Ilona Cutts

3.3.2022 - 27.3.2022


A warm welcome to the opening on Tuesday March 1st from 5-7pm.

A warm welcome from Aarni Art Gallery to Ilona Cutts’s upcoming Opening on Tuesday March 1st from 5-7pm. Ilona will be showing alongside artist Maria B Raunio and opening her show with a short video performance. Music accompaniment by Saxophonists Anna-Sofia Anttonen and Nanna Ikonen. We invite guests to arrive on time for the opening programs which will begin at 5:15pm.

I’ve been searching for Home for a long time now. Home for me doesn’t just mean an address or a physical place, but a feeling of belonging and inner peace. You could call it a reflection into one’s own Soul.

I’ve moved around the world since birth, changing homes, countries, even continents, every few years. A life of a gypsy can seem enticing, but when you are in one place for only a very short period of time, you have no time to plant your roots into the ground. You find yourself carrying those roots with you, they’re dry and thirsty and you wish for one day to find a place where you could dig a hole and plant them. You find yourself with no defining culture, no strong language and nothing that ties you to the ground. 

Through this new body of work I am exploring the idea of the false notion that we must have a physical address that defines who we are or how we should be.  Instead I find myself digging a hole within me, where I can plant a seed and grow my own roots. You could call it a journey of self-reflection.

I now live in the USA, in the City of Atlanta in Georgia, where I share my home with my husband, our cat Frida Kahlo and our dog Liisa. All these new works have been produced during the Covid pandemic. Time in isolation has given me time to reflect on life around me and go deeper within me. During this time my husband and I have taken several short trips to the South, areas near Savannah and Charleston, in Georgia. There I have found inspiration in nature, in the Spanish moss and the great oak trees. Recently I also began working with young girls that I’ve used as my models for many of these paintings. I dress them up in 19th Century Southern ballgowns rented from a local Vintage store.

Working on these paintings has become like a visual diary of feelings and a form of meditation as well as healing. I have a sense of calm within me. Like I have come home and there is nothing missing.

Ilona Cutts (born Sampovaara) studied Fine Arts at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London, U.K. In 1995 she received her BFA in painting from Kankaanpää Art College, in Finland. Ilona’s paintings have been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group Shows, such as in Mexico, the USA, France, Spain and Finland. Her work can be found in important collections such as the Oulu Museum of Modern Art in Oulu, Finland. Her latest group show in Finland was at SINKKA, Contemporary Art Museum of Kerava. She participated in 2 group shows at Stone Sparrow Gallery in New York City in2019 and 2020. 

Ilona has been sponsored by TAIKE, Finland Art Grant for the making of “Homecoming”.

CV Ilona Cutts
Homepage Ilona Cutts

Ilona Cutts, Finding my roots, oil on canvas, 42cm x 40cm, 2021

Ilona Cutts, El Circo, oil on canvas, 41cm, round, 2021