In summer 2020, the Finnish Museum of Photography is exhibiting the works of photographer Sanna Kannisto (b. 1974) – spanning a period of 20 years – which will be Kannisto’s largest exhibition to date. Sense of Wonder is a cross section of the artist’s career, including her long-term photographic work at research stations in the rainforests of South America and her more recent project at the Hanko Bird Observatory. The diverse nature of the rainforest and the migratory birds of the north are a mesmerizing part of the exhibited works.
Sanna Kannisto’s métier is nature photography. Like her role models, she sees herself both as a scientist and an artist. In fact, her analytical insight is equal in every way to her creativity and passion. She creates moments of extraordinary beauty while, at the same time, bringing to light what has been previously remained hidden. Sanna Kannisto has her very own method of photographing birds against a white backdrop bathed in light: Removed from their usual surroundings, each and every detail appears in unparalleled clarity, enabling their precise study. Created in the process is a unique visual aesthetic: Feathers glow brightly; beating wings take on a majestic quality; and the deep black eyes of the birds seem to gaze insistingly into the camera. Sanna’s patience in realizing these photographs has proven to be well worthwhile. It is simply hard to imagine that photographs of birds could be more beautiful.
Sanna Kannisto’s work has long been influenced by her collaboration with scientists and her interest in observing nature. Kannisto is, in a way, a scientist-artist who is compiling her own collection. In her work, she explores her role at the research stations working alongside scientists, the ways in which information can be produced and interpreted as well as the tradition she has been part of. A strong desire for personal, expressive narration is also present in her work. Concern for the state of nature, the diminishing number of bird and insect species, for example, are important issues for the artist. With her visually beautiful photographs, Kannisto strives to elicit an emotional reaction that may also influence the attitudes of her audience.
About – SANNA KANNISTO (*1974, Hämeenlinna, Finland) studied photography at the Turku School of Art and Communication and at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. Her work is on display in numerous exhibitions and renowned collections. In 2017, she won the William Thuring Prize of the Finnish Art Society.
EXHIBITION : Sense of Wonder . Finnish Museum of Photography . 10 June – 13 September, 2020.
BOOK : Sanna Kannisto – Observing Eye Text(s) by Barbara Hofmann-Johnson, graphic design by Juha Nenonen . English 2020 . 144 pp., 76 ills. hardcover 25.00 x 29.00 cm . ISBN 978-3-7757-4791-2 . 40 EUR . hatjecantz.de/sanna-kannisto