Below Zero Finnish Art Award shortlist for 2025 announced

Below Zero Finnish Art Award shortlist for 2025 announced

The Below Zero art award for Finnish artists is presented for the fourth time this year. The Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland, Beaconsfield London, and Serlachius Museums have published the shortlist for the 2025 award. The shortlisted artists are Saara Ekström, Anssi Kasitonni, Jaakko Pietiläinen, Vappu Rossi, Shubhangi Singh and Maija Tammi.

This year the jury received a total of 86 applications. “We would like to wholeheartedly thank all the artists who applied for the Below Zero Finnish Art Award 2025. The jury was bowled over by the number and quality of applications this year,” said Naomi Siderfin and David Crawforth, the artistic directors of the Beaconsfield gallery. 

The shortlisted artists are invited to develop their proposals, and they will be interviewed by the jury on 17 June. The award winner will be announced on Thursday 20 June.

“It seemed like a mission impossible as we received so many inspiring and carefully thought out proposals. We had long and thorough discussions and at the end decided to shortlist six artists instead of five,” comments jury member Karoliina Korpilahti.

The jury consisted of David Crawforth, Co-director, Beaconsfield London, Karoliina Korpilahti, Programme Director Arts, Finnish Institute UK+Ireland, Naomi Siderfin, Co-director, Beaconsfield London, Pauli Sivonen, Director, Serlachius Museums Finland, and Hannele Tilles, Independent Curator.


More information on the shortlisted artists:

Saara Ekström works with film, photography, text and site-specific installations. Ekström is interested in documenting the stratification of time and history, moving on the borderlands between the concrete and the mythical, culture and nature. In her practice, Ekström has often worked in collaboration with various museums, and these places have become important sources for grasping who we are as humans and how our thoughts, habits and rituals manifest themselves through the years. She has been awarded with the Finnish State Art Prize in 2023 

Anssi Kasitonni is an inventor and builder, whose works draw from the fringes of popular culture, of a world of skateboarders and moped boys partly gone by. The materials and techniques of the artworks vary. Bronze-cast reliefs, resin and cardboard sculptures and insightful puppet animations are Kasitonni at his most familiar. While the artworks are humorous, they also speak for equality and humanity. Kasitonni graduated from Lahti Polytechnic Institute of Fine Arts in 2003. Finland’s most prestigious art prize, Ars Fennica, was awarded to him in 2011. 

Jaakko Pietiläinen’s work includes videos, sculptures, installations, performances and scenographies in which he studies porous matters such as time, memory, power and the body. Pietiläinen’s works are often site and/or situation-specific, operating in an interplay of the factual (or the real) and fictional narratives. A recurring interest in his work is capitalist technology and its subliminal effects on language, knowledge and perception. Pietiläinen is based in Helsinki, Finland. He has graduated from The Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. He also holds two BA degrees from Aalto University Finland. 

Vappu Rossi is a visual artist working in Helsinki, Finland. She is a drawing artist pushing boundaries, inspired by experimental drawing challenges, movement drawing, live drawing, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Rossi works in different media: drawings, paintings, installations, light boxes, and animations. His practice includes expressive depictions of movement and large-scale studies of the human face. Rossi has a master’s degree from The Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki. Besides her work as an independent artist, she is the first female Drawing Master at Helsinki University. 

Shubhangi Singh works in the intersections between labour, gender, and the shared commons –– social spaces, resources and collective memory. Her practice often draws upon existing knowledge to address movement, identity, and queries related to the body and its relationship with the environment. Working across media, the works are transdisciplinary and multi-modal. Singh holds a master’s degree in Visual Cultures, Curating and Contemporary Art from Aalto University and is the co-founder of New City Limits, an initiative to facilitate creative viewing and practice in Navi Mumbai, India. She currently lives and works in Helsinki. 

Maija Tammi’s photographs, videos and installations often examine the liminal areas of mortality, immortality, science, and art. Her artistic practice is characterised by the desire to get to the bottom of things. She works with scientists and specialists from different fields to create artworks that confront, surprise, and provoke feelings. Tammi currently holds the title of Artist Professor for 2020–2024. Tammi has a master’s in visual journalism and worked as a photojournalist before her artistic career. She holds a practice-based doctorate from Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2017. 


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