Jonna Kina @ Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall
Stimulated by a relationship between anarchism and the marble industry and the desire to work with sculpture and film, Kina researched the quarries of Carrara during the winter of 2017/18. The exploitation of natural resources since Roman times continues to transform the landscape on an immense scale, reflecting what this particularly valuable white mineral has grown to signify in Western culture. The artist became fascinated with both the unique structures of the mined landscape and the various techniques of stone-working. In Kina’s images, the chopped mountain walls, sculpted in time, lose the traces of human activity as she uses cinematic tools to meditate on the conflicts of nature and culture.
Artisanal work and the art of carving marble is the flip side of a labour-intense industry and, nowadays, the traditional sculpture studios of the region benefit from digital technologies and robotic engraving. Using these new approaches, Kina produces a new sculptural work in relation to the film, making reference to both the classical motifs of statuary and the industrial methods of the quarries.
Jonna Kina, the selected artist for Below Zero Finnish Art Prize, is invited to work within Beaconsfield’s tradition of outward facing, public residency. Artists are encouraged to respond to the unique physical character of the venue and the distinctive creative identity of Beaconsfield. Visual and audio field work carried out by Kina at the site, constitutes raw material for the Below Zero commission; to be developed during the artist’s residency with Beaconsfield, for exhibition from 7 March. A catalogue will be published to celebrate the prize.
Pauliina Ståhlberg, Director of The Finnish Institute in London, commented: "It´s great to be building bridges through art and culture in these times of division and Brexit. Jonna Kina´s work brings together Europe´s shared history and present through art and, materially, through marble. It has been wonderful to be able to give a talented artist the opportunity to be mentored and shown by a reputable London gallery like Beaconsfield. Kina´s career is taking off and we´re happy to be introducing her to the London art scene.”