Hers is an aesthetic journey in challenging the notion of what we as a culture believe to be ideal. Kantanen says: "It became for me a search for a landscape that doesn’t really exist, an idealized picture.” Yet her path found footing in the grey area that lies between an Eastern way of seeing and the Western sense for romanticism. She no longer sought out a specific place, but rather created her own, with the use of different colored modern smoke grenades infused within a select Finnish landscape. Her choice of these locations is based upon places that are still turning up old military armaments from the Russian occupation of the Hanko Peninsula in Finland, from the 1940s. Kantanen has always had a strong penchant for the use of diffused light within her photographs. This new Smoke Works series combines her sense of painting with light and her ability to digitally record and layer different images upon each other. Sometimes she leaves the photographs as they were taken, if they reflect the ambiance of her liking. If not, she manipulates them through a digital process where she stretches the pixels to the point where they appear as if dripping paint. Kantanen’s photographs can only be described in her own words as "mindscapes”.
Sandra Kantanen was born in 1974 in Helsinki. She lives and works in Hangö, Finland. Her most recent exhibitions include shows at The New World Trade Center in Jakarta, the Denver art Museum and the Rovaniemi art museum in Korundi (Finland), among others.