Defence in the field of Contemporary Art: MA Anne Sunila

My artistic research on Dimensional - Lived Spatiality maps knowledge from the artist’s point of view obtaining its meaning in the context of artistic work.

MA Anne Sunila will defend the dissertation Dimensional - Lived Spatiality. Art of Painting Based on The Environment on Friday 15 March 2019.

Opponent: Prof. Pauline von Bonsdorff, University of Jyväskylä

Custos: Prof. Harri Laakso

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My artistic research on Dimensional - Lived Spatiality maps knowledge from the artist’s point of view obtaining its meaning in the context of artistic work. The goal of the research is to expand on know-how of personal knowledge and activity, which is not based only on referred data, but allows the practice of know-how to demonstrate issues, whereby it creates its own potential conditions.  (Michel de Certeau 2013)

First three parts of the research deals with the background context of perceptual art of painting, the artist’s work history in this regard, the method of artistic research as well as definitions on the nature of place and space. Four following parts focuses on addressing the artistic project City Places, Paris - Helsinki (20092015), which formed the starting point for the research, and the subsequent artistic project. Especially the parts six and seven outline the artistic work process in relation to place and space in the city environment through verbal description, narrative and conceptual analyses. It maps also the artist’s world of experience within the work process, which stretches from perceptual work in the city environment to the artist’s studio and evolving works. The research aims to identify the multidimensional event of the artistic work process, to name ways of visual/artistic thinking and to expand on views and conceptual background assumptions that are verified in connection with visual practice. Research is governed by the artist’s openness and commitment to artistic work as the kind of opportunity that opens up above mentioned issues.

Spatiality is a central concept in understanding artistic work based on environmental perception. It defines the whole environment as a unified continuum, where different dimensions materialize with regard to elements, material properties and pieces as well as the perceiving artist. In artistic work this entity cannot be placed under external observation, instead it appears as a lived possibility. The artist is situated in the space in body and perspective and she figures, from there the spreading out of the spatiality as well as her own spatial being. However, spatiality does not easily proportion itself to the concrete world of artistic activity, as represented by work in the environment. 

The idea of dimensionality would be a better match in this regard. The artist interprets place/space as bodily movement, dimensionality and different sensory perceptions and sensations arising from the dimensional surroundings. The gaze of the painter extends in the space of depth and the concept of dimensionality allows imaginary dimensionality, a kind of ability to touch with mediums and gaze, progress in the surroundings, and turns also to psyche, memory and bodily sensations. The research brings up reciprocal opening, which takes place under influential relationships between the environment, the artist and the works. With regard to city places, three working trips to Paris took place in 2009, 2012 and 2016 as well as two solo exhibitions Dimension-Wander 2010 and Subreal 2015.


The dissertation notice and the published dissertation are placed for public display at Väre (Otanimementie 14), at least 10 days before the defence date.

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