BLOG INTERVIEW // Sirkku Ketola: The artistic process of performing Paula written by firstindigoandlifestyle. Link HERE.


ACTUAL performances in Engramme, Centre de production en estampe diffusion en art actuel, 510 Côte d'Abraham, Québec, QC, Canada.

Sirkku Ketola: A Body Called Paula

La Galerie Engramme 6.4.-6.5.2023

Vernissage Jeudi 6 avril à 17h. Bienvenue!



A Body Called Paula

performances in the gallery on following days at 1 pm. You can freely browse the work just for a while,

or you can stay with it even longer (duration approx. 2-3 hours /performance):

Sat 8 April - Light
 Wed 12 April - Passion
Fri 14 April - Knowledge
Sat 15 April - Darkness. Work completes. Warmly Welcome! Bielvenue <3

A Body Called Paula, is an installation based on repetition and a meditative performance in which Ketola, taking the role of Paula, works on a large ornament on fragile paper. Paula is an allegory of a human as part of the universe and as a builder of technology. With the help of serigraphy, her hands and the space form a human printer, a sensual machine. Paula is enchanted with the ribbons, trapped in the activity and fettered by the body and matter. In Finnish the word paula is a synonym to a ribbon and a trap. The performance parts Light, Passion, Knowledge, Reality and Darkness symbolises the elements of full life. Tension is always present in the seemingly calm performance as the characteristics of the matter are in danger of being revealed when the fragile paper gets stuck. The ethereal soundscape of the performance has been created by Ketola.


A Body Called Paula, begun in 2017, is a ten-year long process. Every year three to four ornament ribbons are created in different parts of the world. The performance is physically demanding and the endurance of the artist’s hands determine the rhythm. The long timeline allows to override the control and lets the work itself find its essential form and dialogue. The task of the artist is only to maintain the movement.


Sirkku Ketola (b.1973)  is a contemporary printmaker who combines serigraphy with different materials. She is a civilized savage who slows down the digital image stream through handicraft methods, trying to understand the relationship between human rhythm and matter. Ketola earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts and she has taken part in numerous Finnish and international projects and exhibitions. She lives and works in Turku and occasionally in Brussels. The artist’s work has been supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and A Body Called Paula project by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and The Finnish Cultural Foundation.




Paula is a female name. In Finnish, the word means a ribbon, something to tie or to be enchanted. It is also a synonym for a trap. Globally it is known as a name, originally a Greek word ‘Paulus’, which means small.


The project is a performative installation that mixes screenprinting with performance. Part installation, part performance, A Body Called Paula is a piece that develops over the days of the installation through long-duration performance sessions. With the ethereal soundtrack the movements of the body become a sensual machine. The main themes addressed are time/ temporality, pleasure and the meditative process of working. The narrative story hunts beauty through light to passion, knowledge, reality, and depth to the final balance with darkness.


What is the measure of time? An ornament is a universal form of visual art in every culture. Every individual performance exhibition is part of the long-term project. During ten years, 2017-2027, Sirkku Ketola will produce hand-printed ribbons around the world which will finally be presented as one massive installation. The photo-based patterns changes in every ornament with the motive that rises from the previous performance place. Who knows what will happen?




A Body Called Paula in Finlandia University Gallery/Hancock/USA, September 2022

A Body Called Paula in  Eilisen jälkiä/ Wiurinlan kesä/ Wiurilan kartano/Halikko/Finland, June 2022

Stay and Stir - Halfway Curled Ribbons in Haa Gallery in  Suomenlinna Island/Helsinki/Finland, May 2022

A Body Called Paula – Lab 2 / Manual Sash, Private Lab and Instagram, Online, November 2021

A Body Called Paula. Solo show in Kulttuuritalo Laikku, Studio, Tampere, Finland, August 2021

A Body Called Paula - high/low. Marathon performances at Olohuone 306,4 km2 Festival in Martinkirkko, Turku, Finland, July 2021

MAA ALLA feat. A Body Called Paula. Art Gallery Naantalin taidehuone, Museum of Naantali, Naantali, Finland, July 2020

A Body Called Paula. Muhuprint 2020, Association of Estonian Printmakers, Muhu Island, Estonia, July 2020

A Body Called Paula – Elaboration, Circulation. Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee, Belgium , May 2020

A Body Called Paula – La Rituelle en Silence. Telegrafen, Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki, Utö, Finland, January 2020

PARADOX – Biennial Art Future / Future Signs. Art Academy of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, September 2019

See Saw Seeds Effect MOI MOI KONNICHIWA. A Body Called Paula. C.A.P. / Kobe Studio Y3, Kobe, Japan, May 2019

Sacré - A Body Called Paula. La Chapella de Notre Dame de Marché, Jodoigne, Belgium, October 2018
RISTEILLÄÄN - Cruising feat. A Body Called Paula. Exit11, Grand-Leez, Belgium, October 2018

What's the Matter feat. A Body Called Paula. RAVI, Liége, Belgium, September 2018

Fabula feat. A Body Called Paula. Gallery Huuto, Helsinki, March 2018

A Body Called Paula, NARS, New York, USA, November 2017

AOmen, Paula vol. 2. Gallery Joella, Turku, Finland, September 2017

A Body Called Paula - La Détermination. Lá-bas – Self as the Third. International Performance Festival, Helsinki, Finland, August 2017

A Body Called Paula, Open Studio, Toronto, Canada, February 2017

Là-bas festival, A Body Called Paula - La Détermination text HERE

Visit also the Image Gallery.

The Essay 'Sirkku Ketola: A Body Called Paula' by Daryl Vocat is linked HERE.

The Exhibition info about the Open Studio, Toronto is HERE.

The Blog article about the Open Studio, Toronto is HERE.


April 2023, A Body Called Paula will be seen in Engramme/Quebec City/ Quebec/Canada

September 2023, A Body Called Paula will happen in Gü Gallery/Tallinn/Estonia

Autumn 2023, A Body Called Paula will do some extra sport in Hoeilaart/Belgium <3

December 2023, A Body Called Paula will challange the performance in small Räyhä Gallery/Turku/Finland

Spring 2024, A Body Called Paula will print in 5 Malunai/Vilnius/Lithuania

and more to come...

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Copywright © Sirkku Ketola 2023