February 19, at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St., 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. www.bemiscenter.org
The Scoop: Riitta Ikonen’s work threads memory, myth, imagination and a romantic view of the natural world through a series of long-term projects pursued alone or in conjunction with regular collaborators. Portrait of the artist as a young leaf presents an overview of the artist’s multi-disciplinary responses to experiences, locations and situations, all of which highlight her ability to examine the silent, dynamic potential that exists between people and the world around them. For Eyes as Big as Plates, Ikonen collaborates with photographer Karoline Hjorth to create a photographic series that documents older inhabitants in remote landscapes around the world. The on-going project, which has taken the artists to Norway, the US, Iceland, the United Kingdom, France, Faroe Islands and Finland, was inspired by Scandinavian folklore. Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists. The camera captures the “mythic” time embedded within the image and the participants’ mental transition as they become one with their wearable sculpture and their natural surroundings.