Iron Ladies

Copper Smithy, Fiskars

When iron and light meet, metal begins to shine.

Our aim at the outset was to forge the groups’ various skills and disciplines into a series of collaborative works that would cross borders and explode boundaries. Iron Ladies, our collective name, also provides the title of the exhibition, defining the spirit in which these artworks were created. The direct use of scrap-metal in the exhibits demonstrates the Iron Ladies willingness to employ unusual materials in new and inventive ways.

Iron Ladies also defines an attitude: the metallic glint in the eye! Iron intrigues us because of its’ cultural connotations, with which we freely play: iron is usually perceived as a masculine, hard and unwieldy material, but what happens when it combines with something delicate or soft? In some exhibits, the masculine and feminine meet in striking ways: in others, with a more material-based starting point, the gender issue remains more submerged.

Iron Ladies also refers to women enjoying a love affair with scrap metal! The Iron Ladies are: Blacksmith Kaisa Barbieri; Ceramicist Nanna Bayer; Lighting Designer Tarja Ervasti; Visual Artist Hanne Horte and Media-Artist Elina Laiho. We have rummaged through the Kuusakoski scrap-yards and let ourselves be inspired by the astonishing strength and power of the junk mountains and the sense of time captured in the rusting metal objects.

The exhibition also reflects the groups’ knowledge of materials other than iron. Most of the pieces are the result of collaborations between two or three artists, though there are also a number of solo works. Other materials employed include porcelain, paint, light, video and wood.