“Camilla Vuorenmaa’s imposing woodcuts are definitely nothing like the virtually streamlined high definition of the cineasters; the physical, crude and wrong. But their reference to traditional woodcut goes through time and thus backwards through the filter and strictly reduced palette of digitisation. In this way her works appear in a synthetic range of colours immediately in continuation of the computer’s range of colours. As such they look like ancient monuments visually formatted by the present to a degree where they get lost in the reproduction loop – a ghost of an image, a preview, a thumbnail, an errant idea, (…) squeezed through slow digital connections, compressed, reproduced, ripped, remixed, as the German artist and cultural theorist Hito Steyerl describes the digitally compressed image in his essay: ”In Defense of the Poor Image”. But ”the poor image” is not just a poor reproduction of an underlying original – in Camilla Vuorenmaa’s case it is the reappearance of a parallel original connecting and reversing the relation between original and copy and brings the representation up to present time. Steyerl writes: Imagine somebody from the past with a beret asking you, “Comrade, what is your visual bond today?” You might answer: it is this link to the present.

Camilla Vuorenmaa’s woodcuts are both a rejection and a product of the contemporary representation culture which she manages to give body and character by way of her choice of material and colours, which oscillate between past and present.”

Marie Kølbæk Iversen (DK),
Jury member / Spring Exhibition 2013, artist

”I find myself wondering why the artist renders these harsh, demanding circumstances in such a decorative way and why the medium of carved wood, with its ornamental playfulness, is so poignantly apt to depict these touching stories. There is a kind of sacred austerity in the circumstances of the depicted subjects that gives rise to beauty. Ornament, ornamentum, originally refers to something sacred charged with emotion. The definition is an apt description of Vuorenmaa’s art. She has a talent for transforming the mundane into the sublime, the banal into the sacred, the simple into the ornamental, the plain into the aesthetic.
It is this quality that captured my attention years ago in her works that stretched the boundaries of the canvas. And the way that for a long time she has explored the deliberately awkward style that nevertheless enables her to aestheticise the seemingly unfinished gesture. A rare gift.

Vuorenmaa has become known as a young artist who in many ways has challenged the physical and traditional boundaries of painting. In fact, her works made me ask years ago whether a painting can any longer be viewed as merely an image. Brimming with narrative power and sociocultural references, the works refuse to settle ”exclusively” on the surface of the medium. As a viewer, I regard it as my duty to consider the works in the context of life, not merely that of art.”

Pilvi Kalhama
Executive Director, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art
From the exhibition catalogue Sea Separates Us

“Vuorenmaa’s large-scale murals confidently take command of the exhibition space, engaging in a playful dialogue with the architecture and lighting. Some of her murals pick up on the theme of a smaller painting, while others take over the wall as independent pieces. Her ultraviolet paints glow in the dark, exposing each brushstroke, trickle and droplet of paint. In the intimate, darkened exhibition space – the opposite of the traditional white cube – viewers are urged to immerse themselves in the lustrous, glowing details. “

Laura Köönikkä
Independent Curator and the founder and CEO of Finnish Art Agency.
From the Ars Fennica Art Award artist presentation text