Who would have thought that I could enjoy a flash back in time to my childhood years during a Saturday afternoon stroll through London’s Soho? “Claire Aho: Studio Works” is the first solo exhibition by the Finnish photographer and is placed in the newly revamped Photographers’ Gallery, just seconds away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus.
There I found, staring in front of my eyes, an array of colourful pictures by Claire Aho, who is, you could even say, a Finnish cultural icon. Strangely familiar settings of children’s tea party next to a compression refrigerator UPO, magazine covers from lifestyle publications such as “Me Naiset” and “Viikko” and commercials showcasing Finnish soft drink Jaffa or chocolate brand Fazer. These images from outfits to brands to moods are so ingrained in my memory that it’s almost scary. At the same time, I can’t stop smiling at the innocence of these photographs in comparison to the commercial shots of today.
Claire Aho’s work portrays in pastel colour settings how economic and technological upheaval took over the small backward country of Finland, and turned its citizens to models of modernism. Happy smiley faces reflect in the pictures optimism and content derived from consumerism. In my opinion the exhibition provides an interesting snapshot to the history of Finland for those interested. It is on show until 30 June 2013 and it’s free, so perhaps worth a visit for you too.
16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
(c) Nordic Odyssey, 2013. All rights reserved.