KRISTINA RISKA (Finnish, b. 1960)
Head with a Burden, 2020
Kristina Riska (Finnish, b. 1960) is one of Scandinavia’s foremost contemporary ceramic artists who has been defying and redefining long-standing precepts of the medium since the 1980s. With nature as her inspiration, her large-scale ethereal vessels explore the interplay of light and shadow as well as demonstrate her meticulous and physically rigorous approach. Although monumental in scale, the thin walls reflect her astute hand apparent upon close inspection of the refined and subtle surface textures and glazing techniques. Riska’s work is also imbued with her intuitive manipulation of the clay where each is an unplanned foray into the unknown as she establishes a non-physical state of mind, an “internal space” that draws upon qualities of quietude, serenity and concentration as well as specific memories of light and shade, which then gives way to the kiln. Her gravity defying forms are therefore each ingrained with the artist’s presence, tangible aspects of her own self.
Riska studied at the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and is senior member of the Arabia Art Department Society in Helsinki. She has exhibited widely and has been recognized with prestigious accolades, including the State’s Suomi Prize in 1995 and a silver medal at the International Ceramic Contest in Mino, Japan in 2002.