In Palomäki’s portraits, a timeless quality is revealed. She is one of those rare photographers with the inherent ability to emotionally merge with the subject observed. She combines her fiery spirit with her charm to create an environment of trust. It is through this bond that Palomäki is able to portray the innocence of her subject. These portraits seemingly emerge from the shadows in which they rest, pulling themselves to us through the gaze in their eyes. Diane Arbus, Pierre Gonnord and Francesca Woodman are all good examples of artists who, like Palomäki, have used their internal compass to navigate through the human spirit. The series Shared explores the complex theme of siblinghood, a carnal bond that we are born into, decipherable in its powerful, dynamic manifestations of human relationships and familial bonds. Palomäki’s portraits are self-portraits — reflections of momentary yet intense relationships that the photographer herself has constructed and nurtured. Her most recent analogue prints are handmade from the very beginning till the end; contacts are printed in the darkroom, toned with gold toner and hot pressed to straighten them by the artist.
Nelli Palomäki was born in Forssa, Finland, in 1981. She lives and works in Helsinki. Palomäki graduated from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in 2013 after studies at the London College of Communication. Her most recent solo exhibitions include the solo show ‘Shared’ at Gallery Taik Persons (Berlin, 2017) and the Finnish Institute (Stockholm, 2017), as well as ‘Nelli Palomäki’ at The Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki, 2013). A selection of works from the series Shared was presented in a solo show at the Portrait(s) festival in Vichy, France, in June 2018.