Essential for life, the eternal, ubiquitous substance, the preserving, destroying, seducing salt has been a continuous ingredient in Mirka Raito’s working process, visible and invisible, pulling the colour together or glistening on the surface of the paper.

“Old salt, vanha suola, makes you thirsty, like the alluring ex-lover’s pull, in a Finnish saying. In more general terms, there are things and ingredients in life such as salt that never vanish, but morph into another form appearing again as a mark, stain, tears, sweat, from skin…With my art, I am working through old bumps of my past, that still today affect life, that still sting like salt in a wound. I find something intimate and universal, something exquisite in salt, evoked images of landscapes and traces, of taste and scent.

In the exhibition OLD SALT I present new paintings and collages in ensemble with different frames and fabrics. My work process is both play and survival, an attempt to find solid ground for lightness and to clarify internal and external chaos. I enjoy material surprises that arise when combining ink, pigment, acrylic, liquids, salt, papers and found objects. I have been experimenting with symmetry and random forms, like in my acrylic collages made with the so-called Rorschach technique. I am fascinated by the idea of multi-layered and seducing images that can at the same time resemble the (human) body or its parts, an intimate encounter, an experience with music or nature, a handwritten letter... Through my work I strive to create a free space; a connection between personal and universal, secret and joke, surreal and real.”

Mirka Raito, Hamburg, 13.11.2022