Galleria Heino at Photo London, an interview with Aapo Huhta and Axel Antas

Galleria Heino at Photo London, an interview with Aapo Huhta and Axel Antas

Galleria Heino is participating in the Photo London art fair this year. They present works from Axel Antas, Aapo Huhta, and Sami Parkkinen.

Galleria Heino is a Finnish contemporary art gallery founded in 2002 in the lively Design District, in the centre of Helsinki. The gallery shows art in different media – painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, installation and moving image work. The gallery focuses on presenting, promoting and furthering the careers of established mid-career and emerging younger Finnish contemporary artists at national and international levels. Galleria
Heino is founded and directed by Mr Rauli Heino (MA in Art History / University of Helsinki and MA
in Art Business / Sotheby´s Institute of Art, London).

“We are excited to participate in Photo London for the first time. Galleria Heino has participated in international art fairs, including Paris Photo, ARCOmadrid, Art Paris, Volta NY and Unseen, since 2006, but this is our first time in a UK fair. We are really looking forward to this vibrant and fascinating May fair. At our booth, we will present photographs by three prominent Finnish photographic artists: Axel Antas (b.1976), Aapo Huhta (b.1985) and Sami Parkkinen (b.1974). Our presentation will consist of works in which Antas’ works deal with issues of the meaning of our relationship to one another and the temporality of our existence. Whereas Parkkinen’s works touch upon one’s challenges to live in contemporary society and ways of healing in the middle of its pressures. In Huhta’s works exploration of the photographer’s personal inner life rise above one’s mindset reaching universal topics concerning each of us,” says Rauli Heino.

Two of the photographers, Aapo Huhta and Axel Antas shared their thoughts on having works exhibited at the Photo London 2023.

How do you feel about having your work exhibited at the Photo London?

Aapo Huhta: This is my first time being exhibited at Photo London, so there is something special about it. It is also an excellent opportunity to showcase my work to a wider audience, which is always a pleasure.

Axel Antas: I studied and lived in London for 15 years, I have both close friends and family who live in London, so London is a special place for me.

What is the story or concept behind your favourite picture?

Aapo Huhta: From the Omatandangole series, which will be shown at Photo London, one my favourite image is of a sparrow perched on a toilet bowl. I was resting in my friend’s house in Windhoek every now and then between my travels to the desert while working on this series in Namibia in 2016-2018. One day I woke up to find a sparrow had somehow made its way inside the house. I spent quite some time trying to coax the bird back outside, and just couldn’t resist the opportunity to make a picture of it.

Axel Antas: I am showing three images and a film at Photo London. The concept of the project is examining copies and the act of copying as means of understanding and relating to our environment. By combining the playfulness of materials and our experience of immediate surroundings the works allude to a possible gap between the physical and the experiential worlds. All works are shot and created in my studio here in Finland.

What was the most memorable moment or difficulty you overcame during the shoot?

Aapo Huhta: The challenge for me when working with photography, is the transition from intuitive to rational. What I mean by this is that actual image-making is always more reactive or responsive. Analytical thinking comes later when I choose what images to use and how. With this particular project, I think I spent over a year working on it before I fully understood what it was all about. It can be a weighty process, but there’s also a sense of joy in discovering something new and unexpected. It’s like exploring the uncharted territory of your own mind.

Axel Antas: I printed the photographs in the darkroom. The last time I worked in a dark room was more than 20 years ago. This was an interesting contrast to how I normally work. The film also started as an analogue super 16mm film.

What are you working on next?

Aapo Huhta: I am working on my upcoming solo exhibition, which will take place at Galleria Heino in Helsinki next August. I’m also working on a photo book to accompany the exhibition, so there’s much to do. The work explores how our experiences and the passage of time shape us in unexpected ways. I’ve been venturing into new territory with my latest images, relying heavily on experimental darkroom processes and chemical-based techniques.

Axel Antas: I am working on a solo museum show here in Finland which opens a few weeks after Photo London. This exhibition will be of new work but also works spanning back to 2006. The show is at the Poikilo Museum in Kouvola. I am also preparing for a solo show in Helsinki in September with Galleria Heino.

Interview by Melody Tsang.

Click here to learn more about the gallery and the photographers.

Galleria Heino at Photo London 2023, Somerset House from 11 to 14 May, Preview Day 10 May 2023. Tickets from £22, more information here


All photos courtesy Of Artists and Galleria Heino.

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