Sirkka Laakkonen possesses a sophisticated and deeply poetic approach to her artistic practice that saturates each painting in her oeuvre with grace and elegance, which provides a direct connection between the artist and viewer. Laakkonen evidently has a strong affinity for nature, which is attested to by the expansive source of inspiration found in the delicate flowers that she so softly depicts with spectacular dexterity that she shares with Margareta Haverman. Laakkonen eloquently channels her philosophical point of view to those who gaze upon her sublime pieces via her evocative exploration of her subject.
Laakkonen is lead wholly by her materials and so the compositional elements of her artwork often develop with a discerning synergy; the final forms and shapes emerge in the late stages of her courageous creative process. This fluid approach fills Laakkonen’s compositions with an intrinsic spirit and raw emotion that the artist transmits through each instantaneous gesture, which is attributed to the pure expression of her innate talent and flawless brushwork that is aligned with Valentine Bartholomew. By allowing herself to organically follow her medium and internal state as she creates, Laakkonen presents limitless opportunities for the viewer to find deep meanings and narratives within her the intricacies of her works.
The gentle attitude that Laakkonen expresses towards her creations suggests an influence from the traditional Baroque style flower painter, Rachel Ruysch. Both artists have the fundamental ability to portray with great tenderness and profound academic skill the sensuality of each individual petal. Further comparisons can be drawn with the Parisian impressionist painter Henri Fantin-Latour who shares Laakkonen’s keen artistic eye and precise brushwork enabling them to bring an innumerous level of depth to their compositions, which builds a sense of mystery as the viewer is lead to ponder the origins of each flower.
Laakkonen’s playful approach to her intricate palette reflects an inspiration taken from Georgia O’Keefe and Claude Monet; these artists utilise a diverse array of hues to denote further meanings and emotive qualities of the works, executed with such sensitivity that their subjects emanate true and sincerely soulful emotion. The misty light cast across their compositions radiates with a deep tranquility and serenity that attests to the softness with which Laakkonen deploys her techniques.
A similar approach is visible in Laakkonen’s portraiture, in which the sentimental connection between artist and sitter transcends the painting and enters the subconscious of the viewer, leaving them with a contented sense of fulfillment. In ‘Toes Facing Each Other’, the relationship depicted between child and pregnant mother is exquisite; their expression is delicately communicated by Laakkonen through the peaceful postures of both figures; Laakkonen encompasses the emotions present in Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Three Ages of Women’ and the respectful reverence of Pompeo Batoni’s ‘The Sacred Family’ while her refined execution maintains an astute level of simplicity and remarkable artistic understanding.
Laakkonen’s paintings overflow with a gentle and tender warmth, her personal message is eloquently shared through her compositions, which are a true testament to her erudite artistic virtuosity. With beautifully understated line and gesture, Laakkonen is able to express the mysteries of her inner thoughts, whilst creating an undeniable bond with the observer, who is overcome by the peaceful and contemplative atmosphere augmented through her wondrously sensitive artworks.