Maija is interested in how we create meaning and inviting people to engage with ideas and environments in new ways. Her art is sensory, often meditative, depicting emotional landscapes and inviting interactive encounters. Working in mixed-media, Maija’s #drawingwithtrees and Creativity In Motion series combines layers of dance and movement, poetry and utterances, with film and photographs creating links across time and geography.
Maija’s art practice is something she strives to make ‘her every day’. Repetitive actions such as daily walks and dream journals or collecting visual impressions with her mobile phone generates material with which to reveal the subtle, ‘underneath’. This subtle realm of life is evoked through a sensitive attunement to environments, relational dynamics and her own inner experience. Combining digital media and live action is an important part of her process allowing for multiple points of connection and development.
‘Mother hands’ 16.7.18
I’ve been catching myself
In large motherly hands. They’re
Weather worn from kissing the skin
of summer fruits and winter veg and
Knobbled by a pen grip
bearing the ink across the days, the years.
These warmed hands that have
Skimmed the top of tall dry
Grasses and picked cobwebs
From my hair on bright dewy
Mornings are Mother hands.
My own, my mother hands
smoothing the front
Of my dress, firmly and sensually
Not to present me but to
Clear the space, and create a pause
I think of grandma crumpling
Her hands in her apron
To free them from the dish water for me
But this is more like the artist writer
Appraising the blank page with fingertips
before the beginning. Breathing in deep
that gust of inspiration
that is the pause and the breath.
And so the hands that catch me
Are quite supple and tender
Firm and knowing
I let myself surrender the thoughts
The judgements and the criticisms
I feel them smoothed like the folds in my dress,
to reveal a blank expanse.
Notes on my practice
I start by collecting impressions from dreams or my environment, with my camera and sketchbook. Impressions from direct experience are recorded in poetry. I start combining, blending, and layering these collected materials in an instinctive and intuitive way to emphasise the textures, moods, and colours. This exploratory phase is full of experimentation and surprises that remind me of the analogue photography process because the technology I’m using has its own style. So I sometimes feel like I am collaborating with the software!
Collaboration and mutual exchange is important to me, I am responding to my relationship with environments, people and material all the time. It’s a dialogue between us in which an exchange takes place and a phenomenon arises, we can call it art. In winter, mud takes prominence, in autumn the fiery coloured leaves, in summer the flowers and foliage of the trees and I become more playful, dancing and exploring live art possibilities in the warm breeze. My compositions and selections begin emerging around seasonal themes, I also use personas to represent the functions and expressions of the organic ‘natural’ world in which category I include the human experience.
I document my dreams, and actively explore the dreamlike world behind my eyelids which is a fertile place to discover thematic symbols with which to furnish my personas for live art and improvised performances. Through actively embodying the expressions I want to make visible, I am able to create a deeper dialogue between myself and archetypal forces of nature, and find my own language to express them in life.