Miina Savolainen

Finnish Photographer
Miina Savolainen is a community art oriented photographer and an art and social educator from Helsinki whose works deal social engagement. Alongside her artistic work she explores, teaches and develops the use of photography as a pedagogic and therapeutic method. Her work has resulted in the method of empowering photography. Miina Savolainen, her project The Loveliest Girl In The World and the method of empowering photography have received several awards in Finland. Miina Savolainen is a member of The Finnish Phototherapy Association and The Union of Artist Photographers.

Besides The Loveliest Girl in the World, Miina Savolainen is an instructor in a communal art project concerning fatherhood. For two years now, a group of amateur photographers have been preparing an exhibition on the theme of fatherhood to Helsinki Jugendhall for autumn 2007, using the method of empowering photography. She is currently working on a community art project involving intersexed and transgendered individuals.

The Loveliest Girl in the World is a community art project undertaken by photographer, art and social educator Miina Savolainen with ten girls from Hyvönen Children's Home. It has taken almost a decade to complete. The project is based on the idea of “empowerment” and the belief that everyone has the right to feel unique and special. The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life - the person each young girl feels she really is inside. It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people. These photographs are deeply authentic, revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable. “Photography can help to show people how they are treasured; how much they mean to me,” writes Miina Savolainen. “Accepting one's own portrait is a metaphor for accepting one’s own personality. During years the photographing has become an intimate and profound way to interact with the girls. This exceptional long-term relationship can be seen in the special kind of openness and intimacy of the photographs. Although the pictures in the series of the Loveliest Girl in the World are artificial and not from the everyday life they are bound to the tradition of realistic photography. The documentary quality of the pictures is multilayered. On one hand the pictures are documents of growing up, the young girls' personalities and dreams. On the other hand the pictures make certain features of the girls visible which cannot be seen in their everyday selves. The childhood of the young who have grown up in a Children's home includes a lot of feelings of being abandoned and of being invisible. It also includes the burden of other people's prejudices, the stigmatisation of being a Children's home resident. The fairytale-like pictures are juxtaposed with real life story that seldom had fairytale qualities. The pictures express sadness but also hope and desire to see oneself in a more gentle way. With the aid of the non-everyday world of the pictures the young have been allowed to be seen and to see themselves differently like never before. The girls do not see the pictures as role-playing. In the everyday life the girls may also lead “roles” which appear wrong and foreign to the girls. The pictures may show, for the first time, a side that the young person holds real and dear to herself, a picture that she wants to cherish in her mind. The Loveliest Girl in the World -pictures are extreme documents: they are pictures of a person’s inner identity. This inner side becomes visible and the deeper emotional “truth” can be reached by mixing the truth and the fiction. Every human being has an inviolable right to feel himself or herself special. The pictures are a proof of conclusiveness of the photograph, which is not only bound to what’s visible. The Loveliest Girl in the World doesn't portray the Children's home residents the way the people living in margins are usually portrayed. The pictures are also something else from the sexist way of how young women and girls are exhibited in today's public places. Above all the fairy-tale feeling of the pictures is metaphorical; it is a longing for a clean, innocent state of dreaming where you can see yourself as a whole and an ideal person, protected from the gaze and the expectations of other people. The series brings up questions on how the present visual culture makes one a part of the society. The pictures of the young in the Children's home tell stories of being a girl and being a human in general. The deepest content of the pictures, the need to be seen, is familiar to anyone. The attempt to learn to see oneself in a more gentle way is especially addressing in our time where people are surrounded by the endless requirements from different fields of life. The Loveliest Girl in the World exhibitions have prompted the public to think about the capacity of the photograph to influence on societal and personal levels. From the point of view of photography the project also raises questions about the author and ethics. This project could be seen as community photography. It includes the models not only in the creation of the photographs but also in the selection of the exhibited pictures.

The project, its accompanying exhibition and Miina Savolainen has been awarded the Spotlight of the Year 2003 special prize of the jury, the Vision of the Year award 2004, Duodecim Finnish Medical Association’s 2005 Cultural Award, the Young Photographer of the Year award 2005 and the State Award for Children´s Culture 2006. Patricia Seppälä Foundation, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnfoto and the City of Helsinki have supported the production.
David Bailey: SUMO
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Deborah Turbeville
Nationality: American
Born: 1938 - Died: 2013

Deborah Turbeville was born in 1938, in Boston. Summers were spent in Ogunquit, Maine. 'Beautiful Place by the Sea' is the oceanside township's motto. 'Very bleak, very stark, very beautiful,' was Turbeville's description of it. Life was comfortable - she went to private school. Yet her mother described her as a 'shy and scary child'. Which is as it should be. The uneasy shuffle of ambiguity is the essence of Turbeville and her work - which itself shuffles between fashion (…)

 
Marco Guerra
Nationality: Chilian
Born: 1965

From marcoguerraphotography.com
Artist and Photographer Marco Guerra’s most recent work includes Cacerolazo, a series of 10 images inspired by the artist’s vivid childhood memories of marching along the women of Santiago who gathered at dusk daily to bang their empty pots and pans in loud protest of government policies in his native Chile. Cacerolazo is a personal examination of (…)
 
Robby Cavanaugh
Nationality: American
Born: 1988

Robby Cavanaugh is a self taught photographer based in Southern California. He was born on April 26th, 1988 in the US. His fine-art based work began in 2010 and has already been recognized internationally, being featured in numerous media worldwide. During the past year, his emerging work has won him numerous international awards and publications. He strives to create works that transcend the reality we all see, to a reality we can all feel. Robby’s vision for his (…)

Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
Robby Cavanaugh
 
John Thomson
Nationality: Scottish
Born: 1837 - Died: 1921
John Thomson, one of the great figures of nineteenth century photography, is known for the unusual and exotic nature of his chosen subject matter. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1837, Thomson took up photography as a profession in his early twenties. For ten years, from 1862, he traveled and explored the Far East, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang and the Malay Peninsula, Siam, Cambodia, Vietnam, Formosa and especially China. Utilizing a large wooden box-type camera (…)
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
John Thomson
 
Raymond Depardon
Nationality: French
Born: 1942

Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958. He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world.

From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre,(…)
 
Alicia Moneva
Nationality: Spanish
The common thread in all my work is the footprint of the human, with humanized objects and spaces made by man, architectural painting and photography, trying to explain social and psychological concepts through the figure.

Coming from the world of painting my type of photography is built. Based on a generic idea, will be taking individual photos that will form part of the final work. Each shot in digital format, will later join with the help of photoshop. This tool (…)
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
Alicia Moneva
 
Petr Frolich
Nationality: Czech
Born: 1979

From www.petrfrolich.com
I was born in 1979 in Prostejov, Czech Republic and now I am currently living in the United Kingdom. I have been interested in photography since 2006. I tried to shoot almost all kinds of photograph. Nevertheless, I developed a keen interest in travel shots and capturing landscapes. I started out to capture the pictures in digital way but now I prefer doing (…)
 
Oriol Torra Segon
Nationality: Spanish
Born: 1981
He was born in Manresa (Spain) in 1981. He studied photography at Catalan Institute of Photographic Studies (IEFC). He participated in several documentary workshops taught by Antoine d’Agata (Magnum Photos), Franco Pagetti (VII), Jose Manuel Navia (Agence Vu) or Arianna Rinaldo, among others. Since 2011 he is a freelance photographer. His photography focuses in human frailty and vulnerability. His photographic project Young Patriots has been has received the EXPOSURE AWARD (…)
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
Oriol Torra Segon
 
Alban Lécuyer
Nationality: French
Born: 1977

Born in Paris in 1977, Alban Lécuyer studied Journalism and Photography at the Lille Graduate School of Journalism (France). He mainly works as a photographer of architecture within public projects and for private companies (advertising campaigns, photographic missions). Whilst collaborating with various journals, he teaches the History of Photography and Image Analysis at the DMA in Nantes (France). His personal projects centre around the analysis of new forms of (…)
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
Alban Lécuyer
 
Julia Margaret Cameron
Nationality: British
Born: 1815 - Died: 1879

Julia Margaret Cameron (née Pattle; 11 June 1815 – 26 January 1879) was a British photographer. She became known for her portraits of celebrities of the time, and for photographs with Arthurian and other legendary themes. Cameron's photographic career was short, spanning eleven years of her life (1864–1875). She took up photography at the relatively late age of 48, when she was given a camera as a present. Although her style was not widely appreciated in her own day, her (…)
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
Julia Margaret Cameron
 
David Bailey: SUMO
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Discover the 6th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices