Finnish painter Tero Annanolli always knew he wanted to become an artist. As a 5-year-old in kindergarten, he discovered the fascinating world of watercolours and sculpting something out of clay.
“I have been interested in painting ever since,” Tero recalls, adding that he quickly began to experiment with different colours while at the same time creating clay works.
“At my friend’s house, I first came across art books and Rembrandt posters that were fascinating to me. My friend’s mother recognized my talent and gave me materials to work with,” he says.
Tero then went to art school in Kokkola, a town located in the province of Western Finland and the place where he was born and raised. He continued his education at the University of Applied Sciences studying Industrial Design before enrolling at Aalto University from which he graduated in 2004.
The Finnish painter who will hold a creative workshop in Jakarta on November 25 as part of this year’s Indonesian Contemporary Art and Design (ICAD) exhibition often chooses nature elements in his paintings.
“Natural elements fascinate me, like the richness of colours or an object’s challenging form,” Tero explains. “Typical themes of my paintings are flowers, landscapes and boats. In my portrayals of humans, I approach the subject in relation to environment and space. My painting style is very material-driven.”
Another component of Tero’s oeuvre - and still in line with his passion for nature and environment - is the usage of recycled fabrics in his artworks.
“The key issues are surface structure and recycled fabrics such as forsaken table clothes, bedspreads and curtains,” he says. “Recycled fabrics are used as a base material for paintings and I have also combined fabrics with sheet metals in a surprising way.” Tero’s paintings usually comprise of different layers - fabric’s surfaces, patterns and colour - representing the artist’s reflection on various topics.
“I use egg tempera, oil, ink and carbon as painting techniques,” he explains. “Lately, I have been painting a lot with coloured ink. I have been fascinated by many features of ink painting: mostly by its transparency, its power of colour. I also used barbecue sticks for drawing lines in a haphazard fashion.”
Tero won a gold medal in the London Cultural Olympiad 2012, a programme of cultural events across the United Kingdom that accompanied the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics and consequently was a member of the Olympic Fine Arts Association in 2014.
For his workshop in late November, Tero invites participants to use fabrics as a medium of art. He is very grateful to be able to travel to Indonesia for the first time; the Finnish Ambassador and director of ICAD paved the way for Tero’s involvement in the exhibition.
“I am hoping that people will fall in love with my paintings,” Tero said when asked what he expects of his visit to Indonesia. “I am also looking forward to sunny days, good coffee and beautiful flowers. Coincidentally, this will also be my honeymoon.”