Anna Puhakka, It's easy to look happy, digital print on Dibond, 37 cm x 50 cm

Finnish, b. 1983, playing from Helsinki, Finland

Anna Puhakka (b.1983 Tampere, Finland) is an internationally practicing artist who has a multidisciplinary approach to making art. She explores her relationship to identity, religion, ritual and the balance of power often through her Karelian heritage. Her practice incorporates an array of mediums such as installation, photography, sound, performance, video and text through which she creates atmospheres for the viewers to experience.

Puhakka is also the lead singer and co-songwriter for the band Tristanuevo that in 2013 published their first album “What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Weaker”. Puhakka lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

Thoughts on the Telephone process

The Telephone project caught my interest immediately with its strong concept and cross-disciplinary goal. I was pleasantly surprised with the process of working off another artist’s work, as it forced me to look, study and interpret a work that I probably would have ignored or never known about otherwise. The four weeks to complete the work allowed time for change – for an intensive evolution. I personally spent the majority of time researching and interpreting the concept behind the work I was given. At first I didn't even know in which medium to create my artwork, but eventually I began scripting a story – a poem that eventually translated into a photo-collage called “It's easy to look happy.”. The title of the work came from a line in a film I found during my research, a short film by an unknown artist on youtube that tugged at my heartstrings. The most difficult part of the process was trying to be objective about the original concept of Telephone, to not add my own “words” to the original message, but to look beyond the veil of the artwork I was sent. I really enjoyed creating an artwork from a different angle and being part of a larger endeavor that I believe in.

Painting by Ilke Ilter