53 colour & 27 duotone plates
18.5 x 21 cm
Swiss-bound embossed softcover with thread-sewn booklet
with a 48-page text by Ada Smailbegovic
"It all started with the objects, documents and photographs I inherited from my late grandfather, a man unknown to me when he was alive. Through these objects I rebuilt different images of him, and reconstructed imagined memories of him at work, of his everyday life, and of the wet lunches held at the mine headquarters during cold-war Finland. In the process of making this body of work, these unusual heirlooms have become, in my eyes, animate characters with independent bodies and powers. They cast a flickering light on the complex relationship between the frailty of my own memories in contrast to the solid forms and eternal glances of these things."
Grey Cobalt by Felicia Honkasalo bases itself around a collection of artefacts steeped in the landscape and history of her native Finland. In a sequence of delicately arranged images, Grey Cobalt contains both a meditation on the legacy left by her metallurgist grandfather and a larger, sweeping narrative of how different orders of time and memory impress themselves upon the land, like a palimpsest. Now ‘rearranged and newly ordered, like a cabinet of curiosities’, together these images form a tactile experience of a lost world. Honkasalo creates multiple narratives from seemingly disparate objects, forming alternative cosmologies from her own observations and sense of the distant past. A selection of notes written by Felicia’s grandfather, and expanded upon by herself, are included as epilogue and reflection upon the book and the objects exhibited; a musing on the historical moment in which they were created and the present they in turn disrupt.
Through this sequence of images juxtaposing and complimenting one another, Grey Cobalt obliquely connects personal, historical and geological traces across space and time. An accompanying long form prose piece by Ada Smailbegovic expands these traces further, using images and a fragmentary style to conjure an invisible world of objects and places.
Felicia Honkasalo (b. 1986) gained a Masters degree from the Time and Space department at the Academy of Arts Helsinki in 2016 and her BA from the University of the Arts London. Her works have been shown in Finland, Germany and the UK and are included in private and public collections, in Finland and abroad. In 2019 she will be a resident at ISCP in New York. Honkasalo is also part of the collective Honkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen. Grey Cobalt is her first book.