Works on Paper and Screen

September 7th – September 29th, 2018

Galleria Kuvitus, Helsinki

Galleria Kuvitus features Laura Laine’s private exhibition, consisting of original drawings and a glass sculpture by the best-known contemporary Finnish fashion illustrator. For the first time, the exhibition also showcases an animation created by Laura Laine, Lari Tarvainen and Marko Laine. Audio design is done by Sami Suova.

For the past nine years, Laura Laine has worked primarily as an artist and illustrator on a global scale, holding both exhibitions and working as an illustrator for a diverse international clientele. Laine has illustrated ad campaigns for such clients as Givenchy, Pantene and Harvey Nichols, and her works have been featured in international top publications such as The New York Times and Vogue. She has also designed stamps, illustrated books and designed prints and fabrics for Marimekko, for example. She collaborates with renowned photographer Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio as one of their fashion illustrators. This collaboration has resulted in several exhibitions, one of which as a collaborative exhibit with model Kate Moss.

HENNA HIETAMÄKI: ‘How did you develop your style?’

LAURA LAINE: ‘My style has developed quite organically from the things that I have been interested in drawing. I have never calculated anything in terms of what would be commercially successful. I think that the less you have to struggle with the work in your mind, the better it will be. One of the levels in my work is that they illustrate fashion. Another, more personally meaningful level is associated with atmosphere, emotions, mass, composition and rhythmics.’

HH: ‘What is best about being an illustrator, what is most challenging?’

LL: ‘The best and also the most challenging part is doing something that you love for a living. The challenge is to maintain that love and personal interest in the work. Client work sometimes means having to compromise and work mechanically, which is fatal to creativity. It is important for me to be able to create artwork from an artistic perspective without restrictions. This also breathes life into client work. On the other hand, client work can, at best, be hugely inspirational and sometimes force you out of your comfort zone to reach new heights.’

Installation view, Laura Laine, Girl 1 – 4, film, edition of 5, duration 5 min 51 sec, 2018. Courtesy of Galleria Kuvitus and the Finnish Association of Illustration; photograph: Emilia Alm

Laura Laine has had some of her works briefly animated before, but her long-time dream has been to create some kind of piece together with others. Girl 1-4 (2018), which is now on display for the first time, is a composite of different moods. It presents four mystical female figures who seem to transcend the boundaries of physical form. Technology merges with flesh; an intentional glitch breaks the calm. The woman is organic, dark and flickering – and then Venus, as she emerges from the water. Glimmering water and reflections eventually give way to sensual softness.

The exhibition was a part of Helsinki Design Week 2018’s official festival programme and it was supported by Pro Av Saarikko Oy. Special thanks to Mikko Pekkinen and Aleksi Pihkanen.

Adapted and edited  from the original exhibition text done for Galleria Kuvitus, published on March 7th, 2019. Artist Interview questions by HENNA HIETAMÄKI, originally published in KUVITTAJA Magazine 3/2018.


Laura Laine’s (b. 1983, Helsinki) works have been included in exhibitions in Tokyo, London, New York, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Helsinki, among others. Her works may be found in private collections, Benetton’s Imago Mundi collection and the collection of the Helsinki Design Museum.

Working group

Marko Laine / Lari Tarvainen / Sami Suova

For art and illustrator enquiries please contact the illustrator directly.