13.6. - 31.8.2003

From the 1960s to this day

The Finnish Museum of Art and Design in Helsinki will feature the works of textile designer Ritva Puotila in an extensive exhibition that will take place on June 13th-August 31st, 2003. Some exhibits date back to the 1960s, but most of the works comprising industrial designs and unique pieces are from the past 20 years. In the woollen ryas Ritva Puotila has wanted to create a dialogue between the very first ryas of her youth and her later works. The theme of the exhibition is the interaction between human being and space. The function of textiles is to define and clarify the space around them and at the same time to emphasize the human individuality and to bring joy into everyday life. In her works Ritva Puotila has often been inspired by the nature. However, the works are not to be seen as documents of the nature but rather as reflections thereof. For Ritva Puotila colour, composition and structure serve as the central motives throughout the decades.

photo: Sameli Rantanen Industrial design
The industrial design by Ritva Puotila can be characterized by pure and clean visuality, without forgetting function. Her works imply love to impression in the language of textiles. The fysical nature of textile, the form and colour of material, they all constitute a whole that is added by personal depth. Being a free-lancer, Ritva Puotila found the feasibility of natural materials – linen, wool, cotton, silk and paper – at the very beginning of her career. Besides textiles, she has been working with glass and building materials. Ritva Puotila’s ability to work with different materials on their own terms also forms the aesthetic basis of her works.

photo: Sameli Rantanen  Unique works
Designing industrial products and creating unique pieces side by side has been a deliberate and well-considered decision. Different solutions and approaches nurture the creation process and are often the springboard for new ideas in the coming projects. Unique works are a result of free expression, they are more selfish, experimental, reflections of artist’s own life. The contrast between materials, their ability to merge, differences and similarities are combined or distinguished according to the nature of the work. In her latest works, Ritva Puotila likes to use contrasting materials, such as steel and paper.

International career

A gold medal at the XII Milan Triennial in 1960 and the cooperation with the US company Dansk International Designs Ltd. enabled Ritva Puotila to establish her own studio. In the early 1960s began also her international career as a free-lance textile designer and artist in Scandinavia, the USA and the Far East. Since 1987 Ritva Puotila has been working as the Artistic Director for Woodnotes. The Woodnotes collections have been inspired by the pure and simple yet versatile material – paper yarn. Reflections of the Finnish genuineness and naturality can be seen in the high quality textiles of Woodnotes. Woodnotes has followed its own path creating new, uncompromising and disregarding the main trends. Today Woodnotes exports about 80 % of its production.