The authenticity of Vivi-Mari Carpelan's works is exemplary. In her collages and video works, Carpelan courageously strips away layers of convention, routine, and social acceptability to reveal the magic and mystery of what it means to be human in a manner which transcends individuality and invites her audiences to enter her world and share in her explorations. Tämä on taidetta, joka koskettaa sydäntä ("This is art, that touches the heart") ( Jonathan Talbot, artist and editor of collageart.org), New York, 2014.


Fabulous music! Well done, Vivi-Mari. Like nothing else. I'm drawn to what you are doing because it's genuinely uplifting and disturbing at the same time! (Nigel Evans ("Scribbleman" at Greed The Rock Opera) musician, journalist and arts marketing officer,  UK, 2014


I've just finished watching Tides and it's so haunting..... I think this is furthered by your soundtrack... I was going to ask where the music is from, but I see from your blog it is an amalgamation of different sounds both captured and staged.  I found the film very sad but also that there was a sense of liberation and freedom in this.  It reminded me of the work of the Japanese directors like Hideo Nakata. (Beth Davies-Hofbauer MA, visual artist, UK 2014)


All your work contains presence and a deep understanding, almost a kind of mediation, and they convey interesting messages and viewpoints. I have never had the desire to own anybody else's artwork. This tells me something, which I find difficult to put words to. I experience your art in a strong and special way. Even after seeing just a few of your previous pieces a long time ago, I started to cry. I felt that from your brush, something that I was pondering and experiencing on a deep level, came into being - something that I didn't have the means to express, but you did. You make something within me physically visible and in a way that is 'wonderful' and perfect, sarcastic, teasing, insightful, deeply artistic, wise and a kind of message, too.

It feels as though you look at something from the outside and make it visible to others, but at the same time you're in it and the art is very much a part of you - this is all thrilling and perfectly new! I'm not sure why, but I always experience your work - also the multimedia projects - very profoundly. I really come to life when I encounter you and your work. To say that I love your work is not enough. Somehow they really nourish me and I stay hungry after each one of your pieces... It's like a passion... and believe me, I'm not exaggerating in the slightest! (Kirsi Salo, senior legal adviser for the Finnish film industry, Finland 2013)


This is absolutely splendid work. You combine the photographs of yourself with everything else in each collage in a seamless manner; the result is a unique dialogue between Self & Self-Who-Is-Other. It is a visual narrative that when viewed in its entirety flows from picture to picture like a stream of successive scenes in a diary. (Eric Edelman, collage artist at RetroCollage, New York 2012)


I honestly think the smarter you are the more unsatisfied you can be... because there is so much to see with your eyes so wide to questioning life and purpose and the rest... one thing I feel sure of is that whenever you can honour your talents you should. Perhaps sometimes that is all you can do. And you do it with finesse! I can see something burning in your work.. there's definitely fire in it... and whatever the roots are.. you are using them... which is of course brilliance! You mustn't be ignorant and I'm not sure you could be if you tried.. your eyes are wide open. Like I said... think your coming to a flourishing point.  Gotta say wow to your boldness and bravery and it reminds me a tiny bit of Gilbert and George...

in the body revealing and the partitions... now they are great... you are great,  these are the guys who love the aesthetic of surfaces and science... I'm sure you already know who they are... but they have one another to hide behind even with their revealings... the woman that does this alone... if we were to align to a tracey emin paradigm then she is self revelatory.. she is not the first, she is just the exposed one. so like herself... You are a pioneer. (A visual artist, 2012)


'THE TIMES OF MEMORY'

Collage—an art technique which blossomed during the twentieth-century—displays on a two dimensional surface images and texts from various sources, constructing these into a complex and dynamic whole, the component images retaining their own independence as recognizably distinct in style and origin.

Vivi-Mari Carpelan's contemporary collages are profoundly noteworthy. In their enactment of deep symbolic logics, they do nothing less than re-configure time.

Some of the source imagery comes from Hindu art, evoking an ancient and ongoing tradition. Other imagery originates in advertisements from past decades, evincing a nostalgia where loss can never quite be recovered or redeemed. Still other imagery comes from prints of Neo-Classical architecture, a building style that resurrects the antique past in producing stone monuments that defy the ravages of time. More haunting and playful are skeletal images of extinct species, tokens of the arising and perishing of all particular life forms within a vast and mysterious evolutionary unfolding. The esoteric and alchemical diagrams dispersed throughout key an anticipatory time proper to secreted promises yet to be revealed.

The space of these collages is thus the arena of a profound mode of Memory (an inflection of Consciousness itself)—a Memory that is prior to any given form or feel of time, and which accommodates all such forms, allowing them to reverberate with each other through the part/whole dynamic of the collage construction. This is an Art of Memory that is not simply retrospective and receptive, but powerfully and profoundly Creative: the interplay of the imagery sparking novel senses of time—transforming the Self-sense so tenderly and vulnerably at stake in these works. (Michael Schwartz , Professor of History and Philosophy of Art, Augusta State University, Augusta GA, 2011) 


"There is something not revealed as I am partially covered up in black fabric.
Not only is it the affliction not obvious, but I also don't really want it to be obvious."

 I'm a Finnish artist resident in Wales since 2010. Since 1991, I have gone from drawing to creating mixed media collages, photography and recently artist's films and sound art. In recent years, I've been including performance art by staging myself for photographs and video clips that I use in my artwork. In this way, I'm able to highlight the semiotic quality of a decaying body - from a subjective and objective point of view all at once - and how it impacts my senses and experience of being in the world.  I've always been fascinated with texture, and often incorporate photographs of aesthetically challenging yet pleasing surfaces found in the most unlikely of places into my work.

Afflicted with a chronic illness since childhood, it comes naturally to me to explore emotional issues of belonging versus not belonging in a society mostly designed for people with wealth and health. My work expresses paradox, as a fundamental and crucial characteristic of reality. While ill health and alienation are linked with shame and helplessness, these can also give rise to strength of character, deeper insights into matters of life and death, and the advantage of a more objective viewpoint in regards to society at large. Through my art, I express the idea that imperfection is human, whereas a glossy and sanitized world is not. Ultimately, because I'm not able-bodied, neither my abilities nor my expression will be perfect. Human imperfection is something that those who represent the norms of society need to tackle. I believe I speak for everyone who have had to concede that they cannot keep up with the demands of contemporary society. Not until society embraces its disabled members, can it become whole. 

In 2011 I decided to explore the possibility of expressing invisble illness and chronic fatigue in particular in my work - I called this process "Project X". Throughout 2012 I attempted to find ways of expressing this symbolically in 2D, I then gradually moved onto making artist's films with my own soundscapes so as to find a more multifaceted way of highlighting these issues. All this work went under the name "Visible/Invisible". In 2014 I realised my dream of making music, and created sound art based on found sounds - this has become an album called "Music for Liminal Times". I also started to contemplate a new aesthetics and other ways in which to reinvent myself while retaining an even firmer grip on who I am and what I want to say.

My Facebook page and blog offer plenty of live updates and analyses of my work in progress, as well as commentary on the art world today.

Enter the galleries.

Do you have something you'd like to say about my work? Please fill in the form on the contact page