Miia Ruohonen: Features


Turku-based Miia Ruohonen (b. 1987) primarily works with textile materials. She hand sews unique creatures that feature complex and expressive patterns adorned with beads, buttons, zippers and ribbons. To date, she has crafted over 500 of these soft works in different sizes. Ruohonen’s one-of-a-kind imaginary world is further illustrated through acrylic paintings teeming with the same creatures. Ruohonen is also an avid collector: she archives newspaper clippings by topic and collects anime toys and comic books.

The fireplace room, Takkahuone, at the Rettig Palace has been taken over by a motley crew of Ruohonen’s creatures. Each of them is an utterly fantastical, never-before-seen hybrid. Stuffed with wadding, the works are fairly heavy and firm. Yet, the creatures feel supple: their limbs, tails and heads move in different ways. The patterns on the skin and fur as well as the details of their facial features have been cleverly created using various decorative elements and consumables.

Miia Ruohonen’s works are tactile. The pieces offer a high level of touch-related sensory input. The feel and contrasts of textiles and other materials have been utilised to the fullest extent. What makes the creatures so striking is their imaginativeness. The intricate finishings of the works suggest that crafting them necessitated a significant amount of time and a wide range of skills.

Miia Ruohonen was chosen as Kettuki’s Artist of the Year 2012.  Kettuki’s celebratory exhibition Örkkejä ja ötököitä (‘Orcs and Bugs’) was on display in Gallery ARX at Verkatehdas in Hämeenlinna from 17 January to 25 February 2012. Miia Ruohonen has an extensive background in art studies. She studied in the KUVA training programme at the Perttula Special Vocational School in Hämeenlinna for two years and on the vocational course in art at Kaarisilta in Nastola for three years. Currently, Ruohonen paints in the artists’ studio at The Art center Into in Pompo, Ravattula.

Gallery Into

The mission of Galleria Into is to showcase outsider art!

The gallery is a collaboration project between The Art center Into association and Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum. The project will run from April 2023 until January 2024. It will include five solo exhibitions in the museum’s second-floor gallery, by artists working at the Into art center. The exhibition concept has been named Gallery Into, which translates into “Gallery Enthusiasm”.

Art center Into

The Art center Into provides art activities and visual arts education for people with special needs. Founded in 2009, the center is in Pompo, Turku. Into offers regular art classes and courses and hosts several artist studios and public community art projects.

The Art center Into lives up to its name: it is a vibrant community that operates freely and professionally. The activities are guided by a view of art that allows everyone to be seen and heard in their own way.

“It means a lot. Really a lot. How should I describe it… Really very much. It’s everything.”

What does art mean to you? –Viljo Pertola-

Aboa Vetus Ars Nova

Cooperation with the museum was initiated by The Art center Into. Art tutors and long-time Into activists Eija Ruoho and Sinikka Mäki-Lertola invited museum curator Niina Tanskanen to visit the center, which quickly led to the idea of exhibition cooperation.

The two parties share a desire to do something different. For the museum, it is a great honor to provide the venue for the exhibitions that Into has been working on for years. Cooperation with Into also aims to make outsider art part of the wider art field. But the best thing about the collaboration is the exhibitions themselves: these five artists’ works are truly worth experiencing!

Gallery Into exhibitions

28.4.–7.6.2023 Miira Kangas

16.6.–26.7.2023 Tiina Elina Nurminen

4.8.– 17.9.2023 Daniel Hahta

29.9.– 19.11.2023 Miia Ruohonen

8.12.– 14.1.2024 Viljo Pertola

More information

Niina Tanskanen
040 585 4499

Art center Into
Eija Ruoho
044 070 1544