Pekka Sammallahti: Arctic Mindscapes exhibition

Pekka Sammallahti has an exhibition at the Siida museum, Inari, Finland until February 2014.

Pekka Sammallahti: Arctic Mindscapes exhibition
Pekka is a professor of Sami languages. He is also a very competent photographer as this exhibition shows. There are masterful portraits and landscapes from around the arctic region that go beyond simply recording their subject to providing the viewer with insights to life and light in a region that sees no sun in midwinter. Since December/January is the time of my visit, I was impressed with Pekka’s handling of twilight and it’s limited tonal pallet.


Another aspect of this exhibition that impressed me is the blending of black & white and colour images: this can be difficult to do but the subtle, subdued use of colour did blend very well. Many of the photographs appear to have been taken on film and spread over several decades, so I assume that the show is a retrospective; there are changes and developments is his style between sections of the exhibition that adds an interesting variability along with the more obvious thematic grouping of the images.

In case the photographer’s name seems familiar to you, his brother Pentti has an exhibition at the Photographers Gallery, London at the moment and has recently published an excellent book “Here Far Away”

Pekka Sammallahti: Arctic Mindscapes exhibition


4 responses to “Pekka Sammallahti: Arctic Mindscapes exhibition

  1. Pekka Sammallahti

    Thank you, Mal Ragget, for your kind review a couple of years ago. Iäm trying to live up to it. A few exhibitions after Inari and a couple of them coming this year.

  2. Pekka Sammallahti

    Mal, unfortunately I don’t/didn’t. At present, some of my work is on display in the Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre (VB-valokuvakeskus) in Kuopio, eastern Finland. After Inari I’ve had solo exhibitions in Rovaniemi (2014), Oulu (2015) and Enontekiö (2016). Now I’m preparing a fairly sizable (450 pp) photo book on Northern Saamiland together with Antti Haataja. The commissioned version for a limited audience will be published in 2017 to celebrate Finland’s 100 years of independence, and a commercial version for bookstore distribution will be published in 2018.

  3. Pekka Sammallahti

    Here’s a link to the present exhibition (in Finnish only)::

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