The viewer sees a dainty but a peculiar world. Cute, but somehow strange as well. Undeniably beautiful, yes, but quirky, and, somehow, almost - dark. There's sex, but then there are flashes of war. There's the light of hope, but there's also despair. There's tenderness and naivete, but married to greed and shame. There's glitter - and then gasoline. A bitter and sweet yin-yang kaleidoscope into life, alchemising the ugly into beautiful.
Saara Vaniala is a multidisciplinary artist and a humanitarian. Her artistic work is a balancing act of soft and strong, of spiritual and drip, of high-end and street style; of the tragedy of humanity in progress and of its virtue, love. Poetic mysticism and social commentary coyly entwine in the artist's sensual and dream-like images. Her style is unique: a characteristic ink line that cradles ingenious and imaginative colour palettes, which often arrange into female figures.
The artist begins by first working with ink on paper, then moving onto digital coloring. Her pieces thus have three different forms, each an art piece in their own right. First, the intricate and sensitive ink on paper; then the attention-demanding, colourful digital mixed media. Finally, the piece gets its final manifestation. The velvety look of giclée on paper, the stylish yet wearable silk, the subtly renegade streetwear, or the industrial-looking and very present-day choice of latex ink on PVC vinyl.
"The pictures may look Barbie-esque, but the surface level is there to make these storyteller images readable and relatable. Like popular music is about complex, contemporary sentiments in simple and universally understood slang, I try and do the same by creating visual pieces with pop culture's rules, so that any member of our global society can intuitively and emotionally, comprehend my pieces' transcendent, multi-layered meanings."
"I heard somewhere, 'a diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure'. It's the struggles: our struggles lead us to who we must become. Human bodies bodies hold a lot of trauma and unhealthy thought patterns and belief systems, from generation to generation. But, instead of following toxic tradition, we can choose what we deep down know is a better way. I choose transformation: love as medicine, truth as freedom, and progress as our direction.
My work has been called inspirational, transformative, and healing. If that is the case, I have succeeded in my role as an artist. When words can't express, when a face can't communicate, when the mind can't make sense of it all, or when the soul can't share, I transmute abstract feelings into images. What you are, when the image begins for you, and what you have become, when you finish encountering it, are - hopefully - two different beings. The ever-evolving you. The transformed you.
The mind speaks a familiar language - emotion and insight not so much, even though they carry more meaning. We are our emotional and psychological experience - yet we have learned to dismiss it so readily. We breathe life into our bodies, but, if we are not careful, we give life into our illnesses too. In short, we make this world either a paradise or a dystopia. Body, soul, feeling, intuition, intellect. Learn, discern, let go. Connect. Heal."