Tiina Itkonen. A Text published in The Helsinki School,Vol. 4 - A Female View 2011.
For more than ten years now, Tiina Itkonen has repeatedly traveled to northern Greenland in order to document the life of Polar Eskimos and to photograph the endless expanse of the arctic landscape. She has visited the northernmost settlements of our planet, Qaanaaq, Oeqertat, Moriusaq, Savissivik, and Siorapaluk, and lived there for weeks, or even months, at a time.
Tiina Itkonen's photographs transport us into a timeless space, a space where people live and work according to the seasons and the weather, rather than by the clock. Her early portraits of the Inuit are an amazing testimony to these people and their way of life. During her recent excursions Tiina Itkonen has been mostly focusing on landscapes. Her photographs are beautiful, predominantly white, vistas; pictures of icebergs, of endless white spaces devoid of roads, cars, buildings, and signs. In the making of her photographs Tiina Itkonen uses a large panoramic format which enhances the impression of the vast endlessness of the arctic landscape. Sometimes in her pictures it is difficult to identify what one is looking at. There seems to be no depth to the gleaming whiteness. Although Tiina Itkonen is very much concerned by the effects of global warming on the arctic landscape and its inhabitants, she has chosen to photograph only the timeless, unaltered beauty of this as yet pristine landscape. In so doing she hopes to make people aware of the fragility of this singular environment.