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  • Writer's pictureHelena Tiainen

Shapeshifters: Myth and Magic of the North

I have postponed publishing this blog until now in order to have all the info to let interested parties know about my upcoming group exhibition at Think Round Fine Arts in San Francisco, California.

I am participating with another 15 artists in Shapeshifters: Myth & Magic of the North, a Nordic 5 Arts exhibition, with two of my paintings and one framed giclee print that hang on the wall and some unframed pieces that will be offered for sale in the print rack. My paintings included in this exhibition are Sacred and Profane, an acrylic painting in my Cosmic Carnival series, and The Joy of Design IV, also an acrylic painting in my The Joy of Design series of small square paintings that are designed to hang in all eight directions either alone or in combination with other works in this series. The framed and signed artist proof print, sized 16 by 16 inches, in an UV acrylic protected black wood frame (circa 20 by 20 in.) is titled The Joy of Design 64 Quadrupled 1. This work is created with the first 64 paintings in The Joy of Design series, which I scanned and digitally collaged and quadrupled in different directions to come up with this image. I am including images of these three works here at the bottom of this blog, but I hope that you will come and see these in person!

All of these imaginative works are about change and transformation with dual nature playing a major role. I invite you to allow your imagination run wild to see what you will perceive.

Here is my artist statement for this exhibition: "Change plays an integral part in my art and artmaking. In my works, whether acrylic paintings or ink drawings or digital collages, I play with transformation and different ways of seeing. My process is intuitive. This unpredictable approach that unfolds step by step is full of discovery and playful surprises that expand and enrich my life. To me the universe is full of beautiful mystery and magic constantly shifting and shaping into new ideas and unforeseen forms."

I have also decided to include here the artist statement for the Nordic 5 Arts group as a whole to give you an understanding of the premise for this exhibition. Here it follows:

"Transformation, both unexpected and inexplicable, is the essence of magic. Like the mythologies of all cultures, the Nordic cultures are rich with this kind of surprise, from the creation of the cosmos—the clash of fire and ice forming the giant Ymir, whose body parts are then transmuted into the stuff of this world—to the gender-bending Loki, whose antics confounded even the gods. These tales, less familiar to most of us than the Greek myths, stimulate the imagination and challenge the spirit.

The artists of Nordic 5 Arts share heritage and/or an interest in the nature and culture of the five Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. Together we have created this exhibit to express our personal representations of the ways in which the folklore and mythologies of the Nordic countries have affected our lives. As art-makers, metaphor and metamorphosis are the tools of our trade. They impel a drive to deepen our consciousness of the worlds within and around us. We tease out threads of ancient lore still resonant for us and weave them into plausible alternatives. Societal and planetary upheaval are looming; perhaps the wisdom of the past can help reshape our thought patterns in ingenious and fruitful ways."

I hope you will be able to come and see this exhibition at Think Round Fine Arts on 2140 Bush Street, Suite 1, San Francisco CA 94115 (between Fillmore and Webster. Gallery entrance is on the driveway). Gallery hours are: 12 noon - 5 PM Monday through Friday and Saturday 11 AM - 5 PM and by appointment. Phone: (415) 602-9599. More info at

The Opening Reception for Shapeshifters: Myth & Magic of the North is on Saturday, March 11, from 3 until 6 PM. This exhibition runs from March 8 until April 22, 2023. If you come, please, wear a well fitting mask, or be prepared to show proof of current Covid-19 vaccinations.

The pictures here have links embedded in them that will take you to FAA/Pixels, where you can learn more and order customizable art printed on a variety of products. Thank you for your interest in my art and your overall support of arts! As always, I appreciate your likes and comments. If you are interested in buying any originals, contact me directly. Thank you!

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Helena Tiainen
Helena Tiainen

If you go to visit, it is always best to call ahead of time. There will be someone in the gallery during the open hours, but they may not hear you knocking. The door needs to be opened for the visitors. You see, Think Round Fine Arts is no ordinary gallery. It has no sign with a name outdoors. The entrance is on the driveway side at 2140 Bush Street, so, toward Fillmore side of the building. The building is a modern white building and the gallery is on the first floor, left side of the building when facing it. Here is a photo of the building itself. If you would walk down the street you would end up at…


Helena Tiainen
Helena Tiainen

There is so much more to see in person, but here is a preview slideshow of the Shapeshifters:


Congrats on this fantastic show, Helena! Loved the statements and I wish I could visit :/ Much success to you and the other 4 artists! 👏🏻

Helena Tiainen
Helena Tiainen

Thank you, Adriana! I wish you could also see it in person. This promises to be a treat! We are 16 participating artists with very different styles and perspectives. There will likely be something for everyone...

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