Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

One of the items I shared on this weekend’s link love was a link to a post by Things Bright about the crocheted potholder art exhibit by Anu Tuominen. I made a mental note to follow up and learn more about this artist and I’ve done that so I thought I’d share with you what I learned.

More About Artist Anu Tuominen

Anu Tuominen is a Finnish born conceptual artist who explores, among other themes, methods of translating linguistic ideas into their visual equivalent. This transcends language and is one of the reasons that she appeals to both Finnish-speaking and non-Finnish viewers. She has an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. She began exhibiting her work in group shows in 1986 and has participated in countless group and solo shows around the world since then. Tuominen has won multiple awards and has had at least half a dozen works of public art displayed in Finland. Her 2012 exhibits include shows in Sweden, Seoul Korea and the Craft Museum of Finland. Another major focus of her artwork is the elevation of the handmade into art, which makes her a perfect match with a craft like crochet which is a handmade domestic art form. Words that have frequently been used to describe her art work are “humorous” and “joyful”.

Current Solo Shows

Tuominen currently has a solo exhibit at the Craft Museum of Finland called Fingerprints. I love this quote from the gallery site:

“When an object is handmade, you can see the artist’s unique touch in it. Hand, as well as time and labour, have left their marks on the worn object. A handmade object is full of fingerprints.”

crochet potholders exhibit Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

And she also has a current solo show at The Nordic Watercolor Museum called Write Red in Blue, which is where the crocheted potholder exhibit is featured. What I love about this display is that each crocheted potholder is a little work of art on its own but the true art form is the way that she’s laid the work out with such a great attention to an overall color scheme.

Other Colorwork

This great organizational layout of color is a theme throughout much of Tuominen’s work. I think this appeals to crocheter’s, who are often drawn to great color layouts and patterns, even when the work is not actually crochet. Take a look at these Tuominen pieces, for example:

ana tuominen 400x199 Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Colours for Winter, colored clothespins

colorful artwork Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Early Morning by The Sea

eraser art Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Clean A4

colored pencils Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen


feather art Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Blue Thoughts

butterflies Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Butterfly-friendly Butterfly Collection

More Crochet

Crochet is only one small piece of what Tuominen incorporates into her pieces but it does pop up again and again. Here are some of her other crochet art pieces:

doily art tuominen Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Snow, Slush, Water

blue doily art Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Without Words

crochet carrots Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Carrots in the Kitchen

crochet lingonberries Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Lingonberries – The Idea of a Masher

crochet kitchen Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Kitchen installation

colorful crochet art Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

Colour Page

This wonderful work is just a small selection of the work that Anu Tuominen has done in both crochet and found object art.


As you can probably tell from Tuominen’s work there is a theme in there for collected items. Art critic Pessi Rautio explains: “Anu Tuominen amasses useless stuff like many other people do, it is just that she makes a virtue of it. Famous collections, too, usually have their beginnings in chance, in an obsession that has expanded beyond the bounds of reason until it begins to feel like they might resemble some sort of unified whole, a system.” This fascinates me. My mother is a collector of things. I, on the other hand, tend to be someone who loves getting rid of things much more than collecting them. I keep things for a little while and then shed them. Although I make fun of my mom for her collecting, I admit that she does have lots of random fun cool stuff and there’s a joy in curating that, which I think Tuominen shows her in her carefully honed collections.

Are you a collector? What do you collect?

pinit fg en rect gray 28 Conceptual Crochet Artist Anu Tuominen

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San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!
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