I am excited to be one of the eight artists selected to the OPEN PORTFOLIO exhibition at FIG Bilbao 2020 – International Graphic Arts Festival in Bilbao. The festival takes place 26-29.11.2020.

Here is a link to my OPEN PORTFOLIO artist page:

Kalle Ahonen

The works presented at the festival are woodcuts, a medium very close to my heart. First of all, I love woodcut because I can work with the material of the trees. The forms and textures of trees inspire me to create art. Also the grain of the wood boards forces me to use strong lines and expressive gestures when I create my works. 

I’m currently working on a series depicting characters from old Finnish spells and magical songs. They are spirits of nature and the otherworld. I enjoy imagining what kind of beings my ancestors had in mind when they sang their songs. Here is two works from this series.

The first character is Niitty-Hiisi, Hiisi of the meadow. In ancient Finnish mythology Hiisi is a guardian spirit of a natural environment; a hill, forest, water place etc. This Hiisi is a guardian of the meadow. It has many eyes and tentacles that is uses to communicate with the forces of the invisible realm. It also has long fingers and claws that it uses to script the life and death of all the plants in the meadow. 

The second character is Kipu-tyttö, Pain-Girl. In ancient magical spells, the pains are ordered to go back to the Kipu-vuori, the Pain-mountain, where she lives. Kipu-tyttö is told to grind the pains in the Kipu-kivi, the Pain-stone. She is crying. She belongs to the spirits of the underworld, so she has snakes for her hair.   

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