Maisa Majakka (b. 1989) was born, lives and works in Helsinki. Her figurative ceramic sculptures often depict people, especially girls and women. The works refer not only to the artist’s own experiences but also real places, contemporary experiences and recognisable popular culture figures. Majakka is inspired by everyday experiences of freedom, the frantically transformative nature of youth as well as emotional ambivalence and fickle emotions, such as the desire to be somewhere while wanting to get away. Her narrative is clear but open to viewers’ interpretations.

Majakka has been working with ceramics for more than ten years. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in spring 2022. Her works have been exhibited in several solo and group exhibitions both in Finland and in other countries since 2018. Some of Majakka’s works can be found in the State Art Deposit Collection as well as in the collections of Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), Vantaa Art Museum Artsi, the Päivi and Paavo Lipponen Foundation, HUS Helsinki University Hospital and the Finnish Art Society. 


Exhibited at Taidehalli 22.4.-28.5.2023


Glazed stoneware, chambray, 44x33x34 cm

Bimbo Summit
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 38x39x39 cm

Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, silver, crystal, 55x44x38 cm

Tyttöjen vessa
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 40x21x27cm

We go out on Friday night & We come home on Saturday morning 
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 24x24x17 cm

Kosminen pissis
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 24x15x11 cm

Tytöt terassilla
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 80x65x34 cm

Yön kimaltava kruunu
Luminere body, chain, glazed porcelain, 35x42x42 cm

Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, panels x 3 (47x77cm) 

Yö lapsuudesta
Glazed stoneware, chambray, ceramic decals, 29x29 cm

After party 
Glazed stoneware and porcelain, glass jar, earring hooks, 12x50x25 cm

The original aim of my work was an in-depth exploration of the intoxication-oriented party culture in Finland, how it has changed over the past few decades as well as my own attitude towards the subject. I am interested in the spaces, rituals and conditioning related to stimulants: using chemicals to switch off. As the work progressed, I focused on women and girls who were celebrating and drinking. I’ve been thinking about the roles offered to women: who has the right to party, how and to what extent? What human needs does drinking satisfy? To what extent is the joy of partying an illusion created by a culture that romanticises drinking?   

My work is turning into a sort of an ode to the night, to everything it entails, regardless of whether or not it has a happy ending. While I’ve been sculpting, I’ve been thinking about a liminal state, a wild night that is like a gap between two days. You see the strongest, most polished versions of people early in the evening, but later the most awful versions are unmasked or, alternatively, the softest: exhausted by and surrendered to the night. I’ve thought of partying as a radical form of self-expression, but also as a more or less subtle form of self-destruction. The line between everyday life and celebration becomes blurred for some people, and they may lose both. Alcohol is a psychoactive substance and is associated with the loss of self-control. Partying is about uninhibited fun and also aggression and crossing the lines of decent behaviour. People drink shots and dance but they also call ambulances at night. There is a box in the ladies, started by someone with a big heart, in which fellow partygoers can find hair elastics, condoms and painkillers as needed and can, in turn, leave something for other visitors. Despite solidarity among women, it is women who are most in danger at night. If someone gets hurt, moralists are quick to offer their opinions, which are often directed at the wrong person.  

My works take a gentle look at girls who fall in love with the sleeping city, cry in each other’s hair and sing on their way home in freezing temperatures. The dawn, at the latest, clears the heads of tired partygoers and gives them a new day, a hangover after an invincible night and the death of hubris.


Image Credits: 
Artist’s portrait - Patrik Rastenberger
Artwork images - details of a work Bimbo Summit, 2023, glazed stoneware, Maisa Majakka