Exhibition: Familiar Stranger
In the summer of 2021, Elina Priha spent two weeks in solitude on an island that belongs to her maternal family. The island is called ‘Kalmonsaari’ which means Island of Dead Bodies. Despite the ominous name, some of the artist's fondest childhood memories are from this island. Their family has spent summer holidays there since the cottage was built by Elina's grandfather in 1972.
That's how Elina describes her summer experience:
'During the two weeks I spent alone on the island, I reflected on my relationship with the place and its inhabitants. Though I consider Kalmonsaari as one of the places I am most familiar with, on the island I am still a visitor and I have no knowledge of what happens to/in the island in winter. Childhood memories, imagination, past and present started to blend in interesting ways. I started to see the island in a more complex way. The island and I were both familiar strangers to each other. I kept thinking whether we had been good to the island like it had been good to us.'
The exhibition shows a collection of iterations based on these memories. The process is still on-going, and the artist will return to the island again this summer.