Art Centre and Museum
Mikkeli Centre of Photography is an art centre and museum, specializing in art photography. Mikkeli Centre of Photography was established in 1989, being one of the oldest centres of photography in Finland. The centre houses five separate gallery spaces: Hall, Galleries I, II, III and Lounge Gallery. The centre is located in a beautiful heritage building at the university campus of Mikkeli, a short walk from the market square.
In these galleries there are changing exhibitions showing contemporary Finnish photography, and in Gallery III photographs of the local cultural history and heritage. There is also a small, high quality library of photographic books for the audience in the Lounge as well as an Information Service Desk.
The Centre promotes photography and visual arts on regional, national and international level. The Centre organises high quality art exhibitions, conducts photography, art and media education, is an expert in publishing photography books and houses a Digital Photography Workshop and visual design workshop space Kultura for artists' work, education and research. We work in cooperation with the Cultural Services of Mikkeli City and Arts Promotion Centre Finland. The Centre is also a member of Finnish Museums Association.
Welcome to visit
50100 Mikkeli, Finland
Tel. +358 45 1494866
Puddle Jump and Other Photos
Photographic artist Taneli Eskola is especially known as a photographer of the landscape and inhabited milieu. The exhibition at the Mikkeli Centre of Photography features black and white street photos from 1974–2019. The emphasis is on the everyday environment, cities and social relations.
Eskola's work emphasizes commitment to time and place, as well as a sense of space. There are humanly touching moments in the pictures, now lost neighborhoods, street views and lighting from different countries.
The exhibition is related to Eskola's book Blue Monograph, published in autumn 2019.
Taneli Eskola (b. 1958, Hämeenlinna) began taking photographs in the early 1970s. He defended his doctoral dissertation at the University of Art and Design in 1998 and has been a docent at Aalto University since 2010. Eskola has held numerous exhibitions since 1979 and his works are in key Finnish collections. Eskola's latest retrospective was seen at the Finnish Museum of Photography in 2016.
I pour developer, stop bath and fixer in to the trays. I turn on the red safelight.
On the shelves I have old photo papers; some I have bought, some are gifts. Already the names on the boxes excite my imagination: Agfa Lupex, Tura Portrait-Rapid, Forte Bromofort.
I open one box, touch the paper, and feel the rough surface of the emulsion. The paper smells old and special. I turn on the ceiling light, turn the paper toward the lamp, and let it get exposed. By giving extra light, I can get more black, and the paper won’t just stay gray.
I turn off the ceiling light. The darkness turns red again; it is calm and quiet.
I press the corner of the photo paper into the liquid in the developing tray. Gradually, the paper slides to the bottom of the tray. I move it and turn at times with an atul. Suddenly, changes begin to occur in the paper. More than 50 years old photo paper is gaining new life. I think the picture is ready now.
Martti Jämsä (b. 1959, Jokioinen) is a self-taught photographer. He is an “old-time craftsman” who enjoys working in his own darkroom, making his black-and-white photographs himself. Jämsä has made 15 photobooks and 14 portfolios. He has held exhibitions since 1982 both at home and abroad. Jämsä's photographs are in several collections.
Cityscapes from Mikkeli
The Mikkeli Centre of Photography’s Historical Mikkeli Collection mainly consists of shots by photographers from Mikkeli. The purpose of the centre's collection work is to highlight our common cultural heritage expressed through photographs.
The Historical Mikkeli Collections include also pictures by Erkki Kakkonen (1925–2014). The newspaper Länsi-Savo's long-time photographer, reporter and editor-in-chief Kakkonen started as a photographer in Mikkelin Sanomat in the early 1950s.
Kakkonen became the editor-in-chief of Länsi-Savo in 1976, when photography was left to other employees. The pigment ink prints on display at the Centre were shot in the 1950s and 1960s on 6x6 black and white film.
Kakkonen's negatives were scanned and printed at the Centre in the autumn of 2020 by artesan Mikko Mäkeläinen. The collection exhibition presents Kakkonen's cityscapes from the old center of Mikkeli.
The Mikkeli Centre of Photography has received Erkki Kakkonen's photographs in its collections as a donation from Kakkonen’s daughters.
Our Climate 19.11.–19.12.2020
Our Climate features art works from Tiina Itkonen, Mitro Kontturi, Tuula Närhinen, Perttu Saksa and Pekka Turunen.
The climate in the Arctic is warming more strongly than the global average, and temperatures are rising there twice as fast as in other regions. The permanent ice cover of the sea has been disappearing for a couple of decades. Melting threatens the entire Arctic environment and affects climate and ecosystems across the globe.
Itkonen’s images relate to several series shot in Greenland between 2002 and 2010.
Tiina Itkonen (b. 1968, Helsinki) has taken photographs of Greenland for more than 25 years. She has travelled more than 1,500 kilometers along the west coast of Greenland in a dog sled, open boat, sailboat, helicopter, small plane, cargo ship and an oil tanker. Itkonen has photographed the life of the Inughuits as the most northern people in the world, icebergs and panoramic landscapes. Itkonen is currently photographing the effects of climate change on the lives of indigenous peoples together with an American researcher.
Itkonen's artworks have been displayed in numerous exhibitions in Finland and abroad. The photo book Inughuit was published in 2004 and Avannaa, a photo book of Greenlandic landscapes, was published in 2015.
Romulus is the common name for luminaires made of scrap metal. Mitro Kontturi has made about 70 pieces since 2017.
Mitro Kontturi (b. 1963, Helsinki) is an artist photographer who graduated with a master's degree from the Academy of Fine Arts of Helsinki in 2003. The production of Kontturi is mainly photographs. He lives and works in Mikkeli.
Baltic Sea Plastique
Baltic Sea Plastique includes nine "marine organisms" made up of plastic waste dumped on the shores.
The work also includes short video clips in which plastic organisms are seen swimming in front of Helsinki in the coastal waters of Harakka Island. In the sea, they make contact with algae, fry and water currents. A plastic bag jellyfish flatters its transparent bathing bell, a pink seahorse dances to the beat of the waves, and a stingray shaped from a plastic tube flatters its lazy blue fins.
The synthetic material adapts to its environment in an awful way: plastic literally works like a fish in water.
Tuula Närhinen (b. 1967, Helsinki) is a multidisciplinary visual artist who has raised ecological issues in her production.
My artworks reflect our relationship to energy and its significance to people. The artworks are the result of several years of work, during which I made long trips of filming in the regions of Benin and Togo. I was interested in roadside gas stations selling low-quality gasoline distilled from stolen oil from multinational companies, a kind of a pirated product.
I was interested in the concreteness of the topic. Not so much the gasoline trade in West Africa, but oil and energy as a structural part of society and its localization as a physical element at the human level.
I lighted up the gas canisters and let the light sift through the mud shell covering the canisters and the dregs of gasoline. The translucent gasoline containers resembled the illuminated globe, familiar from childhood. I remember running my finger along distant shorelines, without a perception of the unfamiliar places or their inhabitants. I named the pictures as maps - Maps of Essence. (Gasoline is essence in French.)
Perttu Saksa (b. 1977) is an award-winning photographic and video artist. His artworks have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across Europe. His artworks can be found in several public collections. Currently Saksa’s artworks are on display in a solo exhibition at the Helsinki Art Museum, and he is creating a book of the artworks in the Essence series, which will be published in 2021 by the German art publisher Kehrer.
When War Is Over
Pekka Turunen’s photographs study the military bases of the former Soviet Union in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea and the new life that has been born on their outskirts.
The artworks transport through the atmosphere of the Cold War, highlighting the signs of fear and violence that prevailed at the time. For the photographer, dilapidated, nature-occupied military bases are like an ancient destroyed civilization whose future is still uncertain.
Are these places also metaphors for the societies of today that need to be completely thought through and rebuilt?
Pekka Turunen (b. 1958, Joensuu) is a photographer from Kemiönsaari who has graduated from the Helsinki University of Art and Design. His artworks have been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Turunen's artworks are characterized by the representation of the Finnish way of life and the state of the environment.