Marjatta Itkonen was born in Finland and immigrated to Canada in 1972. As one of five children and a mother of four of her own, like many women artists of her generation she has been required to balance the creative impulse against the demands of family life.
Throughout her decades-long practice, she has made little distinction between her life and her artwork: they are inseparable. In her recent work, Itkonen creates figurative paper sculptures that recall her relationship with her mother, who remained in Finland when she came to Canada. Her treatment of domestic subject matter and adeptness with human form culminate in poignant visions of the persistence of familial relationships across time and space.
Image credit: Marjatta Itkonen, Touch (detail), 2017, paper, thread, wood, vinyl fabric, 110 X 180 X 130 cms. Photo courtesy of the artist.