Camilla Vuorenmaa

Ars Fennica candidate 2017

Camilla Vuorenmaa’s paintings touch the viewer with their rawness and lyricism; the flaws and imperfections of the painted surface and the portrayed protagonists break the silence between the viewer and the canvas.

Vuorenmaa often portrays individuals who are self-absorbed, deeply immersed in whatever they are feeling or doing. They are captured in states of deep contemplation or frozen in a moment that is conjured forth for our gaze through a painstaking process. Many of her works are based on a photograph or other visual memento that the artist reinterprets by highlighting details that carry personal significance. Sometimes she shoots photographs to serve as raw material for her paintings, as if the photograph were a draft version of the painting’s mood, silhouette and nuances. Vuorenmaa paints both on wood and canvas. When painting on wood, she methodically works the organic surface, boldly bringing the material to life from beneath layers of paint or alternatively leaving sections bare and unpainted. When working on canvas, she achieves an immaterial quality that accentuates the striking, well-nigh grotesque features of the eccentric characters she portrays, all of whom have a certain melancholy aura about them.

Vuorenmaa’s large-scale murals confidently take command of the exhibition space, engaging in a playful dialogue with the architecture and lighting. Some of her murals pick up on the theme of a smaller painting, while others take over the wall as independent pieces. Her ultraviolet paints glow in the dark, exposing each brushstroke, trickle and droplet of paint. In the intimate, darkened exhibition space – the opposite of the traditional white cube – viewers are urged to immerse themselves in the lustrous, glowing details. In addition to painting, Vuorenmaa has shown great versatility and adaptability with her experimental one-off prints, in which she portrays delicate figures and intense thematic motifs in dramatic colours.

Vuorenmaa reflects on various themes that define us as human beings, through motifs such as a islands, sheep, communities, history, sports fields and other arenas, fishing vessels, circuses and battlegrounds – situations in which people expose themselves to peril, whether for the sake of competition, courting danger or performing for the public. Vuorenmaa transports her audiences to witness people and communities in extreme circumstances, exposing emotions and high drama through a veil of romanticism and yet with a rawness that is a marker of authenticity. Vuorenmaa is no stranger to the foibles of humanity; her sovereign portrayal of human disappointments, adversities and triumphs is moving and thought-provoking in its immediacy.

Laura Köönikkä

Translated by Silja Kudel

Camilla Vuorenmaa, Kammio, 2017
Chamber, 2017
Detail, painting installation
Photo: Jussi Tiainen
Camilla Vuorenmaa, Kammio 2
Chamber, 2017
Detail, painting installation
Photo: Jussi Tiainen
Camilla Vuorenmaa, Kammio 3
Chamber, 2017
Detail, painting installation
Photo: Pirje Mykkänen, The Finnish National Gallery



2000-2005 Master of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts, painting department
1999-2000 Kankaanpää Art school

Private exhibitions

2017 Forum box gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2016 EMMA, Espoo Modern Art Museum, Espoo, Finland
2014 Gallery C4 projects, Copenhagen, Denmark
2014 Gallery Katariina, Helsinki, Finland
2014 Spring Exhibition solo, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2011 Piiotettu paikka (Hidden place), Gallery Huuto- viiskulma, Helsinki, Finland
2009 Kantapeikot (Regulars), Bar 9, Helsinki, Finland
2008 Missä on jatkot 2 (Where is the afterparty 2), Gallery Titanik, Turku, Finland
2008 Missä on jatkot (Where is the afterparty), Tm-gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2008 Uneksijat (Dreamers), Gallery Hopeinen sivellin, Helsinki, Finland
2007 Naamiot (Masks), Gallery Bergman, Helsinki, Finland
2007 Juhlat (Party) , Gallery Rajatila, Tampere, Finland
2006 Only cowgirls get the blues, Gallery Katariina, Helsinki, Finland
2005 Kohtaamisia (Meetings), Bookshop Kolmeseppä, Helsinki, Finland
2005 Watchers – Katselijat, Kunstfabrik, Berlin, Germany
2003 Sattumia (Coincidences), Gallery of the Academy of the Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland

Group exhibitions

2017 Coming: Galleri Thomassen, Göteborg, Sweden
2017 Coming: Landskrona konstmuseum, Landskrona, Sweden
2016 Jyväskylä Art Museum, Graphica Creativa, Jyväskylä, Finland
2016 Gallery Helsinki Contemporary, Luokkaretki, Helsinki, Finland
2015 Salo Art Museum, Salo, Finland
2015 Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre, Finnish Contemporaries, England
2015 Pimeä talo , public space group show, Mänttä, Finland
2015 Planet Suvilahti, Tiivistämö, Helsinki, Finland
2015 Amos Andersons Art museum, collection exhibition, Helsinki, Finland
2014 Edsvik Konsthall, Akvarellsalong, Sollentuna, Sweden
2013 Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark
2013 Opening exhibition, Blaue Frau theater, Helsinki, Finland
2012 Supermarket art fair Stockholm, Sweden
2011 Ostari ( The Mall), Virka gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2010 Blue bus studios presents, Galleria Gjutars,Vantaa, Finland
2010 Kaasu ry year exhibition , Kaapelitehtaan Puristamo, Helsinki, Finland
2010 Hetki (Moment), Amos Andersons Art museum, Helsinki, Finland
2010 Collection exhibition, Cafe bar 9, Helsinki, Finland
2009 Gallery Bergmans Sverigebåten, Gallery Winterviken, Stockholm, Sweden
2009 Art happening Luomispäivä (Creation day), Gallery Gjutars- Vantaa, Finland
2009 Taabor 09, Nurmijärvi, Finland
2008 Päivi and Paavo Lipposen trusts collection exhibition, Kaiku-gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2008 Tammerkoski Colleges 100-year celebration exhibition, Tampere, Finland
2008 Solarpool symposium Gallery Bergman, Helsinki, Finland
2007 Ars Kärsämäki, Kärsämäki, Finland
2007 Helsinki Art societys 40- year celebration exhibition, Helsinki, Finland
2006 Now and Then Gallery G-18, Helsinki, Finland
2005 Nuorten Biennale (Young artists biennale), Art hall Taidehalli, Helsinki, Finland
2005 Graduation exhibition Art museum Tennispalatsi, Helsinki, Finland


2015 Fine Arts Academy of Finland Award
2013 International Solo Award, Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Denmark
2012 Stina Krook stiftelse

Works in collections

EMMA- Espoo Modern Art Museum
Amos Anderson Art Museum
The Finnish State Helsinki City Art Museum Finnish Art Society Deposition,
Päivi ja Paavo Lipponen trusts Art Collection
Collections of the Academy of Fine Arts (Finland)


2001 Drawings for the art magazine Xanadu


2015 Reykjavik, Iceland, September-October, SIM residency
2012 Oaxaca, Mexico, November- December, Finish art foundations Atelje foundation
2010 Berlin, June, Uudenmaan taidetoimikunta (art commission of Uusimaa)