RIUTTA – Katja Toporski — Meet Me! 30.6.–23.7.2022

Taidekeskus Itä
Valtakatu 66, Lappeenranta

ti-pe 11-17
la 11-14

The theme for this exhibition is well-being. In the context of the ongoing pandemic, increasing geopolitical instability, and now a war in Europe, I think of the many mental casualties this is causing. How can we maintain a stable mind and what can help us keep our spirits up when our future seems to be unravelling?

Approaching this theme, I am installing a number of 3-dimensional self-portraits that are framed like life-sized cameos. The concept of the framed face is repeated in several jewelry pieces, that are made from hand mirrors in which the mirror is replaced with individual brooches made form silver and paint. The format of the brooch is also used in pieces that mark the dates of significant events, personal and more general, during the first 2 years of the pandemic. Many of the jewelry pieces are composed from objects that are associated with contemplative practice: a set of Chinese medicine balls, prayer beads, and altar candles at various stages of burning down.

Just like identity has many facets I aim to come at this concept from different angles. Charting events through diary entries to make sense of them. Jewelry objects as amulets to sustain focus on what is truly important. The idea of constant change, actual or implied. Vulnerability, and the strength that can be gathered from its acknowledgement.


I may have many stories to tell. I will choose only one. You can make up the rest or any other.

This work is the most personal to me. It is a sort of self-portrait. Inside. Outside.
Idealized. Fictionalized.

I am looking for integration of self and others, the world around me, generations, the past. Staying well in chaos. Finding focus where things fall apart. Reflection. Absorption. Spirit!

The road to identity is littered with negations: This is not who I am! I carry guilt by association.

Let me look to the future and start somewhere else. Built on ruins. Let me blur the image of who I am so no one sees me clearly.
I am many things.