To be out in the open air,

To wander freely and see the heavens,

To listen, smell feel and breathe.

These things are essential to my being

Everything slides into perspective -

The earth, the air, past and present

Then, once again can I return to my work

Riikka Palonen

Riikka Palonen is a well known and multitalented artist. In addition to visual art, she has a natural flare for the performing arts, and her skills as a writer are undeniable.

In 1992 Riikka graduated as Master of Arts from the University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki, department of photographic art. Even as a student she stood apart from the crowd as for her ability to boldly and phenomenally express her own pains and emotions in her art.

She worked for a while as a freelance photgrapher, concentrating mainly on theatrical photography. In this role she was never satisfied with merely documenting a production, rather using the medium to capture and express the very feeling of the performance.

Following some dramatic changes in her life, Riikka bade goodbye to the big city, and returned to her countryside roots. At this time the focus of her interest also changed. Drawing both on her own experiences, as well as folk history, its art and handicraft culture, Riikka concentrated more on painting, drawing, and textile-based art.

At the core of Riikka Palonen's multifaceted artistic expression lie a deep personal vision, precise observation of the world around her and a style which, whilst it draws on and respects tradition, still maintains a true originality.

Riikka Palonen's works are at the same time both sensitive and powerful, - a description which could equally be applied to the personality of the artist herself.

Magi Viljanen - Photographic artist