Long Long Longing, Unfolding the Night
15 September –12 November 2023

Long Long Longing, Unfolding the Night deals with waiting, care, as well as the physical and mental pains and forms caused by changes in the body. The installation consists of metal, stone and textile sculptures that have arisen from nocturnal observations, the weight of sleep deprivation, longing, as well as coming to terms with the limits and finitude of life and one’s own body.

The exhibition presents drawings, sketches of the body’s changing shapes and sensations. The shapes are inspired by letters, numbers, comics, the human body, and musical notes. Unfolding refers to unwrapping and revealing. Folds are visible in the creases of fabrics and in select pieces of inner states and bits of intimacy. Confessions are bursting through the seams, the important ones have imprints and they are carefully bound together.

I have delved into stone as a material and the bodily imagery it evokes, its temperatures, and its art historical framework. The stone has preserved knowledge for an eternity. The white-grey mineral used for these works was found among the leftovers of the artists working at the Tattarisuo stone workshop. These become crescent nails, incomplete moons, boomerangs, with which we dig for evidence in our personal history. The stone also serves as a bowl and a night light. The polished, translucent stone brings to mind bones, the structures that support our organs and flesh. Even family is a kind of structure that carries and supports us. My most recent work deals with the attachment bond brought about by motherhood, and I contemplate on the family as a broader network that extends beyond the nuclear family. 

At night, the body folds into rest. At this moment, the stiff body resembles a foldable wooden garden chair that needs to be forced to compress. Breasts brimming with milk, like wet dog noses, feeling the cool air, waiting to be pecked. The breathing of those asleep, a monotonous soundtrack, trying to calm wandering thoughts. The body is in some kind of liminal state: in constant change, seeking peace. 

Lull, lull, let the night in.

Emma Jääskeläinen (b. 1988) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2019. The starting point for her sculptures is often the human body and the experiences stored within it. A kind of slowing down and sensitivity are important starting points for her art, which questions our prevailing society’s focus on technology, innovation, and speed. In her recent works, Jääskeläinen has explored parenthood and thereby different relationships and responsibilities towards other people, organisms and the environment. This year, her works have been exhibited at the Vleeshal Center for Contemporary Art in the Netherlands, and in the autumn, they will be shown in France as part of the Paris+ par Art Basel.


The artist’s work is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The exhibition is supported by the Finnish Heritage Agency.