Mirja Koponen is an artist and researcher interested in notions of space and place. Originally from Finland, she studied Russian Literature in the then Soviet Union and ln the United States where she studied towards a doctoral degree in literature and then in art. Mirja co-founded the live art collective aka with whom she toured across the country, before moving to UK and taking up research through painting. Lately Mirja’s work has evolved from focusing on painting as a multimedial, ‘expanded’ practice towards more purely spatial concerns. Mirja holds a PhD in art from Nottingham Trent University, and her videos, paintings and installations have been exhibited in U.K. and abroad.
“I am interested in ‘painting’ as an activity, a process and as an abstract notion. My understanding of painting is based on a production of material painting objects but includes notions of space and time, the 3-dimensional world that this activity inhabits, and the durational aspects that are involved in it. Using ‘painting’ as a conjectural prism, I am able to reflect on looking and acting as well as on the spatial, conceptual and social analysis we habitually perform. Through my work I want to engage in the experience of looking and experience of making and where these experiences overlap. I want to devise spatially oriented experiential situations where this overlap can be ‘teased out’. I am constantly developing strategies to investigate and play with these notions and my work has evolved to include large 3-dimensional ‘painting-environments’, text-structures, performative, text, video- and audience involvement based pieces.