Verna Kovanen (b.1989) is a visual artist working with the mediums of photography and video. Her work has been seen during the last years internationally in several solos and group shows exhibited in Finland, Russia, and Austria. Her video piece TRACKS took part at Aqua Art Miami fair 2018. In 2016 she published her first photo book called Invisibles – true stories about imaginary friends. At the moment she is graduating from Visual Culture, Curating and Contemporary Art master´s program at Aalto University. Kovanen works also as another half of 55-98 artist duo and as a dancer member of Pina Bounce Dance Company.
My most recent work Broken Holiday tells the story of Mediterranean holiday resorts when they are asleep and put into a seasonal waiting mode. It also tells a story about us, travelers and tourists. The themes of memory, expectations, and habits play a key role in my work as I also reflect on my own childhood holidays spent at the same kind of locations. The series raises up questions about the concept of tourism and traveling in general. Are we always traveling to see new places or more on the mental stage to get ourselves out of something? Are we actually buying escapism as a consumer product? Are we doing this based on our needs or working on the habit in autopilot mode?
The questions relate to identity, imagination, memory, and dreams are always somehow in my thinking while doing my artistic practice. The family´s storage full of photo albums, diaries, and stuff offers me the main source of inspiration at the starting point. The way we write our personal history through photography in the family albums and our social media feeds get me forward. I could say my art is always a bit of autobiographical and lens-based.
In addition to lens based techniques I am working on with some mixed media pieces including textiles, rug making and embroidery. I see my works as a cocktail of machine and hand-made visuals, as wells as personal experience and collective consciousness.