An Exhibition of Golden Silence

On March 6, 2014, the Embassy of Finland hosted the world premiere exhibition of Finnish artist Marita Liulia.

Marita Liulia, the Finnish multi-talented artist, has done it again. On March 6, 2014 Liulia’s Golden Silence exhibition had its world premiere hosted at the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C. The magnificently vivid pieces displayed at the exhibition were, to say the least, vibrant of gold and shimmer.

“Not a lot of artists choose to use the golden color, but to me it symbolizes spirituality and the sun. And where would we be without the sun and spirituality?” Liulia playfully said when introducing her work. When giving the introduction, Liulia explained that her work is greatly influenced by her travels and spiritual experiences in the Hindu and Buddhist cultures. Her perception of the meaning of the golden color, profoundly imprint the entire concept of the Golden Silence exhibition. The art pieces, likewise the photographs and short films, all portrait the essence of the golden color which, to Liulia, embodies happiness, spirituality, sunshine and tranquility.

When first scanning the room in which all the art were hung, the great size of the paintings immediately caught my attention. “I can’t paint small paintings, because then they need to be controlled and when controlled, they’re no longer art.” Liulia explained, yet again with a playful tone of voice.

The enormous 200 x 400 cm painting “Autumn”, a golden piece with deep red leaves dripping of paint, looked like a peaceful garden with a dramatic touch. The deep red color got me thinking of blood, not of hurt or harm, but simply of the deep red color of blood. The painting I found quite soulful, but at the same time thrilling and mind capturing. The mixture of the serene gold and the mystical red together creates a dramatic effect which Liulia isn’t a stranger to - I now am referring to the drama.

Liuila isn’t a “one trick pony” but rather a multi-talent who has mastered the art of “creating”, in a range of mediums. Painting is a true passion of hers, but as she told me, “When I’m done with something, I’ve got to move on.” Meaning, when she feels that she has completed something (whatever it may be), she feels the urge to keep moving in other directions of self-expression.

At the world premiere of Golden Silence, two short films by Luilia were playing on repeat throughout the exhibition. "Return of the Goddess" was the one of the short films that captivated me the most. The 20 minute long film displayed the “resurrection” of a goddess (played by the Finish dancer Virpi Pahkinen). The golden strokes painted this film in mimic of the restoring works of Golden Silence. The imagery of the film felt quite haunting and frightening at times when the story turned dark with rapid, flicking jump-takes. To later transcend back into the vibrant, warm and shimmering color scheme of the pervasive Hindu/Buddhist storyline.

Liulia has spent time studying Literature and Political History at the University of Helsinki and also Visual Arts at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Liulia’s artistic career started in the theatre, her promising theatre work was simply the beginning of her success. The Golden Silence isn’t “simply” an art exhibition, but also Liulia’s 30th anniversary as an artist.

Throughout these three decades spent in the business of art, Liulia has received some astonishing awards including The Prix Ars Electronic in Austria (1996) and The Prix Möbius International in France (1996, 1991). Liulia has also been awarded the Finland Prize, The Finnish Cultural Fund Prize, Erik Enroth Prize, and Stina Krook Foundation Prize (2008) for her outstanding achievements as an artist. From the Finnish State, Liulia has received a five-year artist’s grant and she started her own production company named Medeia in 1997.

This multi-talented artist has a list of accomplishments one could only dream of achieving. Liulia’s level of talent is of mighty magnitude which brightly shows in the Golden Silence exhibition I had the pleasure of attending. The art pieces, photographs and short films all embodies the theme of the exhibition with perfect precision. Liulia truly is an artist with a vivid imagination, but also an artist of intelligence and great competence. Her travels and experience of the spiritual world have profoundly imprinted the art at hand.

The golden theme is quite striking, likewise the stories behind the inspiration of the art. The Golden Silence was truly an inspirational exhibition and I strongly advise you to check it out. Liulia’s Golden Silence exhibition will be open for audiences from March 6th 2014 to March 30th 2014 at the Embassy of Finland. Don’t miss out on the opportunity of meeting the artist, Marita Liulia, and listening to her inspiring stories of her newest exhibition, Golden Silence. 

Written by: Johanna Malmberg 


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