ARTIST INTERVIEW / Hai Club (Jenny Suhonen, Pauli Tapola, Iiris Kaarlehto)

How did the Hai Club get started?
Jenny: Me and Iiris are in the same course at Vapaa Taidekoulu, and Pauli was nearly graduated from the same school. One night we were sitting at school, trying to paint, but nothing would come. Then, we just decided to start drawing.

How do you create the collective works? Jenny & Iiris: We all start drawing at the same time. Usually we divide the pallet, and use different color markers and pencils. We draw for some time, then someone says “change”, we rotate the paper in either direction and continue the work by drawing on top of one another. When the work is done, we can start a new one.

Are the results sometimes surprising, even to you?
Jenny: Quite often, while we draw there aren’t really any rules or instructions in mind and change during the process is perfectly acceptable.
Iiris: While working together associations arise which alone could take years to come across. Actually, collective drawing is really a game of association.

Have your works already incurred some sort of recognizable style? Iiris: These works frequently show bugs and people. Often the first to draw shows the bottom of something non-representational or a landscape, and the following artist uses that to create characters or modes.
Jenny: Drawings, which we do together, don’t really bear any resemblance to any of our own individual work. In fact, they could have been made by one person. In the gallery people have asked us, who among us has done which drawings.
Iiris: While drawing we easily create a common feeling: if someone has a bad day, while drawing it can have a negative influence on the rest of us.
Jenny: But on the other hand it is often just the opposite: Draw a compelling view, and my bad feeling is forgotten.

What happens to the work after the show?
Iiris: The most interesting thing about collective work is the process, so initially we thought that the completed work was not terribly relevant. Surprisingly, people have been excited about them and wanted to buy more work in varying combinations.
Jenny: For the gallery we presented work that showed world of color. Combining these works side by side has borne a fun narrative. It would be great to collect the works into some sort of book.

Hai Club exhibition was held at Napa 21.7.-1.8.2010

Coming up: Iiris Kaarlehto, Jenny Suhonen, Enni Suominen and Riika Saarinen at B-galleria, Turku, 5.2. – 27.2. 2011

Interview: Verna Kuutti
Translation: Edna Nelson


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