Artist reveals her unusual materials for creating art works

June 7, 2016

Photographic artists have been known to explore a wide ranger of materials and resources for creating their art works. But non quite like  Maija Tammi who pushes boundries on what can be used to create visually exciting art works. 

Hey! Please introduce yourself and what you do!

I am Finnish artist and researcher. At the moment I am working on my studio art based PhD at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland.

Tell us about these photographs from the series Milky Way

The series is inspired by panspermia, a theory of ‘seeds of life’ expanding and traveling everywhere in the Universe. According to the hypothesis, life on earth and therefore humans originate from these seeds.

Likewise the Sambia people in Papua New Guinea believe that humans are containers through which sexuality and life flow in the form of male milk and female milk. Milky Way is a series of male milk (semen) and female milk (breast milk) shot close up on a living room table.






What is it about your practice that you find so exciting and keeps you hooked?

Learning and understanding, the more I research, the more there is pleasure (and pain) in arts. Doing research is like getting a completely new sense to observe the world.

If you could experiment with any other medium, what would you choose?

I have chosen sculpture, video and installations. For me photography is just a medium and a medium should be chosen according to what best suits the work.




Where do you get your daily inspiration?

From academic research, from discussions with colleagues, from installation art, from movies, and from science magazines.

What makes you wake up each morning feeling pumped to create some new work?

The amount of light increasing in the bedroom wakes me up, but what makes me create new work is very stubborn determination, sometimes even a foolish belief in an idea. Some works end up being rubbish and I discard them, then I start again.

Are there any artists/photographers/writers/filmmakers or musicians where you have in mind when looking at creating new works?

Alfredo Jaar, Olafur Eliasson, video artists Pippilotti Rist and Eija-Liisa Ahtila, violinist Pekka Kuusisto, filmmakers György Pálfi and Lars Von Trier.

What are you currently working on that you just can’t get enough of?

Biological immortality, more specifically eternally growing human cancer cells like the HeLa cell line, which has been grown in laboratories since 1951.

What’s next for you?

My new work White Rabbit Fever will be launched at the Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam in September.


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