Raija Jokinen

Raija Jokinen is a textile artist from Finland. Alot of her work uses fibre and is based on and references the body and ‘the borderlines of physical and immaterial feelings’.

I discovered her work through various searches within Pinterest and was really interested in a body of work where she uses paper and paper yarn in intriguing ways. Seemingly unstructured wrapping and weaving painted in a nieve way.

I really like the rawness of these pieces and the simple unstructured nature of them. They seem to be simply woven in on themselves rather than using a particular formal technique. The use of paper yarn has similarities to some of my pieces in my major project but also I feel some of the essence of them can be carried through to my work.



Having visited several museums to view human remains and the way it is displayed, I have become more and more fascinated by the science behind bone analysis ‘Osteology‘.

What has become apparent, and references to my own recent work for item 5 around remnants and hidden memory, is that human bones contain within them some of the story of life of the person. A lot can be discovered from careful examination of human remains, and not just height and sex. Often the cause of death, type of diet, population characteristics, personal idiosyncracies, dietary behaviour etc can all be discovered.

This built in memory / history is a perfect continuation of my exploration around death and memory.

Life, Death and that moment in between – James Duck

I have discovered a piece of work by James Duck that really excited me! His piece ‘Life, Death and that moment in between’ is a very clever visualization of our fragile existence and an exploration of that brief moment between life and death.

He placed a series of hand made ceramic pieces into a vending machine and asked viewers to ‘purchase’ an item. As each one is dispensed by the machine it is smashed, rendering it useless.

This piece of work also explores contemporary consumption.


Ai Wei Wei – Remains

Remains is a new piece of work by Ai Wei Wei created for his current exhibition at The Royal Academy.

This piece of work has come about after Ai was given a set of bones excavated from a clandestine archeological dig of a known mao labour camp where chinese radical intellectuals had been held (similar to Ai’s own father). Ai Wei Wei has had these bones recreated meticulously in porcelain, a material highly prized by the chinese.

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Grave goods

After my visit to the death exhibition in Prague, I have been considering the relation of grave goods to the work I have been doing with item 5 of my main project.

Clay vessels were often left in graves and thought to contain food for the journey into the afterlife.


Another interesting aspect is that because of the time and age of the graves the vessels are often broken.

In museums to display these they are often pieced together to give an idea of the original form.

I have started to reconsider the vessels that broke during the firing process.


Charles Baudelaire – A Carrion

A Carrion By Charles Baudelaire Translated By — Geoffrey Wagner, Selected Poems of Charles Baudelaire (NY: Grove Press, 1974)

A Carrion

Do you remember the thing we saw, my soul,
That summer morning, so beautiful, so soft:
At a turning in the path, a filthy carrion,
On a bed sown with stones,

Legs in the air, like a lascivious woman,
Burning and sweating poisons,
Opened carelessly, cynically,
Its great fetid belly.

The sun shone on this fester,
As though to cook it to a turn,
And to return a hundredfold to great Nature
What she had joined in one;

And the sky saw the superb carcass
Open like a flower.
The stench was so strong, that you might think
To swoon away upon the grass.

The flies swarmed on that rotten belly,
Whence came out black battalions
Of spawn, flowing like a thick liquid
Along its living tatters.

All this rose and fell like a wave,
Or rustled in jerks;
One would have said that the body, fun of a loose breath,
Lived in this its procreation.

And this world gave out a strange music,
Like flowing water and wind,
Or a winnower’s grain that he shakes and turns
With rhythmical grace in his basket.

The forms fade and are no more than a dream,
A sketch slow to come
On the forgotten canvas, and that the artist completes
Only by memory.

Behind the boulders an anxious bitch
Watched us with angry eyes,
Spying the moment to regain in the skeleton
The morsel she had dropped.

— And yet you will be like this excrement,
This horrible stench,
O star of my eyes, sun of my being,
You, my angel, my passion.

Yes, such you will be, queen of gracefulness,
After the last sacraments,
When you go beneath the grasses and fat flowers,
Moldering amongst the bones.

Then, my beauty, say to the vermin
Which will eat you with kisses,
That I have kept the shape and the divine substance
Of my decomposed loves!