The Poetics of Space

A Solo Exhibition by Emilia Nurmivaara

29.10.22 - 22.12.22


By approaching the house images with care not to break up the solidarity of memory and imagination, we may hope to make others feel all the psychological elasticity of an image that moves us at an unimaginable depth.”

- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


For the past year and a half, Emilia Nurmivaara (b. 1992) has presented her dream-like oil paintings in various Gallery Poulsen group exhibitions. It’s now a great pleasure for us to present The Poetics of Space, the first-ever solo exhibition by the young Finnish artist. The exhibition encapsulates the overarching project of Emilia’s oeuvre, with particular attention to the emotional experiences tied to the well-known spaces in which each of us live our respective lives.

In 2021 Emilia received her BFA from Yrkeshögskolan Novia in Pietarsaari, Finland. Since then, she has been a part of Gallery Poulsen’s roster of artists with her contemporary interpretations of the European interior painting and still life traditions.


The title of the exhibition, The Poetics of Space, is borrowed from the book by the same name from 1958 by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard which has been an important source of inspiration in Emilia’s artistic practice. In the book, Bachelard applies poetry, philosophy, and phenomenology to describe the influence of houses, spaces, and interiors on our metaphysical life and the creation of dreams. In this context, Bachelard highlights the childhood home as particularly influential for our dream world, which is also one of the central themes in Emilia’s new series of works.


For Emilia the home is not just a place filled with various objects, it’s an intimate space loaded with memories, feelings, and different atmospheres which she has captured in her paintings through documentation of her own childhood home. Hereby the new space created in Emilia’s paintings acts as a tangible collection of memories housing a multitude of personal emotions and experiences.


Emilia’s works are all associated with the visual world’s objects from her childhood home, the home where she first dreamt and where her imagination came alive. Her own little corner of the world, her first universe.

The primary subject matter of the paintings is the dining room of this childhood home, but it isn’t the existing, physical room we are being presented with. Instead, we are looking through a window showing us the impressions and feelings Emilia associates with this exact place, creating an entirely new space open for an interpretation by the viewer that is dependent on their own experiences and attitude.


To breathe life into the portrayed interiors Emilia uses reflective glass panels in the creation of her paintings which contributes to creating a distorted visual play that exists somewhere between the tangible and the abstract. With the reflections’ playful approach to light and shadows, a new room within the existing room is generated that draws the viewer’s eye even further into the painting. As a result of this, the painting is a product of the interaction between reality and fantasy, saturating it with a great sense of vivacity and personality.


The different rooms we move through and spent our time in, from the uninhabited to the inhabited, largely determine how we live our lives and exist in the world, and the significance of these exact rooms is formed exclusively in their relationship with their users. With her paintings, Emilia invites the viewer to turn the presented interiors into their own spaces.        


The solo exhibition presents eight large oil paintings that all convey personal connections to inhabited spaces in varying ways, giving them a new life created by memories and feelings.

The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 29th with a reception from 12.00 to 16.00. Emilia Nurmivaara will be present at the opening.


“The house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

The Poetics of Space

A Solo Exhibition by Emilia Nurmivaara

29.10.22 – 22.12.22


Opening reception: Saturday, October 29th, 12.00 – 16.00

The exhibition presents eight large oil paintings

Please contact the gallery at [email protected] or tel.+ 45 33 33 93 96 for more info

Emilia Nurmivaara "House Dreams" 2022 - Oil on linen, 164 x 125 cm, 64,5 x 49 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "Companionship" 2022 - Oil on linen, 173 x 135 cm, 68 x 53 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "Inner Space" 2022 - Oil on linen, 160 x 119, 63 x 47 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "The Hiding Place" 2022 - Oil on linen, 160 x 122 cm, 63 x 48 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "A Journey of Discovery" 2022 - Oil on linen, 165 x 160 cm, 65 x 63 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "Mirror Door" 2022 - Oil on linen, 160 x 116 cm, 63 x 45,5 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "Room to Dream" 2022 - Oil on linen, 142 x 190 cm, 56 x 75 in
Emilia Nurmivaara "The Lamp" 2022 - Oil on linen, 148 x 190 cm, 58 x 75 in

Installation Images

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