Inkeri Makkonen

 Inkeri Makkonen
Roihuvuorentie 20 M 134, Helsinki, Finland

tel. +35841 5271 606

I paint and draw, make installations, sculptures and urban art projects. My works have been displayed in exhibitions since 2004 and are included in several prominent public and private art collections in Finland and abroad (e.g. the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, the Finnish State Art Commission, the Olympic Fine Arts Collection in Beijing). Previously I have worked as a violin teacher and architect, both of which I have been trained for. Painting, however, interested me and created discord in my peace of mind. I was sure I would regret it later if I wasn’t brave enough to try it out.

That experiment became prolonged; this work is what I want to do for the rest of my life. When I paint the only boundaries are those of my imagination. I feel alive.

My previous professions have significantly contributed to my work as an artist. I am most thankful to my violin teachers, Wladimir Diakonoff at the Moscow Conservatory and professor Arno Granroth at the Sibelius Academy. They taught me to work with an intensity and attitude that I couldn’t have learnt anywhere else. So I believe. My work in urban planning has taught me perseverance and a sense of space and scale which I have found important in designing exhibitions or works for spaces.

I have long admired Danish artist Per Kirkeby and Finnish artist Ulla Rantanen. The intensity and power of Kirkeby’s works touch me deeply. Ever since my childhood, Rantanen’s works have proven to me that a woman can and is able to unveil her strength in art. The music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara helps me concentrate. In music I hear the space that I try to reach in my paintings. The conversations with my teacher of painting Olavi Suomela have encouraged me to be brave and stay true to myself. The titles of my works have been created in collaboration with poet and author Helinä Siikala, who is my incorruptible teacher on listening and remaining true to oneself.

My children are my best critics.

Earlier on I painted with charcoal, now I paint with self-made oil pastels. At times I long to make something that requires physical strength. My three-dimensional works have sprung from this longing.

My thoughts about painting are best represented by excerpts from my exhibition texts which Siikala has written based on our discussions and my writings:

I paint images of the sceneries of my everyday life, places that are so familiar that I cannot see them anymore. Familiarity does away with the distance between the scenery and myself; I become a part of the scenery or it becomes a part of me, a space where my thoughts and emotions can wonder around freely and be whatever they are. I paint my experience of this space opening inside me.

I take several photographs of the same subject and pick the image that awakens physical emotions in me, whether the image is interesting or not.

As I am painting I listen to music and dance – I paint space and movement created in me by the music. At some point the photograph is then forgotten and lost in my studio. By then the painting already includes things that have a greater appeal than the original subject and from which the painting is eventually composed of.

When I paint the human form the meaning of the work is revealed to me gradually. To my surprise I might find mythical meanings from an everyday image.

I paint in layers, by adding and scraping away colour, and by letting go of things that felt like they were already completed. I acquiesce to what could be called the will of the work. My hand knows when the painting is ready.

As I work, the elements of the painting actually become abstract instruments, material in space. Wind, water or light are power that I need in order to paint and of which my works are born without premeditation, like sketches.



Curriculum vitae

Inkeri Makkonen
Varuskunta Rak 29, as 1, 10640 Dragsvik, Finland
tel. +358 41 5271 606

Born 1956, lives and works in Helsinki

1985Graduated at Helsinki University of Technology, Master of Science in Architecture
1985-88Professional experience in Architecture
1988-2000Professional experience in Town Planning
2003Graduated at Art School “Maa”
Since that worked as a free artist

Solo Exhibitions in Finland

2023                  Galleria Katariina, Helsinki, september 2023

2019                  St Henry´s Ecumenical Art Chapel, Turku, Finland                

2018                   Taidesalonki - Konstsalongen, Helsinki

2013-14Studio of Art Museum Lönnström, Rauma
2013Galleria Taidesalonki-Konstsalongen, Helsinki
2010Galleria Taidesalonki-Konstsalongen, Helsinki
2009Galleria Ama, Turku
2009Galleria Vanha Kappalainen, Porvoo
2007The Library of Rikhardinkatu, Helsinki
2007Galleria Orton, Helsinki
2007Galleria Aarni, Espoo
2007Galleria Becker, Jyväskylä
2007The Library of Arabianranta, Helsinki
2006Premises of The Finnish Association of Architects
2005tm-gallery, The Finnish Painters´ Union, Helsinki
2004Galleria Katariina, The Helsinki Festival Artist of The Gallery of Artists´Association

Group Exhibitions

2015                  Nordic Season, MeetiNG art Galleria, Lissabon

2015                  Grand Slam! Visiting Artist and Curator, Drawing Gallery D5, Helsinki

2014                   The First Qingdao International Art Biennale, China

2013Work in the Exhibition: Outi Heiskanen, Museum of Wäinö Aaltonen, Turku, Finland

2013“Travelling ART Old City 2013”, Exhibition Hall "Cátedra", Valencia, Spain
2012BARBICAN centre of London, Creative Cities - Olympic Fine Arts 2012, Great Britain
2012Villa Vaszary, Balatonfured, Hungary (14.7-4.8)
2010“Good morning Africa!” Villa Karo 10 Years, Helsinki Art Hall, Finland
2009Street Gallery, The Helsinki Festival, Finland
2009“Ei koskaan eläkkeelle” Vantaa Art Museum, Finland
2003,05,08,09The Annual Exhibition of Union of Finnish Art Associations, Finland
2007“Unbelievable but true” The Helsinki City Art Museum, Art Museum Meilahti, Helsinki, Finland
2007“Self-Portrait” 40th Anniversary Exhibition of the Helsinki Artists´Association, Galleria Rantakasarmi, Helsinki, Finland
2006Nord Art 2006, Budelsdorf, Germany
2005The 110th Exhibition of Finnish Artists, Helsinki Art Hall, Finland
2005Galleria Mentana, Florence, Italy
2005Three Artists of Viapori Forum, Suomenlinna, Finland
2005“Ahjo” Art Center, Joensuu, Finland
2004Jubileum Exhibition of Nordic Art Association in Finland,
2003”Virtaa!” Regional Exhibition of Uusimaa and Itä-Uusimaa, Porvoon Taidetehdas, Finland

Works in Collections

Art Center of Olympic Fine Arts, Peking, China
Finland The Finnish State Art Collection (-04,-09)
Helsinki City Art Museum,
Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland
Espoo City, Finland
SRV Company, Finland
Mikeva Oy, Jyväskylä, Finland


2013Arts Promotion Centre Finland, project grant 2 000 €
2012Olympic Fine Arts, London, gold medal
2012Arts Council of Finland, project grant 2 000 €
2009Arts Council of Uusimaa, artistic work 1500 e
2009Arts Council of Finland, project grant 1500 e
2008Public display grant for visual artists 7 000 e
2008Arts Council of Finland, project grant 1 000 e
2008Oskar Öflund Foundation, travel grant 1 000 e
2007Arts Council of Finland, project grant 3 000 e
2005Finnish Foundation of Culture, artistic work 5 000 e
2005Arts Council of Uusimaa, artistic work 2 000 e
2005Arts Council of Finland, travel grant 300 e
2003Art School “Maa”, stipendium

Working in Residences

2013-14working 5 months at the Residence Hupeli in Eastern Finland with financial support by Finnish Foundation of Culture
2013Källskär residence, Ahvenanmaa, Finland
2012International Artists´Symposium, Hungary
2011Residence Tuulensuu, Viitasaari, Finland
2009painting and living 2 months in galleria Ama, Turku, Finland
2008Villa Karo, Benin, 3 months
2006Toscana, Italy, 1 month

Confidential Post

2008-12Association dámitie´ finno-beninoise
2007-10Board of the Helsinki Artists´Studio Foundation, board member

Other Related Work Experience

2011-12Art in Espoon keskus, working for the City of Espoo as Art Coordinator and Consultant for the Espoon keskus
2008-12Art teaching: Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki; The Helsinki Summer University


Finnish Painters´ Union
The Helsinki Artists´ Association
OFAA Olympic Fine Art Artists