Vivi-Mari Carpelan

“There is something not revealed as I am partially covered up in black fabric. Not only is it the affliction not obvious, but I also don’t really want it to be obvious.”

I’m a Finnish artist resident in Wales since 2010 and married to fellow artist Martin Herbert. I create handmade mixed media collages, incorporating my own photographs and some drawing. A recent development is that I’m including a form of performance art by staging myself for photographs that I use in my artwork, as I’m seeking new forms of visual expression. I am increasingly merging many aspects of my photography with the rest of my work.

I’m in fact an avid photographer as well, especially fascinated with texture and patterns that reveal abstract details in our reality. I call the process of finding aesthetically pleasing and rather mysterious imagery in the most unlikely of places “Beauty in the Rough”.

I have created symbolic images since 1991 and exhibited regularly ever since. I started creating collages around the year 2000 as a result of difficulties with my fine motor skills.

Afflicted with a chronic illness since childhood, it comes naturally to me to explore emotional issues of belonging versus not belonging in a society mostly designed for people with wealth and health. My work expresses paradox, as a fundamental and crucial characteristic of reality. While ill health and alienation are linked with shame and helplessness, these can also give rise to strength of character, deeper insights into matters of life and death, and the advantage of a more objective viewpoint in regards to society at large. Due to the circumstances of my life I have joined the outsider arts and disability arts communities.

Vivi-Mari released an album of sound art/music in June (and one of the pieces was played on BBC Wales radio on 7th June). The last track is a spoken commentary. To listen to or downloaded these soundscapes click on the following link:

Vivi-Mari: View artist’s films

Find out more on my website.

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