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Art Gallery WA Media Release
Frederick Garling, View across the coastal plain

WA Focus – finlandisation

Photographer Juha Tolonen explores the alien and familiar in local and international landscapes

Exhibition | 3 September – 21 November 2016 | FREE

Finlandisation brings together Juha Tolonen's landscape work from the past four years in Australia and Finland.

Focusing on both his adoptive and ancestral homes, the new series unites the seemingly disparate landscapes of the Swan River hinterland and Lapland. While contrasts exist, Tolonen's new work also displays a surprising continuity.

Arranged in diptychs and triptychs, multiple viewpoints are used to contrast or to expand a scene. Tolonen never quite settles on an iconic view, but instead surveys the land inviting us to seek out recognisable elements through content, composition and arrangement.

Home is, after all, a place where we are surrounded by the familiar. But, due to forces both internal and external our picture of home is never quite complete. It's this shifting view of what and where we call home that runs across Juha's work.

Quote attributable to artist Juha Tolonen

"Finlandisation reveals that landscape photography is more than just a set of pleasing visual facts. Our view is always second hand and negotiable. The image, just like the country it represents, is never an island."

Quote attributable to AGWA Curator Jenepher Duncan

"Juha Tolonen is one of the leading practitioners of landscape photography in Western Australia. His work brings a unique sensibility to bear on our understanding of the locations he photographs. His work sheds light on, the economic, social and natural forces that shape landscape and our perceptions of it.”


AGWA Talks
Artist Talk | FREE

1pm, Sunday 4 September
Hear from photographer Juha Tolonen for an insight into his photographic practice covering local landscapes and those of his homeland, Finland.

About the Artist
Juha Tolonen (b. 1968, Geraldton, Australia) is a photographer, lecturer, researcher and writer. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at Edith Cowan University in Australia.

His work has been exhibited in major photography galleries around Australia including Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney and Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne.

His work has been exhibited internationally in the China Pingyao International Photography Festival. In 2012 he was awarded the biannual City of Perth Architectural Commission. In 2015 he was a Visiting Researcher at Aalto University in Helsinki, in the Department of Art. His work has been published in leading photography journals including Photofile. He is the co-author of Photography and Landscape published by Intellect Books.

He currently lives and works in Lapland, Finland.

Further information

For more information, interviews and imagery please contact Tanya Sticca on 9492 6692 or email

Annual Sponsors

Principal Partner

Wesfarmers logo

303 MullenLowe, Singapore Airlines, Audi, Smartbots, Alex Hotel, Juniper Estate, Gage Roads Brewing Co.

Juha Tolonen Blue Water (part a) 2015. Giclee Print, Diptych, 42 x 58.5 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Juha Tolonen BCG 2012. Inkjet print, 35.5 x 150 cm. Commissioned for the City of Perth Art Collection. Juha Tolonen The Yellow House 2015. Giclee print, Triptych, 60 x 60 cm (each). Courtesy of the artist.

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