Designer - Educator - Textile & Environmental Artist
I was born in 1943, the second youngest of nine children. My parents were the village school teachers in a rural area. During and after the war, there were shortages of many everyday goods, but country women still remembered their old skills and crafts in processing linen andwool. I watched it all with akeen child’s eye.
My secondary school art teacher encouraged me to apply to the department of textile art inthe Institute of Industrial Art. I graduated in 1965 and began my first job at Marimekko. I then began freelancing and went on to design hundreds of print patterns for numerous Finnish and foreign companies. In addition, I began teaching print pattern design at the University of Industrial Arts Helsinki (UIAH) in 1973, becoming a tenured lecturer in 1988.
I have always been – and still am – an active artist, exhibiting internationally from the beginning. I began with more traditional textile art in techniques and materials, though modern in expression, but through time, my techniques and choices of material have evolved towards installations and environmental art, generating interest internationally and opening doors to many prestigious exhibitions. This has also led to international networks and inspiring collaborations.
My memoirs in Finnish´with an English summary have been published under title Ahkera ja aikaansaapa .