Designer - Educator - Textile & Environmental Artist

Kaarina Kellomäki was born in Vieremä in East Central Finland in 1943. The family moved soon to Alavus in Ostrobothia where the parents were the teachers of the small village school in remote village called Pollari. In this rural setting the traditional handicraft was alive in Kaarina’s childhood. Wool was carded, spun, woven and sewn into garments by the village ladies. Wild grass fields and the
forest’s moss were her playgrounds.

Kaarina is very skillful in drawing and she has held printed fabric workshops for generations of students at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (now School of Arts, Design and Architecture of Aalto University). Always supportive and open to experiments she has been one of the most popular teachers of the school. As full-time faculty member she served also a three year term as Head of Textile Art and Fashion Design Department.

After graduating as textile designer in 1965 she has created printed fabric designs for the domestic and international demand. Some of her designs of that period have been reintroduced by Marimekko. They impress by their bold exuberance even today.

A third area of achievement entails creative art, especially with natural fibres and recycled materials. Large installations, often outside on lawns, cliffs and beaches, are pieces of art raising questions relevant in today’s art. Kaarina’s works have been exhibited in Europe, Russia, North America and Japan. Usually they live only the time of the event for which they are created and afterwards only in pictures.

The work on art has continued since the retirement. During the most recent years Kaarina has ventured into new materials and techniques like glass and ceramics.

Kaarina Kellomäki has organized noteworthy international events in the field of textile art. “Northern Fibre I”, a workshop and exhibition in Voipaala Art Center in Valkeakoski in 1995, caught domestic and international attention. The same year she managed the Nordic “Aurora Borealis” project.

Marja Laukka

Late Director of Voipaala Art Center