As a child, I really wanted to be a magician. While studying, after reading Castaneda’s “Journey to Ixtland,” I dreamed of learning to be a real witch, a shaman.
I’ve always drawn, it is a part of me. In art, I combine “magic” with craftsmanship: From colors and surface materials I can create new worlds and stories, open wonders to be seen. My subjects arise from an emotional state that touches; of beauty that stirs the soul or of the insights of dream adventures that bring mysteries into everyday life. When I get excited about a subject and I want to manifest it visible, I forget the mainstream of art and let my works become the way they want to become.
Stories and storytelling have always been involved in my work. The stories inside my works intertwine and intertwine, rhythmic with each other. My works have several dimensions and I combine notes from years ago with new ones. I am a “explorer” in time, an adventurous aestheticist. Personal tragedies have shaped me as a “fighter” for beauty and loveliness. I work hard for the positivity of life and consciously uplift the mood.
My clients say that my works give them strength on a daily basis, or that they may become sensitive to openly cry by my works. These rewarding “pearls” illuminate my path, when sometimes my doubt about the meaningfulness of choosing to be an artist arises .
I paint in all the different artist colors, but beyond that: I don’t know if metal graphics chose me or was me who chose it, but it was love at first sight.
Etching drawing requires planning, patience,trial proofs, color experiments, and yet etching copper plates is a magical event with surprises. Once a new work of art is born successfully, I often get emotional myself.
“The artist hesitates but stays on her way” (Kaisa Heinänen, HELSINGIN SANOMAT, May 3, 2009)
“Varis takes the viewer in a fabulous world of images… .belief in good seems to be the foundation on which her stories grow. There is a lot to see in the works and you have to stop to explore them in peace. Image language is insightful… .She has the ability to create fresh images of complex things and emotions. The whole exhibition tells about the possibility of a person fulfilling happiness and the mystique under the skin of the world. Everyday life disappears when miracles break out everywhere. ” (Raisa Jäntti, KESKISUOMALAINEN 13.11.2019)
“Pastel works also evoke a reminder of the ambiguous message of Hilma af Klint’s esoteric images: Matter transforms into the radiation of the spirit. … .. Varis manages to give dreams and memories a touching shape. The delicate prints framed by the ornaments, like Simberg, deal with the multifaceted relationship between image and reality. They show the way to the world of the psyche, but they delimit the subject, giving the viewer an opportunity for their own interpretation ” (Marja-Terttu Kivirinta, HELSINGIN SANOMAT, April 19, 1990)
“Another thing that keeps me going is feedback from the people who have seen my work. I am touched when people find my work significant and they leave a mark in peoples lives. ” (Artist fo the Month, Mari Koskinen, SCAN MAGAZINE 5/2019)
… A joyful combination of playfulness and self-awareness alongside these works that look at history and myths brings a stunning Self-Portrait as a Nomad as a technical realization of Varis. The painting seems to be a pathway to the thinking and self-contained narrative art of Hanna Varis, who has always followed her own paths. (Iina Antinluoma, TURUN SANOMAT, September 26, 2008)
“Postmodern Michelangelo” (Cecilia Clayhills, ÅBO UNDERRÄTTELSER, 30.5.2009)
“In the middle of the dark autumn rains, Hanna Varis’ exhibition is like manna from heaven… .. Varis looks at the world with great gentleness and picks up the ingredients of a good life in her works. The cynical viewer might consider the works naive. For a person who loves life they are a prospect of how The Essential speaks to people. Varis’s subjects are not easy. They are the things we try to avoid to hide the fragility within ourselves. The benevolence of the works is disarming. ” (Maria Ollikainen, SANOMA -SUOMEN SANOMAT, 21 October 2012)
Hanna Varis is a graphic artist and painter who graduated with a Master of Arts in 1990 from the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
In 2006-2010, she studied postgraduate studies at Åbo Akademi University’s international NUROPE project, which combined science, art and business administration.
The techniques she mainly uses are metal graphics (etching and aquatint) as well as painting, and the space-themed entities created from them thematically.
Since 1984, she has been active in solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group of group exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. She has held solo exhibitions in Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in Turku, Kajaani Art Museum, Forsblom Gallery in Turku, Bronda Gallery in Helsinki. Abroad, her works have been exhibited in Reykjavik, Brussels, Paris, Rome and Florence, for example. In addition to the collections of the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Hanna Varis’ works are in all of Finland’s most important collections like in the collections of Kiasma, the State of Finland, the City of Helsinki Art Museum HAM and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum. Her works are on display in public spaces In Århus, Denmark and at Turku City Hall, the School of Espoonlahti and the University of Turku.
She is a member of the Finnish Association of Graphic Artists and Painters.
She has designed and run several art courses in Finland and Italy.
She has done graphic design and designed the layout of, for example, Taide-Lehti and the Finnish Music Quarterly.
She has received a State 3-year artist grant and, for example, an expert grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation as a representative of TTG in Italy in 2019.
She has held numerous positions of trust in the field of art and currently works as the Chairman of the Turku Graphic Artists Association.