Born in 1989
Elina Laitinen is a Finnish fashion designer working at the junction of art and design. Her Master’s thesis “Pyhävaatteita” (Sunday Clothes) from 2016, studying the significance of handmade clothes and aiming to evoke discussion about modern clothing consumption, can be seen as a starting point for her practice, which is still very much driven by this aspiration. In her work, Laitinen is intrigued by the value-creating elements of fashion design. Through the making process, she seeks to give the garment a story that increases the experienced value of the clothing. In doing so, her practice aims to pay attention to materials such as emotional and social values, stating that artistic research and creative practices should lead us towards more ethical systems. Alongside making her art, Laitinen works in new environments to improve the accessibility of art. She has been working as a community artist at an activity centre for disabled people and at a day-care centre, aiming to highlight the importance and meaning of collaborative artwork. Her work “The Everyday Dress”, which is on display outside in “Mystic May”, can be considered a vivid example of her practice of not maintaining any boundaries. The installation, consisting of a cotton dress made from vintage bedsheets and a set of old tools, will be exhibited in the communal garden during the entire length of the exhibition, being exposed to sun and rain, literally soaking up its environment and the passing seasons, becoming one with nature. Almost like an archaeological site, its constant metamorphosis can be considered a physical witness of the past and present.