Jyri Ala-Ruona wins The Art of Basware competition

16 April 2015

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April 16, 2015 – Jyri Ala-Ruona has won the sixteenth The Art of Basware competition for young artists. Ala-Ruona, aged 28, won the contest with his work Alma Mater. Basware purchased the winning entry to its collection for EUR 5,000. This year, almost 400 entries took part in the annual international art competition.

Along with the winning entry, the best artwork, 52 works in all, will be on display in an exhibition at the Helsinki Music Centre from April 16 to May 14, 2015. The jury considered this year's competition to be of particular high quality. The theme of the contest was “Achievement”.

Ala-Ruona’s painting is oil on canvas, Alma Mater (100 cm x 70 cm).

Looked from afar, Ala-Ruona’s work stops you – a strange photograph on which colors have been painted. No – it is a detailed painting of a human face, showing fine technical skill. The different layers on skin depict the possibility of change and people’s ability to receive new perceptions. A genuinely fine and skilled piece of art,” says the exhibition committee’s chair Paula Holopainen, representative of the Finnish Painters’ Union.

The competition winner, Ala-Ruona, lives and works in Lahti, Finland. He has studied at the Lahti Institute of Fine Arts and established the art community Hydra in the city with five other artists. Ala-Ruona took part in the competition for the second time.

This work originated from a community art project and dialogue between the artist and the model”, Ala-Ruona tells us about his piece. ”The work refers to divinity, mother of studies and existence in this world. It is essential that the person looks back from the painting via skin, not eyes. I wanted to bring a slightly different perspective here. It is allowed for the signs of life to be visible.

Ala-Ruona works slowly, without any rush. The thin, layered and translucent color surfaces need time to dry up.

Painting is associated with a continuous state of fermentation and possibility of change. In this work, one must accept uncertainty. An artist’s work is a struggle – you continuously have to question things and be incorruptible,” Ala-Ruona describes his occupation.

Paula Holopainen, expert from the Finnish Painters’ Union, was again the chair of the jury of the art competition for young artists under 30 years of age. In addition, the jury included Raija Heikkilä (Finnish Painters’ Union), Anna Ruth, a visual artist and curator and producer of several art exhibition projects, as well as Basware’s Chief Marketing Officer Steve Muddiman, Marketing Director, Finland, Marika Kohonen, and Communications Director Sirje Ahvenlampi-Hyvönen.

The way in which the annually changed theme is to be handled and realized is not limited; the artists can interpret the subject freely as they see fit. This year also saw several video entries submitted.

Basware purchases the winning entry for its art collection, which now consists of nearly 100 artworks, for EUR 5,000. The competition grows each year with the winning entry as well as other works of art. The competition entries are on display and sale at an exhibition at the Helsinki Music Centre from April 16 to May 14, 2015. Last year’s winner was Toni R. Toivonen with “Jonkin on hajottava – Something must break”.

Additional information on The Art of Basware:
www.basware.com/art, on Facebook, on Twitter #ArtofBasware, and the works can also be seen at Pinterest.

Artist Jyri Ala-Ruona: http://jyrialaruona.blogspot.fi/

For more information, please contact:

Sirje Ahvenlampi-Hyvönen
Communications Director, Basware
sirje.ahvenlampi@basware.com, tel. +358 50 557 3822

Paula Holopainen, chair of the exhibition committee, Finnish Painters’ Union, tel. +358 40 719 4790

Basware

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