Recipient of the Finnish Young Artist of the Year award and an exhibitor at Rencontres d'Arles (2012) Anni Leppälä (born 1981, Helsinki) explores the relationship between the past and present. Her photographic style is a visual expanse that covers a multitude of landscapes, surfaces and enclosed spaces, including forests, streams and human figures caught in the seclusion of their own presence. Like stylised postcards or snapshots, her works take on an aura of frozen time, recording both fleeting moments and the small glimpses of larger tales from which they are taken.
She says of her work, 'Photographs can be viewed like fixed points in the process of change and alteration, they allow the viewer to observe them freely and to step closer. One can gather trust and confidence in recognising them but simultaneously photographs have another kind of nature; a side turning towards the hidden and the unidentified. It´s difficult to draw a strict line between fiction and reality. Memories and observations become living experiences and fiction supplements them. Recognition is the intermediary operator between them. The figure of a girl or a woman is not a certain or specific person, but more like a character who sometimes appears in different scales - as a paper figure or something between a person and an image. What finally becomes recognised in the image can be something “outside” of the image, something out-of-sight, imperceptible. In this momentary experience something is revealed which is not “that-has-been” but rather something that exists and is present now and here. This attempt to go beyond the surface of the image is to find things that, at first, seem familiar but also have connections to other meanings than which they are directly representing. A potential of things that may be found only through an image. Photography gives an intriguing aspect to this as it uses the visible world as its material. It enables those “fixed points” of the visible to be transformed into the imaginary space. This returns back to the questions about the "invisible" in photographs, what can be found beneath, what is unseen but still there. The entities I am working with are constantly in a state of change and alteration, meaning that they are not separate series fixed to a certain way of presenting. For different exhibitions I am adding new pieces in and leaving others out. It is essential how the images relate to each other, how they affect each other when they are placed in an exhibition space.'
Anni Leppӓlӓ studied photography at the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences (BA) and at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki (MA). Her works have been shown in numerous exhibitions, including Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2006), Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2009), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (2011) and Rencontres d'Arles (2012). In 2010, she was awarded the Finnish Young Artist of the Year art award. Her works are included in collections such as the Finnish Museum of Photography, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Deutsche Bank Collection, and Fondation d'entreprise Hermès.