Our daily life is full of history. Riitta Päiväläinen is fascinated by the history that cannot be found in library books, official files or archives. This “unwritten history” that surrounds us all the time – the presence that can be felt in the rip of a coat, in the place worn thin on an armchair or in the light footprint on an inner sole of a shoe. The main theme and primary driving force of Riitta Päiväläinen’s work is the artist’s interest in old clothing. In her photographs, she uses discarded clothes from second-hand shops and flea markets. These garments carry silent, unknown stories and histories which will never be revealed. The clothes remain silent, withholding their secrets. Little by little, personal histories are absorbed into the collective history.
Since her graduation from the University of Art and Design in Helsinki in 2002, Riitta Päiväläinen has had numerous solo and group exhibitions around Europe. Her work today can be found in several important collections, like Finland’s Kiasma and Sweden’s state Art Council.