Archive for March, 2015

Marjatta Levanto & Julia Vuori: Leonardo. Oikealta vasemmalle [Leonardo. From right to left]

6 March 2015 | Mini reviews, Reviews

leonardoLeonardo. Oikealta vasemmalle
[Leonardo. From right to left]
Teksti [Text by]: Marjatta Levanto
Kuvitus [Ill. by]: Julia Vuori
Design: Dog Design
Helsinki: Teos, 2014. 113 pp., ill.
ISBN 978-951851-467-4
€34.90, hardback

This handsome non-fiction book is a lavishly illustrated biography of the 15th-century Italian artist genius Leonardo da Vinci. The title refers to the fact that he employed ‘mirror’ writing in his diaries and notebooks. Art historian Marjatta Levanto has published several works on art for children and young people, and many of them have been illustrated by Julia Vuori. Leonardo introduces to the reader the world of the Italian renaissance, the artist’s astonishing and unique inventions – such as various human flying devices – his philosophical writings, his anatomical studies and his magnificent paintings and drawings. Julia Vuori’s amusing little vignettes and larger, colourful illustrations comment on the narrative and mingle with the text and the reproductions of Leonardo’s artwork. Some pictures are printed on transparent pages. This beautiful book is a treasure trove to a reader of any age.

The passing of time

2 March 2015 | Extracts, Fiction, Prose

In 1999 the Musée Nicéphore Niépce invited the young Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus to Chalon-sur-Saône in Burgundy, France, as a visiting artist.

After initially qualifying as an analytical chemist, Brotherus was then at the beginning of her career as a photographer. Everything lay before her, and she charted her French experience in a series of characteristically melancholy, subjective images.

Twelve years on, she revisited the same places, photographing them, and herself, again. The images in the resulting book, 12 ans après / 12 vuotta myöhemmin / 12 years later (Sémiosquare, 2015) are accompanied by a short story by the writer Riikka Ala-Harja, who moved to France a little later than Brotherus.

In the event, neither woman’s life took root in France. The book represents a personal coming-to-terms with the evaporation of youthful dreams, a mourning for lost time and broken relationships, a level and unselfpitying gaze at the passage of time: ‘Life has not been what I hoped for. Soon it will be time to accept it and mourn for the dreams that will never come true. Mourn for the lost time, my young self, who no longer exists.’

1999 Mr Cheval's nose

1999 Mr Cheval’s nose