 2, Seoul, South Korea

2020 Grit online exhibition

2020 Collectible, Brussels, Belgium

2019 Chart Design, Copenhagen, Denmark

2019 Kaadrid-Frames, Pärnu Museum, Estonia

2019 Collectible, Brussels, Belgium

2017 Flash 1, Helsinki, Suomenlinna, Finland

2017 EmbraceHANDS+, Cheongju Craft Biennial, South-Korea

2017 Avata, Lokal, Helsinki

2017 Narrative thread, Rydals museum, Sweden

2016 10th Textiletriennial, Narrative Thread, Vapriikki, Tampere

2016 Yhes, Together, Lokal, Helsinki

2016 Kasvu-Tillväxt-Growth, Fiskars

2016 Kasvu-Tillväxt-Growth, satellits, Lokal, Helsinki

2015 Nikari and Friends, Lokal, Helsinki

2015 Typograft, Lokal, Helsinki

2014 Sato, Gumbostrand Konst och Form, Sibbo, Finland

2014 Pink, Lokal, Helsinki

2012 Hands that Draw the Future, The Kunsthalle, Helsinki

2012 1-2-3-Helsinki! Design en Seine, Paris, France

2012 Taste & Form, Fiskars, Finland

2012 Oasis and Floating Gardens, Fiskars, Finland

2012 Lokal, 20 +12, Helsinki

2011 Lost in Lace, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, England

2010 Portage: Textiles of Extremes of Scale, Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland

2010 Pearls and Beads, Galleri Handwerk, München, Germany

2010 13th International Triennial of Tapestry, Lodz, Poland

2010 Friends & Friends, Friends of Finnish Handicraft, Design Forum, Helsinki

2009 The 16th Annual International Sculpture & Functional Art,

SOFA, Chigaco, USA

2009 Re-Interpreting Nature, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary

2009 Playful, New Finnish Design, New York, USA

2009 It’s Beautiful Here, Fiskars, Finland

2008 Cloth and Culture Now, Sainsbury Center for Visual Arts, Norwich, England

2009 Cloth and Culture Now, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, England

2007 The International Art+Design Fair, New York, USA

2006 Textile Artists Texo 50 years Anniversary Exhibition, Amos Anderson Art Museum, Helsinki

2005 Northern Fibre, (WO)man and technology, Kerava Art Museum, Kerava, Finland

2000 Galleria Luisa Delle Piane, Milan, Italy

Solo exhibitions

2022 Outi Martikainen, Täky galleria, Lappeenranta

2021 Klæ∂i - Textile, Nordic House, Faroe Islands

2021 Michael Auder: Chronicles and Compositions / Outi Martikainen Compositions and Calculations, Kohta, Helsinki

2020 Hietalahden Tilajakamo Bulevardi 31

2016 Paradise Tramps, Kallio Church, Helsinki

2015 Paradise Tramps, Museum of Central Finland, Jyväskylä

2011 Solo exhibition with Tiina Ripatti, Gallery Johan S, Helsinki

2007 Martikainen-Naamanka, Gallery Proto, Oulu, Finland

2004 Martikainen-Ripatti-Suonpää, Forum Box, Helsinki

Design co-operation with SARC architects Ltd.

2016 Niittysillankulma, housing, Espoo

2015 Jorvi Hospital, Espoo

2013 Ruoholahden Ankkuri, office building, Helsinki

2010 Tapiola HQ 2, Tapiola, Espoo

2009 Moveres Business Garden, Helsinki

2009 Oulu City Hall, Oulu, Finland

2009 Ministry of Education, Hakanimenranta, Helsinki

2004 Main Building of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu

2003 TKP/FMC office building, Helsinki

2001 Kone Building, Espoo

2000 Sonera, office building, Helsinki

2000 Finnish pavilion, EXPO2000 -world exhibition, Hannover, Germany

Awards and Grants

2022- Chairwoman for The Friends of Finnish Handicraft

2006 The Textile Artist of the Year

2005 I prize of Wetterhoff 120-years competition, Hämeenlinna

1997 III prize of design competition for Eläke-Varma, Helsinki

2020 Kone Foundation

2020 Scandinavia-Japan Sasakawa Foundation

2020 Arts Promotion Finland

2017 Arts Promotion Finland

2016 The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Uusimaa Fund

2014 Frame Finland

2014 Arts Council of Finland

2013 Svenska kulturfonden

2011 Ornamo award

2011 Arts Council of Finland

2011 Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland

2010 Finnish-Norwegian Foundation

2010 Nordic Culture Point

2008 The Finnish Cultural Foundation

2007 The Finnish Cultural Foundation

2006 The Finnish Cultural Foundation, Uusimaa Fund

2006 The Arts Council of Finland

2005 Finnish Cultural Foundation

2004 Alfred Kordelin Foundation

2003 Eeva ja Maija Taimi Foundation

2003 Finnish Cultural Foundation

2000 The Arts Council of the County of Uusimaa


Shetland Arts, Shetland

Art Collection of The State of Finland

Design Museum, Helsinki

Galleria Luisa delle Piane, Klinger Finland Oy, Kirkkonummi Wetterhoff textiles collections

Great Britan, South-Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, USA