Pekka ja Marja-Liisa Tikkanen

Pekka Tikkanen (1943), Marja-Liisa Tikkanen (1950)

Pekka and Marja-Liisa Tikkanen have worked as a couple as farmers and cattle keepers, which is naturally reflected in their art.

Pekka Tikkanen started making art after he retired. He has used various machine parts in his works, such as bearings, gauges, brake discs, clutch discs, pistons, chains, springs, chargers and even glass tubes from a milking machine. His long-time musical hobby of playing the saxophone is also present in some of his works. His sculptures feature an insightful visual outlook as well as sound and movement, which come to life in different weather conditions.  

Marja-Liisa Tikkanen has worked with ceramics and painted more than a hundred oil paintings and hundreds of prints. Her main source of inspiration has been cows, and she has created several cow-themed works that express a great variety of emotions. Her paintings record imaginative characters and story-worthy moments as well as events and feelings, joys and sorrows, of a farmer’s everyday life. Her works are testament to her great love of her cows and soulful way of dealing with life.  

Marja-Liisa has been making art since she was very young, and she feels that art has given her a welcome respite from her work. When she showed us her works, she regretted the lack of space she has in which to work, as do many ITE artists. Marja-Liisa’s artistic production is so abundant that she has not made much art in the last couple of years because she simply does not have any space for new works.   

There is also one work that was made by the couple together on the farm, “A ladder to the sky”, in which rubber boots are climbing the ladder to “the sky”.  

Text and photos: Jari Ruotsalainen Translation: Kirsti Nurmela-Knox

ITE Art surveys / Northern Savonia 2020–2022