Kindness through art






Päivi Uljas, Tibetan Monk

Päivi Uljas, Tibetan Monk


 A group of Helsinki based artists manifest that sadly people have neither edge nor interest for being nice anymore.  


QUESTIONING kindness is interesting. According to Aristotle’s book two in Rhetoric, kindness is one of the emotions which is defined as being “helpfulness toward someone in need, not in return of anything, not for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped.”

The story behind the paintings

Tensions in traditionally Tibetan areas of what is now western China have captured the eye of Päivi Uljas. “Tibetan Monk is telling about a monk who has raised his hands to fight. Dalai Lama is against violence, but among monks patience is running out,” says Uljas describing her painting.

 Uljas painting Nurse is a domestic subject. Last year, Finnish nurses were on strike. “People see nurses self-denying and always helpful. My nurse is saying: No more, not at this price!” says the artist.

For Johanna Sinkkonen, thoughts on kindness and love have been the inspiration for her artwork. She feels that people are more comfortable with superficial relationships, those that go well with their independent life-style rather than with a loving and caring relationship where true love is the protagonist. The kind of love that is difficult to meet.

“Those hot, seductive, dangerous, restless little butterflies are more tempting than just one big one. In this society nothing is ever enough. There is always a new view from the window. However, are we using binoculars instead of a magnifying glass? Are we doing that on purpose or accidentally? Do we choose to be blind to those big butterflies we so rarely meet?” Sinkkonen wonders.

Her works are full of bright joyful colours, butterflies, flowers and love. They scream what should have been rather than what it was. Sinkkonen chose names of men for her paintings.

Heli Vepsäläinen’s Series of dirty games are mixed media representing what people don’t see or don’t hear, telling people are simply not kind.

Minja Revonkorpi thinks people obey orders too much. Their trust in the society is blind and they don’t realise that every single person is of equal value, that his opinion is valid. “It doesn’t matter if you are a politician or unemployed, you have the right to speak out, and your opinion should matter. In my works the individual persons symbolise a significant attitude towards the society” Revonkorpi says.

Her acrylics and oil on canvas are expressions of the contradiction between kind and naughty, which Revonkorpi bases her works on. Her paintings are an expression of bright, vivid colours and her characters an invitation to a profound thinking.

We’re Not Nice Anymore! tells about sensitivities, a need to give and receive kindness and love as much as we need to breathe. It tells about simple needs and feelings from the soul and heart. It opens our eyes to see the wonderful world we would have if only we were willing to be kinder.

Other artists participating in the exhibition are Risto Laasimo, Ritva Larsson, Kristiina Parviainen.

The exhibition We’re not Nice Anymore! is at the ANT Gallery in Töölö until 24 October.

ANT Gallery, Topeliksenkatu 3B, Töölö, Helsinki

Opening hours:
Tue – Fri  12 – 17, Sat – Sun  12 – 16

Susan Fourtane – HT



About Susan Fourtané

As a citizen of the world, Susan began her search for her place in the world back at the beginning of the year 2000. After many travels looking for her place in the world, her soul found that place in Finland in September 2006. She has been living in Helsinki ever since, where she combines fiction and non-fiction writing with Philosophy studies and teaching.
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