Graduates 2020: Wilma Kyottinen: Printmaking

My practice explores the notion of being within a landscape and the human relationship to nature in all its simplicity. 

In Finland nature and culture are closely entwined and this comes hardly as a surprise for those who have encountered the vast forests and countless islands and lakes of my country. In a world where nature is becoming more and more remote for the majority of people – while remote places are diminishing, I feel an urge to look at my surroundings and share them.

In my works I aim to speak of the physical landscape and of the inner landscapes that the experience of being in one provokes within us. I play with what might be read as ‘romantic’ scenes and like to challenge and interrupt them by deconstructing and reworking images into fragmented elements of time.

Through different media I create works that are based on memory and experience, partly fictional, sometimes constructed and often with ephemeral qualities. Tensions are built up by pairing light and dark, combining vast panoramas with the smallest of details and using contrasting scales.

I work with artists’ books, video, prints and projections, and there is a quiet playfulness to how my works feed into each other and keep up a conversation while shifting media. 

Mark-making is also a persistent part of my practice and I’ve come to realise pairing it together with photographic images provokes something very tactile about landscape. I have a love for materials and textures and I often use translucent papers, layers and repetition to create both physical and thinking space. With my works I aim to create poetic fragments of inhabiting and embodying landscapes, alluding to how I actually experience and move through them.

How have you found your course/time at Brighton?

Before I came to Brighton I studied art in Finland for three years. I had already started to specialise in print and chose the University of Brighton based on the high standard of the Printmaking course. 

In the first year we dove into all the possibilities of print and I got especially into collagraphs – I love how you can print them both as intaglio and relief, which means you can use the same plate for two colours in a print.

The second year was a really nurturing one. We had all found the threads to our practice and this year was all about learning how to combine them and what to bring forward. The second year show was also an important milestone, which gave us the opportunity to really think about how to plan for an exhibition. I decided on projecting slides of distorted landscapes in a dark room, displayed quite small on different heights of the walls. Also, I showed two prints that were built up by thin layers. For me this was a time of realising that my practice is all about using different media to talk about the aspects of experiencing landscapes.

In the third year we’ve all had a clear direction in our practice and although this year has brought a few too many twists, I think we’ve all been able to remain grounded and create amazing works. I started off the year by taking images of landscapes through broken shards of mirrors and continued using this imagery for lithographs and projections. I got really into the idea of capturing a landscape inside of a small construct, and started building my own Camera Obscuras and pinhole cameras. This got interrupted as I had to move back to Finland, but I’m continuing to work with the idea of inner and outer landscapes – how we look out at landscapes, move through them and how this is mirrored within us as experience and affect.

Looking back, these three years have been integral in becoming an artist with a self sustained practice, and I feel honoured to be graduating with so many talented people. Together we have learned so much about print and truly supported each other and it’s wonderful to know that we will continue to do so past our degree.

What are your plans after Graduation?

As we had to complete our degree from home, I actually got a bit of a head start on my plans for after university. I made it back to my hometown in Finland and here I started to set up my studio space. I’m incredibly lucky to have a grandmother who’s a textile printmaker, and as her studio has been standing empty for a few years I am now taking it into use.

For the time being I am planing to get back to working and to balance it out with studio time. I also hope to do some residencies and simply get new ideas and figure out my practice outside of university. 

In a few years I might do an MA, regardless, my main plan for the future is to provide small scale workshops in my studio space and to be able to host residencies, all the while continuing to create.

Wilma’s Website

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Find out about BA(Hons) Printmaking

See Wilma’s work in the Graduate Show 2020

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