Doctoral Researcher, Comparative Religion, University of Turku
I am particularly fascinated with the impact of esotericism on art and creativity. In my PhD research I have explored the role of esoteric spirituality in modern art with a specific focus on visual and textual material produced by Finnish artists around the year 1900.
In my research I have re-conceptualized the notions of ‘occulture’ and ‘seekership’ – concepts that build a bridge from late nineteenth-century esotericism to present-day spirituality. In the framework of my study, finnish artists Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865–1931), Hugo Simberg (1873–1917), and Pekka Halonen (1865–1933) are defined as seekers who looked for answers to a variety of significant questions by turning towards the heterogenous field of occulture, in which the co-existence of esotericism, art, and science produced a fruitful interaction.
My identity as a researcher is that of a nomad, who wanders from one academic subject to another, also crossing the line between science and art. My PhD research has been conducted in the academic field of religious studies, but I have a master’s degree in art and design. I have also studied art history. My perception of the world is founded on visuality as much as language. I am passionate about challenging ideas and crossing all kinds of boundaries.
At the moment I am curating art exhibitions relating to esotericism and editing a book on modern esotericism in Finland together with Dr Tiina Mahlamäki.
Keywords: Art and esotericism, spirituality in modern art, seekers and seekership, occulture, esotericism around 1900, art and science, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Hugo Simberg, Pekka Halonen
Publications relating to the project: