Interview: Tiina Hölli

Tiina Hölli
Photo credits: Murat Oktay Danış
Name: Tiina Hölli [ Holli ]

Where do you live: Raasepori, Finland.

Known for:
I don’t know what I am known for.
Or am I. But I am a painter.

And a writer.

Currently working with:
I am working /with me.

I am currently and constantly and continuously still mainly and only working /on me
to be honest and direct, and listen to me, truely.

I am working /as a painter, and my professional title is Visual Artist,
but in my practice I have divided my year into 4 different disciplines
according to the Northern sunlight.
Recently this division was mixed up,
because I started to work in artist residencies in Finland and abroad,
where the light was different.
But basically, I divide my year to periods of
painting, working in my herb garden, social ( read : un-payed ) work in the art field, and conceptual works & writing.

Past two years I was in Ekole again and educated myself with a completely new ‘Theory of Art’ by M.O. Danış.

When did you realize that you were going to work in this area?
This area would be being a visual artist and a writer as a holistic experience and a way of life.

Well – to my surprise, I started art studies when I was 35.
Five years later, in December 2000, something happened in/into/to my mind,
just before I graduated from basic level.

For those past five years in art school I had totally concentrated in studying art,
making art, reading readingreading only about art and about different philosophies.
After five years of focusing to suck-all-in like this, some sort of a burst appeared,
or a breakthrough.
My conceptual thinking expanded, somehow, from what it had been.
I begun to see all as ” happening “.

Later I started to call this ” happening ” in its more refined, conscious, aware form as ” Being “.

I went on with my studies in art school to get a professional degree in painting,
and graduated as a painter at the end of year 2002, a few days after I turned 42.
I am a pure example of the Jungian theory of age periods – of making a total shift in life at the age of 35 – 42.

Then, I started my art practice and read readread, I read all classics, fiction, conceptual, all possible.
All the time I was writing.

Five years later something happened, in my life, I went into a shock,
and reclused myself from society.
I erased myself for seven years.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
On this planet? Well then, freely moving all over this planet. It is beautiful.
Simultaneously it also seems as if designed to be the penal colony for sensitive creatures,
maybe a punishment for all else too. Fascinating combination, how this whole functions as a closed system.

How would you describe your creativity?
Well I wouldn’t.
I do not know what it is.
I let it be[come].
It must Be freely. Or else it is not.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
My creativity as an agenda ?

At the said age of 35
[after a series of serious attempts to get interested in each and every other area of life
( with success, also – but I got bored, to each )], I decided to apply to an art school.
I got in.
I totally committed to live in art, but all the time saying that wtf I can quit whenever I choose to, no problem.

I choose not to build my being on a single thing.

What do you do at the moment?
I am descending to my annual solitary monk -like period of a few months of coloristic painting in the pure natural light.

I avoid electric light, computers, machines, driving a car;
I do not answer to phone calls or run around in social networking platforms,
I do not talk with anybody, I do not even drive to buy food to avoid human contact.
I gnaw something found in the cupboard
if I remember. I drink a lot of water. I reduce myself completely to painting.

I live alone on top of a mountain and see clearly all from there.
It is a present from The Universe, if I achieve this state of mind and body in my practice.
It is the peak experience of being a painter.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Oh no. Don’t ask me this ! I do not run anything. I need a secretary.
Possibly two. Maybe three.
But I cannot pay any salary. They have to work for the love of working.
Possibly pay me a little something to get to work for me. : D

Tell us how it all started.
I was born. I survived. Not a pretty picture. After a few years I realized Hey ! I am Alive ? ! ? I started to Be.

What is the most important thing in a studio for you?
Being alone in silence for long periods.

Silence contains :
Secure solitude. Nobody is coming.
High ceiling, good light.
Tidy warm broad floors. I work on the floor.
To see far out to horizon.

What is your favorite film?
I was 100% a movie enthusiastic for 40 years up till 2003,
when I moved far from all cinemas and out of the city,
and soon after that my TV fell on the floor and broke down.
Coincidence ? I don’t think so …
Pretty quick I found other stuff to do. I do not miss that gadget a bit.

In films I appreciated an overall atmosphere that hooked the watcher.

I have forgotten all other movies except those of Woody Allen’s,
and Alice’s Restaurant with Arlo Guthrie.

Amazing how all others are erased.

Year and a half ago I was lured to accompany and started going to the movies again,
and I was totally surprised how the cinema experience as a whole had changed in 12 years.
But nope, I did not get hooked anymore.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
A Lover of Love, A Lover of Life and a True Follower of The Universe.
We could have fun together. (Not yet met. Is it my cooking ?)

How do you like to spoil yourself?
I like strong coffee and biscuits.

What is luxury for you?
Strong coffee and biscuits.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
Nicest compliment ? Compliments…huh.
Myself – I do not give compliments. I speak from heart or not at all.

The most beautiful sentences, however, ever said to me, about me, as an artist or as a human, are these:
” The way you live, and what you are doing now… the others are just beginning to dream of doing that in the future. ”
” You are the most sensitive artist I have ever met. ”
” You are the very peak of the whole humanity. ”

One of these might have been from my astrological analysis : D

What do you fear most?
Let’s put it this way : I appreciate fearlessness.

What is a happy life to you?
Nothing. I do not seek a happy life.
Instead I am on a Quest to Find out How to Live a Good life.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Boring ?

Regular means stagnation. Routines are good.

I do have routines, when I decide to achieve something, in art, in anything.
But routines can and will be changed according to my needs.

I am a very hard worker, and a hard worker like me builds her own routines to focus and refine her labour,
but there, essentially, one thing is needed :
the ability to differentiate the point where one has to let go of the routines and start flying.
Routines are the runway.

Stagnated regular has little to do with my creativity.

Tell us about your dream project.
Hmm ? It is always the next one of course, so how could I yet tell about it ? haha Okay :
Days filled with laughter and love, nights of passion, minds and bodies in deep connection,
peace on Earth and endless confidence to The Universe. Sponsored.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
I try very hard not to have any role models.

People are not what they seem, nobody is one-sided –
and hope and expectations are the worst kind of poison, so no –
I do not have any role models.

Inspiration from somebody particular ? No, I hope not.
Inspiration comes from so many sources, and that’s the way I want.
If I keep all as simple and quiet as possible, I spot those moments as they arrive in me
and not get confused about the source.
But mainly because I am trying to listen to me. What does me say ?

But I do find some individuals and their words of wisdom very encouraging in my moments of doubt.

Agnes Martin and thoughts like Silence on the floor of my House is probably the most important one.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
I am.

Basically that’s what I do.

Time is irrelevant. Somehow it does not exist.

The perennial structure – The Earth Circling The Sun – has previously seemed of importance
in dividing my working styles in those 4 disciplines according to the weather and light conditions.

But otherwise – I do not have an answer to this question,
and I hope I never will have, except that of Being.

All comes from Being.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
As an analogy – air. Being airy, being light, being not-heavy.

Heaviness is a burden.
Burdens crush.
Crushed don’t live, with or without.

Conclusion : Air might be an analogy to Freedom ?

What inspires you?
Quick happening, slow motion, fluency of life, rhythm, tempo, the play of rays of light, water, silence and solitude. Music.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
I understand I should now give a name, but I can’t. Instead I will say this :
Reading books, reading stories and studies and poetry, reading philosophy and comics,
reading readingreading, reading all my life, reading –
altogether all what I have read
— …r. .e. .a. .d. .i. .n. .g… —
has probably made the most impression in my life.
Life is amazing. Thank you for literature. Thank you for life.

Connect with Tiina via LinkedIn
Check out her awesome Website

Tiina-Hölli-2Photo credits: Veli H

Tiina-Hölli-3Art & Photo: ©TiinaHölli

Tiina-Hölli-4Photo credits: Murat Oktay Danış

Tiina-Hölli-1Art & Photo ©TiinaHölli

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