Minnamari Helmisaari is a Finnish/Swedish artist, writer and educator focused on storytelling through a variation of different media such as painting, collage, illustration, photography, 3D-graphics and interactive prototypes. Minnamari's passion for learning across different disciplines is reflected in her studies, which have resulted in a MSc in Informatics and a BA in Media Arts, Aesthetics and Narration. After working in higher education as a lecturer and program director Minnamari has shifted her main focus to her creative practice.
I am fascinated by intersections, the things we learn to think of as opposites, and the shared spaces between & within them. Previously I have made some attempts to focus my artistic practice into one specific area, but I can't seem to stay there for very long. That is why I am now instead embracing this diversity, and respecting my mutable nature by blending together different areas of creative expression. Though the tools and techniques I use range from visual works to writing and interactive prototypes, there are three central themes that form a red thread through my practice: Storytelling, Layering and Soul.
Stories make their way into our hearts and can both connect and divide people, depending on the way they are told. I work with stories both through my written and visual works, either through combinations of writings and images within the works themselves or when a visual artwork is combined with descriptive text. I often work autobiographically, inviting the viewer into my own life by describing the backstory of the artwork and what events in my life inspired it to come into existence. In this way, different layers of meaning are added and the work is framed in a larger context through the connected story. I hope that the sharing of my stories can inspire people to reflect on their own life stories in a similar manner.
Layering or blending multiple elements together is a technique that I use both in my paintings and my digital works. In my paintings, the layers are added by hand over a longer period of time that can span many years, in the form physical materials such as of paint layers, metal wire and carefully chosen branches and pieces of bark that I pick in the forest and then fasten onto wooden boards. In my digital works, the layers in turn consist of different digital or digitalized media such as photographs, illustrations and AI-generated imagery. In prototypes or video works the additional layers of sound, virtual space and the flow of time add their own dimensions to the work. The act of layering is my way of processing the multiple layers of meaning that exist in the world, and to highlight the multidimensional nature of reality.
At the core, I think that everything is interrelated, in complex and simple ways. The main aim of my artistic practice is to learn about, and experiment with, this sense of complex connectedness that I feel radiating through it all. Sharing my artwork is my way of translating this complexity by giving visual form to inner processes such as emotional states, constructs of the mind and messages from the unconscious. My mission is to create soulful art that can spark a sense of curiosity and invite the viewer to look for connections between different realms of existence.
If you are curious to read some of my writings, you are most welcome to read my Substack-publication, Mysterious Musings. My intention with this publication is to have a space where I partake in a dialogue, or a dance, with my past selves and the stories I tell myself. After spending most of my adult life in an academic setting I am now trying to explore how to write from the gut, in addition to only using the mind. The contents of my posts may take different forms: essays, poems, excerpts from my diary, sharing my dreams. If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to check it out. You can access the publication by clicking on the headline in the box below. You can also enter your e-mail if you want to receive my writings directly into your inbox.
You are most welcome to contact me for commissions or collaborations, or just to say hello. The surest way to reach me is through e-mail, but you are also welcome to say hi on social media.
If you are feeling generous and want to support Minnamari you can leave a donation on PayPal.