Emma Rönnholm: Help me see

The ‘seeing’ in the title of the exhibition could be interpreted as either visual seeing or as understanding, as if these concepts were synonymous. However, there is a difference between seeing and understanding. We do not even notice most of the visual stimuli that pass through our eyes. Even if we become aware of something, we often immediately cast it aside without a second thought. It is quite astounding how little we understand about everything that is going on around us and how very little it impacts our daily lives. When working on this exhibition, I spent a great deal of time wondering how we see things and how the world appears to us on a physical level. I also considered how to go beyond the physical level, to reach awareness of things we cannot see. In my pieces, I have tried to capture the moment of not understanding, of being reminded of the fact that the world is even more curious than we thought.

Help me see consists of new three-dimensional pieces made of various optic materials, such as mirrors, lenses and reflective foils, as well as the piece Bust from 2016. The pieces are not always easy to see; they keep transforming and hiding from our gaze. I perceive them as tiny visual mysteries; objects that elude our fixed gaze but make their presence known through the movement of light.

Of course, the sculptures are not actually invisible, but if it is possible to distinguish between the physical form and the immaterial content of a piece of art, I find that it is always larger on the inside than on the outside. (Some of my pieces are just that, quite literally.)

The artist

Emma Rönnholm (1984) is an artist born in Turku and residing in Helsinki. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2011 and now works with sculptures and installations as well as kinetic and mechanic pieces. The pieces are playful observations about everyday movements and materials, but they also possess a philosophical and conceptual scope.