Kumu Documentary: Maija Isola, Master of Colour and Form
Dir Leena Kilpeläinen
Finland, Germany 2021, 96 min
In Finnish, with English subtitles
Introduction by art historian Kai Lobjakas
Her fabric designs are still popular all over the world. The Finnish artist Maija Isola worked as a designer for the Finnish design company Marimekko for 38 years. We take a look at who she was and what inspired her.
The Finnish design company Marimekko is famous throughout the world for its original prints and colours. Maija Isola was one of Marimekko’s first designers and she spent 38 years working for the company. During this time, she designed over 500 prints for Marimekko. Her fabric designs revolutionised Finnish homes in the 1950s and 60s. Art took the form of textiles and became easily accessible. Since the 1960s, once Isola’s fabrics had carved out their place in Finnish society, they also took over public spaces. Their success was not confined to Finland: they conquered the entire world, from New York to Tokyo.
The film looks for the secret behind the success of Maija Isola’s fabrics. Maija’s art, in both her paintings and her fabrics, was often inspired by nature, in all of its forms. We also ask: Who was Maija Isola? Where did she find her inspiration during her decades-long career? Events that shaped her life will be presented through archive materials, new documentary footage and her personal legacy: paintings, original designs, photos and slides. Her way of experiencing things is reflected in new fictive footage, animation and film clips that describe her inner world, and cut-out animations illustrate how her various fabric designs are created.
NB! Due to the spread of the virus, please note that we ask all visitors 12 years of age and older to present documents related to the COVID-19 virus with an ID before entering the auditorium. Read more about the regulations.