Gallery Titanik, Turku

Invitation to the exhibition
In the poster for the exhibition I deal with three themes: landscape,
and drawing.
The theme of my exhibition in Gallery Titanik, Turku, were floor plans, section drawings and elevations.

The material I used consisted of the construction drawings for the gallery building, originally designed as a public toilet. I obtained copies of the drawings submitted with the construction permit applications for both stages. I selected from them the principal projections of the section drawings, floor plans and elevations, cutting them into strands and weaving them together in a different way. The result was a collage of fragments of drawings, on which I based the entire series of paintings.

I studied the potential of a geometry of strands.

A plumb-bob and a spirit level are simple aids to construction. They can be used to determine the vertical and the horizontal, to create the possibility of Euclidean geometry. Nevertheless, this is a matter of negotiation and associated with our perception: a set of coordinates understood as rectangular brought into contact with the curving surface of the Earth.

The gallery building sits ensconced in the ground and the landscape. The roof, covered by vegetation, forms a more important façade than the building’s only actual façade. The strands of vegetation appear to have little interest in Euclidean geometry. As one follows the sinuous progress of the strands, calculations between different dimensions lose their importance. Can I weave the geometry of strands from the architectural drawings into my paintings?

I made parallels between lines in the construction work and the construction drawings.

Studying the lines in the construction work, I was inspired by the string line. A taut length of string, dipped in pigment, is snapped against the floor, creating a line to mark the location of the future wall. The line is not only functional, but also aesthetically intriguing. In the soft trace left by the pigment, both the strands of the string and the varying pressure are visible. The string line also became my painting tool.

In the construction drawings, the line becomes charged with meanings. Starting from discontinuity and thickness, the meanings are precisely defined. The lines combine to form patterns with approved symbolic meanings: a door here, an opening there. These lines are semantically intriguing. The relationship between the lines drafted and lines constructed leaves space for exploration.

Some of the paintings are based on sketches segmented from the collage. They contain fragments of drawings, which I enlarged and copied on to the paintings with the help of carbon paper.

Other paintings are quotations from the fragments of drawings. They may show something like a pillar and beam in the exhibition space or the door to a storage room. These motifs I enlarged several times and cropped off to form independent compositions. The vegetation and the masonry in the hidden façades were linked to the motifs in the paintings – one as a network of green strands showing faintly under the lacquered surface, the other as red pigment.

Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings and Two Water Supply Points in the Staff Facilities (left), Electricity Cabinet (right), 1996, pigment, lacquer and oil on linen, combined size about 180 x 400 cm
Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings, detail: use of pigment-laden string line
Kaisa Soini, Pillar and Beam in Floor Plan, 1996, pigment, lacquer and oil on linen, 180 x 60 cm
Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings (left), Window in External Wall (right), 1996, pigment, lacquer and oil on linen, 180 x 60 cm/section
Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings (left), Old Handrail in Façade (right), 1996, lacquer and oil on linen, 180 x 60 cm/section
Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings, 1996, pigment and oil on linen, 60 x 180 cm
Kaisa Soini, Sub-surface Drain Pipe and Base, 1996, pigment, lacquer and oil on linen, 60 x 180 cm
Kaisa Soini, Fragments of Drawings, 1996, pigment and oil on linen, 60 x 180 cm
Kaisa Soini, Storage Room Door, 1996, oil on linen, 60 x 180 cm