Kirsi Kivivirta
Artist professor, ceramic artist and lecturer
born in Turku 1959


The surrounding urban landscape and its different spaces inspire Kirsi Kivivirta. She uses geometry, perspective and visual illusions when creating her imagery. The references to landscapes in the artworks speak about the relationship between urban humans and nature, with wildlife assigned only to memories.

Kivivirta´s works are always based on a clear concept. To emphasize this, Kivivirta tends to leave her works white in color. Vessels and Shadows, however, include a modest palette of tones. Kivivirta is drawn to minimalist ideas that enable the medium to speak for itself. In Kivivirta´s porcelain wall compositions, one can experience movement and rest, dynamic force and contemplation. She plays with displacement and trompe l´oeil effects as well as distorted perspectives and horizons.

There is a tremendous potential in raw materials and natural resources. Clay as a primordial raw material is a powerful and expressive medium. As an artist, I am on a journey to explore and understand the natural properties of clay and the firing process. My palette is limited, shades of white and gray, blacks, natural pigments and metallic oxides.


"About Clay" Exhibition Catalogue
Fiskars, 2018


Kirsi Kivivirta’s White Mosaic continues her series of monochromatic mosaic works, the first of which she created as early as 1998. These rhythmical works mounted on walls are composed of hundreds of pieces of different sizes. Kivivirta’s main material is white porcelain. I work clay by rolling it and cutting it into pieces, and I draw with a knife. I have developed my own abstract method of cutting clay. 

As I create art, I move effortlessly into a familiar existence. My work is a kind of composition process, moving pieces around, in which various elements look for their own places and their dynamics. My intention is also to reduce or eliminate factors and so to express the essential.

Kivivirta’s work process is always affected by the interior space, housing area or other environment where the finished work will be placed, as seen, for example, in her works in the Arabianranta area.Her mosaic pieces can also include visual elements tied to a place. If I don’t know the placement of the work when I’m building it, I envision a place. This is necessary for me to proceed. Places, things and forms on a monumental scale are inspiring, and so are monochromatic qualities, continuity and repetition of a certain kind. The same applies to inspiring musical works.

Helena Leppänen
"Ceramics & Space" Exhibition Catalogue. Design Museum, 10.10.2014 - 11.01.2015

Kirsi Kivivirta

Photo: Ella Tommila, Emma Museum, 2017

Concours de création en porcelaine 2014, Limoges, France