Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola

Award for lifetime achievement 2006

Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola was born in Keminmaa in 1937. Ever since his youth, he has drawn, written and taken photographs. At the start of his artistic career, he focused on writing: in the 1960s, he published experimental poetry, and then, later, texts, essays and translations in anthologies and catalogues. Text has also continually played a prominent role in his visual-art work.

As a visual artist Takalo-Eskola is self-taught. He held his first exhibition in 1971. This marked the start of a series of exhibitions in Finland and abroad that has continued until today. Takalo-Eskola’s artistic production consists of paintings, collages, photographs and performances, along with works that combine several of these. A philosophical proclamation, myth or ritual quality is often visible beneath the surface of the works.

Ilkka Juhani Takalo-Eskola worked in industrial exports for 15 years. He has subsequently been an exhibition manager, curator, province artist and art teacher, including Senior Lecturer in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki 1995-2000, and Director 1995-97. He has held numerous positions of trust in the artworld and is currently Chair of the National Council for Visual Arts and a member of the Arts Council of Finland.