V is for Venue

Photograph: Salla Keskinen

It was clear to me from the beginning that I wasn’t looking for a traditional exhibition space for this exhibition. My original idea was to organize the illustration exhibition in an antiquarian bookshop. I wanted the exhibition to adhere to the bookshop’s values of equality and hospitality and I cherished the idea of the exhibition to be accessible and open to all. The existence of the books seemed to be eligible, too. But of course, there are complications. Two months before the opening date I had hoped for, I suddenly had no place at all for the exhibition.


September 13, 2019

I always talk to someone about changes or decisions I want to make. Whether or not I take their advice, that depends on the situation. But I like to hear an outsiders thoughts. It can even help you come to new realizations that you hadn’t considered before.

Today I met my friend Antonia and we caught up over a lunch. Planning and hosting an art exhibition is a lonely job, and I am really grateful for the support Antonia has given me through this process so far. Sometimes it’s better to brainstorm together with someone, especially if you’re feeling stuck. It’s always helpful to get your thoughts out of your head. You might completely be missing the solution to a problem and someone who isn’t as invested can provide suggestions. Today we discussed the different alternatives for the exhibition place.


A few days later, I happened to pass by Mattsson & Mattsson, and got an idea. When the culture loving graphic design agency opened their doors at Katajanokka, they also launched a small gallery. However, as the graphic design is full-time work for the owners, their exhibition schedule is very irregular. I couldn’t have been happier when they welcomed my idea of collaboration. The possibility to continue the illustration exhibition activity in the existing, but not that typical exhibition space felt like an answer to all my questions.

The domestic setting in Mattsson & Mattsson’s Studio Gallery was a delightful finding, not forgetting to mention exactly the right blue walls. There is a big, airy room. Through a small corridor, you can enter the back room with black ceiling and more intimate atmosphere. The existing furniture such as the turquoise lounge chair and the dark peach colored vintage trunk, goes amazingly well with the drawings and paintings.

During the exhibition period, the owners of the place will work in the space normally on the weekdays, and Thursday afternoons, when the exhibition is open. I think that is great because many art exhibition guests visit rarely if ever, in graphic design agency. Mattsson & Mattsson is situated on the ground floor of a building, which makes it accessible for all.

The exhibition opening hours follow my free time. On Thursdays, the exhibition is open until early evening so that people can pop in after work. On Sundays, the exhibition is open in the afternoon, following traditional gallery opening hours in Finland. If these times are not convenient to you, please feel free to suggest an alternative time!


Opening Hours:

Thu 15:00 – 19:00

Sun 12:00 – 16:00

or upon request


Photograph: Mattsson & Mattsson. Installation view of the exhibition of Sac Magique, 2017