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Meet Kreetta Järvenpää SHIFT 2022 participant

Kreetta Järvenpää

Tell me about your background? How did you end up making art?
I have always loved creating things. When I was a teenager my dream occupation was clothing designer, I made lots of clothing during those years but when the time came I could not get into designer school. Instead of that, I got a studying place at Turku University in Cinema and Television Studies. I also studied communication and art history. I have always had more than one thing I’ve been interested in. I let go of my dream to be a clothing designer because at the end of the day it wasn’t what I really wanted even though I finally got to one school. But also theoretical approach wasn’t enough for me and went after making videos and photography. I got into the University of Lapland. I graduated in 2005. My graduation work was a photography exhibition that was staged fashion photographs. I made the clothing from second-hand clothing and fabrics and photographed them as editorial fashion photographs. I was super interested in photography but I had huge disbelief if I ever could be one. 
But after I finally decided that I want to be a photographer things begin to go easily. I got a place as a photographer’s assistant in 2004 in Helsinki. 2006  I began as a photographer in one big publishing house and worked there till 2014. I became a freelancer in 2014. I photograph food, the interior, and flowers. 2016 I decided to learn flower photography. I wanted to make my own floral design and arrangements so I organized flower workshops with floral designers at my workspace, I went to learn floral work at different kinds of flower workshops abroad, studied and talked with professionals and soon I noticed that I was teaching both: flower arrangement and photographing the work. Why flowers? Photography wasn’t enough anymore for me.  I wanted to create with my hands and working with flowers is very spot on that.
How do you describe the features of your artwork?
My photography and flower work are rich and deep, an abundance of colours and textures. Most of my works have a strong movement and composition. There is the ethereal atmosphere and in that sense a space too. I try to create an unreal or surreal world with flowers. Flowers have been an object since – from the day they were discovered. They have been here longer than any of us.  My style gets inspiration from 17th-century paintings, subjects and the use of light. Some of my works have a strong melancholy mood. I think my flowers open senses and they make it easy to get more familiar with your inner world. In other words, I hope my art gives a viewer a personal moment of experience.
What or who your inspiration is?
My inspiration is the Dutch 17th-century master’s use of light. I am also inspired by the floral still life by Rachel Ruych and other artists. 
My inspiration comes from many different kind of things. nature, light, music ( I play a lot of music when working with flowers), movies, good morning coffee, wind, seasons, travels, places, other artists, exhibitions, books etc. My approach to flowers is related to childhood, my mother was good at gardening and I helped her. I inherited an orange tree that I have at my workspace from my mom 2016 when she passed away. My mom grew it from the seed of an orange she bought from the grocery store in 1965. Nature and movement, circle of life that I am also inspired by.
What are your new realizations since you’ve started the SHIFT program?

Till now I’ve got many good tips of many practical things. Like what to consider when you make exhibitions in co-work with a museum or other institution. We also have discussed development as an artist and it has been lovely to hear other artists’ stories. We have had very good workshops with talented people.

Flora Favola, Kreetta Järvenpää, 2022.

What positive effect has the SHIFT program given you?
It has opened me more to the real world of art and it is interesting to hear other artists’ stories and what questions they have in their minds. We often have the same questions. SHIFT has given knowledge that I have needed.
Which artist’s career stage can make the most from the SHIFT program?
Well, I’m quite in the beginning, I think and it is good for me. I think this program is a good way to find where you are as an artist right now. 
What are your future ambitions or dreams?
My dream is to develop as an artist and have a big exhibition abroad. One of my dreams is coming true next autumn. I have a big exhibition in Poikilo Museum in Kouvola. Flora Favola exhibition will open in September 2023 and there will be one of my very favorite artist with me, Heikki Marila and his big beautiful paintings. They are inspired by the very same subject as mine.
Talking about future, I want to get deeper with my art. I dream that someday I have a garden and workspace next to it. Huge garden with full of plants blooming that I can use in my work. It is not about easy working it is a lot about the ecological way to work with flowers. Of course, it would be cool to have a gardener who takes care of it 🙂 

SHIFT 2023 signup form is open, read more about next years program here!
Or if you wish to participate in Finnish check out: APOLLO 2023 here!

All images by Kreetta Järvenpää Website Kreetta on Instagram