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Photographer pushing the boundaries of human body in nature – interview with Konsta Linkola

Konsta Linkola´s photography exhibition Avanto (Icy Waters) is a portrayal of the collision of a human body and ice cold water. The exhibition will be on display at the Bang Bang Gallery in Helsinki, Finland 14.9.2017-7.1.2018. Finnish Art Agency interviewed Konsta about his work and the Avanto-exhibition.

Hi Konsta, tell us what made you interested in photography?

When I was studying at junior high school I started to explore the nature and environment. While my childhood I spent lot of time in the local woods and light and darkness got kind of a new meaning. The actual idea of photographing came from the older scouting friends of mine and I fell in love with photographing.

How do you choose the subject?  Where do you get the inspiration from?

The themes of my works represent my venturesome and nature loving lifestyle. I get inspired by different hiking cultures and living next to the nature. Sometimes I found the inspiration from sitting in a sauna in silence and in turn from the extreme trips to ice fields and mountains. I am interested in to know why people want to get in touch with the nature and how they are executing it.

Your exhibition at Bang Bang Gallery discourses with ice swimming and is called “Avanto” (Icy Waters). Why did you choose precisely this subject?

Ice swimming is one of the most extraordinary examples of Finns nature relationship. There is something very ordinary in it and even inhabitants who have lost their touch with the nature can identify themselves by it. The inspiration for Avanto came from my own ice swimming experience: the experience was something from shock to euphoric well being. The spectrum of emotions and the contrast was something I wanted to photograph at close quarters.

What do you want to say through your nature-themed photographs?

I want people to think about their relationship with the nature and encourage them to experience something life lasting. We are taking many beautiful and fascinating things for granted and hopefully someone who views my pictures will start to value these unique things. My pictures are about human beings attendance in the nature and about the marks we leave behind.

What is the most unforgettable filming memory of yours?

While filming the Avanto we went to Valkiajärvi and photographed ice swimming underneath water. We had a great team to work with including a professional diver. Despite the wetsuit and overalls being under the water was an earthmoving experience. It felt like thousands knives were hitting on me. The filming situation was extreme it was impossible to plan the final photograph and I just needed to trust my own eye. Nevertheless I was able to concentrate and everything went well eventually.

What is coming next? What kind of projects would you like to explore in the future?

Although I am a new operator in the art world I want to keep developing myself as an advertisement photographer and visual artist as well. My goal is to break the boundaries between these two matters. Besides the Avanto I am working on with a photography series with my hiking photographs. Though I have photographed the Avanto-series three winters already it seems there is still more to discover and I am going to work the series further. I am aiming to take the series elsewhere in Finland and abroad as well.

Bang Bang Gallery is located at Aalto EE premises at Aalto University School of Business, Runeberginkatu 14–16, second floor.

Open by appointment.
+358 50 5110765

All images by Konsta Linkola see more.