Vuolgin No5 – Janne Peltokangas

2020 | 32 cm X 17 cm X 17 cm | Steel

My work as a blacksmith and metal sculptor is heavily influenced by the natural environment and cultural heritage of Lapland, where I come from. As a Sámi artist, I draw inspiration from Sámi mythology, which is rich in stories and symbolism related to nature and the spirit world.

My work is informed by a combination of new materialism and behaviorism, which challenges traditional ways of understanding the world and our place in it. I see metal as a living material, one that has its own agency and can influence human behavior. My sculptures are not only representations of physical forms, but also explorations of the relationships between materials, the environment, and human behavior.

My creative process involves a deep connection to the land and the materials I work with. Each piece is unique and created with intention, using traditional blacksmithing techniques as well as contemporary methods. I strive to create pieces that not only express my own artistic vision, but also speak to larger themes related to the environment, identity, and cultural heritage.

Through my work, I hope to promote a deeper understanding of the natural world and the importance of preserving cultural heritage. I aim to create pieces that are both aesthetically beautiful and intellectually engaging, encouraging viewers to reflect on their own relationship to the environment and the material world.

Janne Peltokangas

As a Sámi artist hailing from the Finnish Lapland, my artistic journey has been shaped by a deep connection to my Sámi heritage and a profound passion for arts and crafts. I embarked on a transformative educational path, studying at esteemed institutions such as Hereford College of Arts, SIU Carbondale, EASD Valencia, EKA Tallinn, and Gothenburg University, where I earned my BFA and MFA degrees. Intuitively drawn to the realm of complexity, I explore the intricacies of form through traditional blacksmithing techniques. My artistic practice revolves around an inquisitive investigation of the spiritual belief system of the Sámi people, particularly in its profound connection to objects found in nature. With each creation, I strive to capture the essence of this relationship and convey it through my artistic expression. Over the past decade, I have been fortunate to share my artistic vision as I traversed Europe and North America. My work has been showcased in renowned art museums, galleries, and Biennales, alongside esteemed artists such as Eva Hild, Julius Voegtli, and Rick Smith, among others. Collaborating with and being recognized among such talent has been a true honor, solidifying my place in the contemporary art scene. I have received several grants and prizes in recognition of my art and practice. These acknowledgments serve as a testament to the impact of my artistic contributions. They fuel my ongoing exploration and provide me with the resources necessary to delve further into my craft. For me, art is a vehicle for cultural preservation and self-discovery. Through my creations, I strive to bridge the gap between tradition and innovation, infusing traditional Sámi craftsmanship with contemporary artistic expression. This synthesis of influences produces visually striking and conceptually rich artworks that resonate with a global audience. My ancestral land of Finnish Lapland serves as a constant wellspring of inspiration, grounding my artistic practice in the rich tapestry of Sámi culture. I seek to convey the universal language of art while honoring the unique perspectives and wisdom inherent in indigenous cultures. As I continue my artistic journey, I remain committed to pushing the boundaries of my craft and expanding the horizons of my creative expression. The ever-present connection to nature and the spiritual world infuses my work with a profound sense of purpose and authenticity. With each stroke of the brush or strike of the hammer, I aim to preserve the cultural heritage of the Sámi people, celebrate the diversity of human experiences, and inspire a deeper appreciation for the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world.

Janne photo - Janne Peltokangas
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