The exhibition consists of photographic portraits made by Leinonen over the last decade including wet-plate collodion portraits, documentary portraits captured on film of horsepeople from the Äimärautio series and the most recent work Vastapuu. All three sets of works highlight in different ways the materiality of the process of making a photographic portrait.
Leinonen’s wet-plate portraits (2009-2016) make visible the process of making images, which includes both the active materiality of the photographic chemicals and the physical materiality of the actual work. These materialities become visible as traces – flaws and impurities – on the surface of the images. These traces are like a visible but silent dialogue between the resulting photographic object and the image itself. Some of the works in the exhibition are presented as original metal plates, while others have taken on new material forms as enlargements.
The documentary portraits of the Äimärautio – series (2015-2017) were created in everyday encounters in a community that Leinonen is familiar with from her childhood riding school days. The people in the portraits share a passion for horses – horses are their way of life. The milieu of Äimärautio ties the portraits to a place and creates a framework for them. These portraits emphasize the moment of capture, its at-mosphere and materiality, which create a certain feel in the images. The photobook Äimärautio was pub-lished in 2018 and was one of the finalists in the Photobook of the Year 2019 competition. Leinonen’s self-portrait on the cover of the book, entitled Aftermood, was shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photo-graphic Portrait Prize 2018 and was exhibited at the prestigious National Portrait Gallery in London.
Vastapuu – series (2020–2023) consists of studio photographs taken of everyday objects from Kati Lei-nonen’s father in-law’s farmhouse and surroundings, alongside landscape photographs and excerpts from a family album. In the images, Leinonen delineates a portrait of Heikki and Sylvi, the founders of a farm called Vastapuu, and reflects upon the personal nature of memory and the relationship with the farm’s history.
Äimärautio exhibition is showing at Sarka – The Finnish Museum of Agriculture in Loimaa from Nov 29th till March 17th 2023. The edit in Sarka museum includes portraits and details that depict the contemporary horse culture.
Vastapuu – jäämistö exhibition delineates a portrait of Heikki and Sylvi, who founded Leinonen’s father-in-law’s home farm called Vastapuu. It consists of mainly new work photographed between 2019-2022 and explores the personal nature of memory and the relationship with the farm’s history. Leinonen started building a body of work about the farm when it was left to her family upon the death of her father-in-law.
Last year I took part in the Photobook Dummy Workshop taught by artist paula roush and organized by Aarhus Photobook Week. During the workshop my Vastapuu project took a shape of an artist book, which I am very excited about and I am working with this form further during 2022. There will also be an exhibition of Vastapuu project with new works later this year.
First part of my ongoing long-term project Vastapuu is on show in Gallery Valve in Oulu from August 13th till September 20th. The project is made possible by Kone Foundaton. More about the project here.
Äimärautio book and portraits from the series are on show at Gallery Hippolyte in Helsinki till 2.8.2020.
The exhibition 883 Pages – Finnish Photobook Award 2019 introduces the five award finalists that were: Natalia Kopkina: Mame / Kati Leinonen: Äimärautio / Anni Leppälä: hyle | curtain | backdrop / Marco Melander ja Saara Salmi: The Fantastic World of Atelieri O. Haapala / Johannes Romppanen: Lilja
The winner was the beautiful book Lilja by Romppanen.
My self-portrait After Mood will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 from October 18th till January 27th.
Part of my exhibition Äimärautio will be shown at the Finnish Museum of Photography’s Project Space from September.
Äimärautio is a place rich in encounters between human and horse. It is a community where horses are a way of life, and where people are united by the horse. The simple and direct encounters in my images reflect human passion and human commitment to horses. I explore through photography the need to be around horses and tell quiet stories about the contemporary horse culture.
”Common Dreams – Three Stories About the Relationship Between Man and Horse” exhibition at VB Photographic Center brings together the works of three finnish female photographers; Wilma Hurskainen, Kati Leinonen and Johanna Sjövall.
What does a place feel like? How do we construct a sense of place? The sense of place is multi-faceted – visual and carnal. The landscape is reflected on the retina, it smells, it feels on the skin. It consists of mental imagery, it contains fragments of history and today. It interweaves together the past and the present. The fragments of the place reveal about life but also remind us of its perishableness.
Italy, Basilicata, Matera – how to present a historical place that is repeated similar in thousands and thousands of pictures before me? What new can I add to that continuum? These are the questions I pondered over while working in an artist residency in Matera. People are absent in my images, but still strongly present in the traces they have left behind. The marks can be from fifteen minutes or fifty years back. Besides photographing these fragments I photographed the surrounding landscape through reflections. These create a new dimension to the landscape distancing it from the viewer, linking it with the inaccurate continuum of remembrance.
Kati Leinonen (b. 1974) is a Finnish photographer and an artist based in Oulu, Northern Finland. She has graduated in photography (BA Hons) from the London College of Printing and in audiovisual media culture (MA) from the University of Lapland, where she is currently working on her doctoral thesis investigates the 19th century wet collodion process as a tool for contemporary portrait. Her studies of the wet collodion process were conducted under France Scully-Ostermann in Rochester (USA) in 2008.