About Anita Jensen

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About Anita Jensen

From the catalogue of
The 70th Anniversary of the Association of Finnish Printmakers 2001

In the early 1990s, Anita Jensen discovered the inkblot test and it became a source of inspiration for her. The blot-test works mix the abstract and representational and contain allusions to the plant and animal kingdoms. They give control to our imagination and cox us to look for the ur-image, the image behind the image. It is precisely this original image that the artist looks for, using the inkblot test to awaken her subconscious and bring forth her imaginative powers. Her art is the collaborative effort of her subconscious and conscious, where the former is the source of ideas and the latter moulds them into works of art.

Gradually the inkblot test lost its power and Jensen began to seek out a new way to draw inspiration from her subcoscious. She started using a camera and photopolymer gravure, a fairy new technique that had made the use of photography in printmaking more natural. Letting her intuition guide her, she photographed everything that might later prove interesting. Trips to Japan in 1995 and 97-98 presented her with a new creative method; travelling released her from daily routines and gave rise to a fruitful interim stage, where going through her photos awakened her mind and sub conscius.

The mirror-theme recures in her blot works in that they contain bipartite and symmetric elements. The mirror is also a theme in her photopolymer gravures. In the prints, hands hold up a mirror and there is also something mirror-like in the portraits that stare hard at the viewer.

The mirror holds strong symbolic meaning in all cultures. According to age-old custom, there is a magigal connections and interactions between and object and its image. A mirror may seize the soul and life force of a person gazing into it; the Narcissus of ancient mythology admired his own likeness in a pool of water and became imprisoned by its reflecting surface. The mirror is also an attribute of luxury, sensuality and vanity on the one hand self-awareness, wisdom and truth on the other. “You cannot blame the mirror if your face is askew” wrote Nicolai Gogol. What is more, prints are like mirrors in that they reflect the printing plate.

Wrote by: Seppo Heiskanen