Group Exhibition in Finland: Art is So Gay

Art is So Gay opens on June 26, 2012 at the Forum Box gallery in Helsinki, Finland. This mixed group exhibition will run through July 22, 2012.

Emmi Kattelus writes: “The ‘Art is So Gay’ exhibition will present an uniquely wide selection of contemporary art as a part of Helsinki Pride Festival 2012″. “The exhibition will present the widest selection of art on sexuality and gender in Finland to this date. Included are 40 artists whose works deal with the diversity of sexuality and identity. The exhibition will include paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, drawings, media art, video and performances. The artists are not selected according to their sexual orientation, but how their works fit the Pride theme.”

Art is so Gay Opening reception:
June 26, 2012 at 5pm to 8pm.
Forum Box gallery, Helsinki, Finland

The Child Venus, sculpture by Emma Helle

The Child Venus, ( glazed ceramic clay, height app. 40 cm), sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

The exhibition will be held alongside the Pride in Helsinki June 25 – July 1, 2012 and I have asked a some of the out & proud women artists of the group exhibition to talk about their work and practice.

Sculptor Emma Helle
“I take delight in old, mostly Baroque and Renaissance art. At my latest two exhibitions, history of art in general or some paintings or sculptures in particular have been the subject matter of my works. I cannot promise the viewer any new perspective on the topics, such as the Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, a work by Rubens that became the namesake of my current solo exhibition [Emma Helle
30.5.-30.6.2012 at Gallaria Sculptor, Helsinki]. I, a queer woman, was fascinated enough by that piece of art to paraphrase it. I cannot give up modelling or remodelling putti, those fantastic, fat, muscular flying babies that populate most of my favorite artworks. I don’t know why, and any added value to the old themes remains for the spectator to find.”

Phoebe and Polydeuces, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012

Phoebe and Polydeuces, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012. View of the exhibition in Galleria Sculptor, Helsinki, with Phoebe and Polydeuces in the centre. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

Phoebe, sculpture by Emma Helle, 2012

Phoebe, sculpture by Emma Helle. Phoebe is a part of the work Phoebe and Polydeuces, tempera on red pine, dimensions variable, 2012. Photo by Miikka Pirinen

Performance artist Heidi Lunabba
opens her Studio Vilgefortis, a beard salon at Art is So Gay and invites the women to come to have a beard made in the salon. At the exhibition you can also see a video about Studio Vilgefortis.

Beard Catalog by Heidi Lunabba

Beard Catalog by Heidi Lunabba

Heidi Lunabba says, “I think my art practice deals a lot with identity and gender identity. Identity is a lot about visual expression so I think art is a good medium for talking about that. There haven’t been so many big group exhibitions in Finland dealing with glbt identity, so I think it’s good that the name of the exhibition clearly states the subject.”

In her beard studio Heidi works on raising women’s awareness of the fact that they may look very beautiful/handsome with beard. The androgenous look is quite fun. Get free a makeover and a unique opportunity question you own gender and gender identity for an afternoon at Studio Vilgefortis.

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis

Laura Lilja
presents her sculpture Globe from her installation Freak (Basic Education Act of Finland), 2008, at Art is So Gay.

Laura Lilja: “The globe with the mirror tiles stands on a lonely school desk. The audience can put the globe spining. Then also the light spots on the walls go round and round like the toughts and dreams of the outsider, the young queer person in the heteronormative school world. There’s a strong nostalgic feeling in the work – despite of the hard times difference and finding one’s own identity is eventually a richness and dreams can be made true!”

Globe by Laura Lilja, 2008

Globe by Laura Lilja, 2008

Related Links
Posts about Heidi Lunabba at Feminine Moments
Posts about Laura Lilja at Feminine Moments

Finland: Cultural Dresscode Photo Shoot

Press release – translated by Feminine Moments

Cultural Dresscode explores how different classes and social groups create their identity through different visual markers such as style and clothes.

Can we see you class and social identity presented in the clothes which you are wearing?

Cultura Dresscode photo shoot
Glaspalatset Saturday February 25, 2012 at 11:00 – 16:00.

Everyone who is interested in being photographed for the project Cultura DressCodes are welcome at our drop in photo studio at Simonsplatsen, between Glaspalatset and Forum [in Helsingfors, Finland]. The partcipants will also be interviewed.

The visual artist Heidi Lunabba says:”Even though we don’t like to speak about classes in a modern society, we subconciously read, which class a person belongs to. We see the difference between cultural workers and managers. The fact that we don’t like to talk about class makes this topic interesting to explore through art”.

“We explore how class and visual identity are interlinked in Helingfors today. From facts of this investigation we will create an installation with audio, images and objects” says Katherina Haikala, whom together with Vilma Metteri are the artist duo Tärähtäneet Ämmät.

Cultural Dresscode is contemporary art project by Tärähtäneet Ämmät and Heidi Lunabba. The project will be presented at the exhibition Boutique curated by Annamari Vänskä for the Amos Anderssons konstmuseum [in Finland] which will open in August as a part of the Helsinki WDC 2012.

Stockholm Pride: Studio Vilgefortis

Today I will reveal a secret to you: I shave every morning. I love my femininity and am somewhat uncomfortable with my ability to grow a beard… I am not that queer!!! – If I were visiting the Stockholm Pride today (which unfortunately I am not) I would go to talk with Heidi Lunabba about her queer art project Studio Vilgefortis and face the fear of my own masculinity.

Finish artist and queer woman Heidi lunabba says: ‘It is interesting to see that women often are surprised that they actually look quite beautiful with a beard. Many of them are perhaps expecting that they’ll look grotesque, but that may not be the case.’

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis courtesy of Stockholm Pride

Press photo by Studio Vilgefortis courtesy of Stockholm Pride

Heidi Lunababba opens her barbersalon Studio Vilgefortis at the Stockholm Pride

Studio Vilgefortis
August 4 14:00 – 18:00
August 5 14:00 – 18:00
Pride Sergel (Sergel), Kulturhuset & Stockholms stadsteater
Sergels torg 3, Stockholm, Sweden
Tube station: T-Centralen

Have your beard made for free. Children are also welcome.

‘The beard is a symbol of masculinity. A woman with a beard is not automatically a man, however the beard can give the woman a feeling of having the right to up take more space or in another way do something, which is considered manly. It doesn’t mean that qualities which are considered feminine must go away; and Heidi Lunabba continues: Women with beards creates an ambiguity about their gender, which clashes with narrow minded norms.’

Related Links
Heidi Lunabba’s website

Studio Vilgefortis – Custom Made Beards For Women

If you meet more bearded women in Finland than usual this evening it is because,Studio Vilgefortis' Logo

Artist Heidi Lunabba is providing a beard for women and children today, July 1, 2011.

Heidi’s beard studio is open today is open 15-19:00 at Åbo Klassiska gymnasium, Eskilsgata 4, Åbo (~Turku), Finland. She invites you to come and get you own custom made beard in ‘Studio Vilgefortis’.

‘Studio Vilgefortis’ is a beard Studio for Ladies and other persons who don’t have a beard. Join the group ‘Studio Vilgefortis’ at Facebook to get information about when and where the studio is open.

About Heidi Lunabba
Finish artist and queer woman Heidi Lunabba (b. 1977) Works with social and community art projects, often inviting people to participate. Trough installations, photography and video she explores questions on identity, gender and communication, in public and private spaces. She has an MA in Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and is based in Helsinki, Finland.

Illustration above: Studio Vilgefortis’ Logo at Facebook

Heidi Lunabba: “Twins”

Press Release by Heidi Lunabba, Finland

Photo from the series Twins by Heidi Lunabba

Photo from the series Twins by Heidi Lunabba

Heidi Lunabba: Twins
16.3 – 22.5.2011 Finnish Museum of Photography, Process Space, Helsinki, Finland. Opening: March 15, 2011 at 5–7pm. The artist will be present. Welcome!
(…) Entry to the exhibition is free.

Clothes make the man – but what about the child?
Visual artist Heidi Lunabba’s series of pictures taken in workshops investigates how clothes and other visual emblems are used to accentuate and define a child’s gender. Each child at a workshop has been photographed as both a girl and a boy, and the two pictures have been digitally merged into a single image to make “twins”.

The starting points for the work are fashion shots from the children’s fashion magazine Vogue Bambini, which the exhibition’s curator, Annamari Vänskä, PhD, analyses in a non-fiction work to be published this spring Kuviteltu lapsuus. ‘Näkökulmia lapsuuteen visualisoituneessa
(Imagined childhood. Viewpoints on childhood in visualized consumer culture). The fashion photos accentuate the way that children are often dressed as little adults. When a child’s gender is not yet clearly visible in its face and manner, it is “announced” via clothing choices.

Photo from the series Twins by Heidi Lunabba

Photo from the series Twins by Heidi Lunabba

In the workshops 3-12-year-old children were able to take on the roles of a girl and a boy with the aid of a professional make-up artist. Thus, in the pictures we also see their own conceptions of the differences in the presentation of the genders. The workshops were bilingual (Finnish and Swedish), and were held at the Finnish Museum of Photography in collaboration with the Blaue Frau theatre group.

Meet the Artist and Curator on Wednesday 6.4.2011 at 17.30
The artist Heidi Lunabba [b.1977] and curator Annamari Vänskä, Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Fashion Studies, University of Stockholm, will talk about the exhibition. Free entry.

Meet the Artist on Sunday 22.5.2011 at 14:00.
The artist Heidi Lunabba will talk about the exhibition. Free entry.

The exhibition is accompanied by Finnish and Swedish language workshops for school children and adults.
Further details: 
Exhibition blog, where you [i.e. children] can send your own twin photo: > Do

The exhibition will also be shown at Museum Anna Nordlander Skellefteå, Sweden in summer 2011.

Further information:
Artist Heidi Lunabba +358503493029,

Related Links