In the oil paintings of artist Johanna Laaja (1977–), old Opel cars, pickups, Transit vans and other automobiles have fallen silent and lie abandoned in forest edges and backyards. Over the decades, the well-loved vehicles of yesteryear have gradually fallen apart, but never losing their mysterious charm and edge. In Johanna Laaja’s paintings, natural processes continue around the cars, reaching out, covering and adorning them with threads as past and present are intriguingly intertwined.

In her paintings, Johanna Laaja wants to depict life in the periphery and the emptying of the countryside. For the artist, the abandoned houses and courtyards in the remote, rural areas are a real-life, open-air museum that tells stories of recent history and the way of life of the inhabitants.

The exhibition, which has been touring the municipalities of North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu for a year, will be on display at the Oulu Art Museum in November. Please note that it is not possible to visit the exhibition while the Satula workspace/classroom is occupied. Opening hours can be checked with Oulu Art Museum service desk at 044 703 7471.

Visit Johanna Laaja’s website here.

Exhibition tour schedule:
December 2022: Kärsämäki Library
January 2023: Rantsila Library
February 2023: Sotkamo Library
March 2023: Alavieska Municipal Library
April 2023: Haapajärvi City Library
May 2023: Pyhäntä Municipal Library
June 2023: Sofian Kammari, Utajärvi
July 2023: Kuusamo Library
August 2023: Hapavesi Library
September 2023: Pyhäjärvi Library
October 2023: Tillarigalleria, Nivala
November 2023: Oulu Museum of Art (Satula)