Photographer Päivi Maria Wells is the master of painting with her camera: silky soft landscapes, delicate close-ups of flowers and captures of movement that are dreamy and life-like at the same time. A true global nomad, Päivi has lived in Tanzania and Nepal, but now calls KL home. Echoes of her travels are visible in her art, but she also regularly returns to the sceneries of her native Finland.
Päivi values life as a fully lived tangible experience and sees images as mere reflections of the passing moments. “There is a huge difference between looking and seeing, stopping and snapping. Photos are lovely memories of those moments but the experience is the most important, to have lived your life.”
Päivi’s creativity sparks from time spent in solitude and reflection in nature. Forests and the seashores, fields and river beds are her favourite stomping grounds. In a busy city such as KL she finds inspiration by retrieving into it’s many parks. As someone who has a need to withdraw into the nature she too found the recent haze that hit South East Asia extremely alarming. It stopped her to think about individual’s responsibility in protecting the environment that sustains the humankind.
“I realised that even if my decisions are a drop in the ocean, if everyone makes those same decisions, it will become more and more significant. I have checked my consumption patterns, for example I started preferring products made with sustainable palm oil”.
Her unique style is a result of creatively using different techniques such as hand-held camera motion, use of filters and long exposure times. “Photography is my creative outlet. It allows me to document my inner experience. When I am photographing I’m not distracted by thoughts or feelings. My mind is clear and though allowing my camera to move, I stay still for very long periods of time patiently observing the life around me. This is often a meditative process. It is an inner state, a space within that is very easy to reach in nature, but I use the same technique on busy city streets, too.”
As an artisan by training Päivi places skill and care into her final product. The original photographs are printed as pigment ink on a highest quality fine art photography paper. The original photographs are signed and numbered.
Currently Päivi is exploring the many faces of Malaysian culture and nature. We are looking forward to seeing ther first exhibition in KL – it will take place in Aku Café & Gallery in Chinatown in May.