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Rijkuo-Maja - Art by Iria Čiekča Schmidt

Iria Čiekča Schmidt, born in Enontekiö, bases her artwork strongly on arctic nature, on Sámi mythology, on the religion of nature, and on shamanism. Her works show the influence of other ethnic cultures that the artist is also familiar with.

Nov 01, 2014
Every day until Mar 08, 2015
Contact Name Sámi Museum Siida
Contact Email
Contact Phone +358 (0)400 898 212
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Iria Čiekča Schmidt lives and works in Tammisaari, but spends her summers in Enontekiö and other areas in the North Calotte. The multi-layer prints that blaze in brilliant colours show the technical skill and the diverse art education of the artist.

Iria Čiekča Schmidt’s technique has evolved in constantly changing conditions, allowing the artist to become ”a scroll artist” who can carry her art with her. Indeed, Iria Čiekča Schmidt calls herself a modern nomad: she has moved often to earn a living. For example, she has worked as an art teacher and an art therapist, as well as a drawer in different positions. Her interest in her own cultural heritage drove her to make an expedition to Sámi mythology, with the help of literature, archives and museums. This is how the Stories of the Red Moon were born.

The title work of the exhibition, Rijkuo-Maja (Rich-Maja) is based on one of these stories. The woman Rijkuo-Maja (1661–1757) still lives in stories, recollections and art. She lived in Mausjaur, about thirty kilometres towards the south-west from Arvidsjaur. It is said that she was a rich Sámi woman with great spiritual powers. Iria Čiekča Schmidt depicts this strong and, at one time, influential woman together with the thunder god and the reindeer bulls that were sacrificed to it.

In this exhibition, the works of art are part of the story and the stories part of the art.

“I don’t try to tell anything; I just want to create reflections on the borderline of the spirit world, of the visible and the invisible. My images mirror the past, the present and maybe the future. I will be delighted, if you hear the distant sound of the drum.
Iria Čiekča Schmidt

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