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Hilla Kurki was born in Anjalankoski, Finland. She has graduated with Master’s in Art from Aalto University, Finland. Kurki was awarded the Still Life prize in the latest edition of Festival d'Hyères. Her work was showcased in Elles X Paris Photo (2018), highlighting female photographers. She lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

In my ongoing series I photograph myself in dialogue with my late sister’s dresses. Through performative acts and self-portraiture I address the complex process of grief and healing after my sister passed away seven years ago. As a part  of this self-recovery, I am leaning to my family’s legacy of rug-making; the cutting of clothes of the deceased to weft. In my family what could not be used was remodelled, deconstructed and reconstructed, as a form of pragmatic exorcism. And by cutting, sewing and weaving I am working through the dresses, taking back authority of my fate.

Essential in my work is the juxtaposition of a living body and the materiality of textiles. The images portray a play between seeing and touch, the form and the tactility. Using my body and the dresses of my sister I examine the relationship of memories and materialities. Can objects harbor emotions? And can one access these enclosed emotions by intervening with their materiality? In the past years these works have become a tool of finding my identity in the world. The combination of the female nude and the aggressive act of cutting have grown to represent liberation from far more than just grief.