Playful Claire Aho in London’s Photographers’ Gallery

Claire Aho's representation of Finnish daily life during 1970's

Claire Aho’s representation of Finnish daily life during 1970’s is showcased in London’s Photographers’ Gallery

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.

Revamped Phtoographers' Gallery in London's Soho

Revamped Phtoographers’ Gallery in London’s Soho

Some humour shots by Claire Aho to advertise Finnish soft drink brand, Jaffa, and beer brand

Some humour shots by Claire Aho to advertise Finnish soft drink brand, Jaffa, and beer brand, Erikois Olut.

Paulig coffee is still known for its Paula-tytto (Paula girl) concept. Every year since 1904 a new Paula is chosen to represent and champion the Finnish coffee brand in a number of PR and advertisement campaigns. Paula girl evolves over time but traditions and heritance are being respected.

Paulig coffee is still known for its Paula-tytto (Paula girl) concept. Every year since 1904 a new Paula is chosen to represent and champion the Finnish coffee brand in a number of PR and advertisement campaigns. Paula girl evolves over time but traditions and hesitance are still being respected.

How innocent did the magazine covers look back in the day

How innocent did the magazine covers look back in the day?

Magazine covers photographed by Claire Aho. Even though the pictures are from 1960s-1970s, the chair in the cover of an interior magazine "Kaunis Koti" (Beautiful Home) could be easily found in today's Elle Decoration

Magazine covers photographed by Claire Aho. Even though the pictures are from 1960s-1970s, the chair in the cover of an interior magazine “Kaunis Koti” (Beautiful Home) could be easily found in today’s Elle Decoration.

Contact:

Photographers’ Gallery
16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW

(c) Nordic Odyssey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Playful Claire Aho in London’s Photographers’ Gallery

  1. Wow, what a blast from the past! This looks like a fascinating exhibition, the retro prints are brilliant.

    • Thank you Elly! I’m not sure how people who haven’t grown up in Finland take the prints but for me it was definitely an experience of going back in time.

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