Ola Kolehmainen

Ola Kolehmainen (born 1964, Helsinki) studied photography at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. His photographs almost exclusively depict sections of building facades, organised according to strict principles of order, showing rows of repetitive basic patterns or symmetrical constructs. The austerity of these images is occasionally broken by elements that circumvent this formalism: trees or houses mirrored in the facades. Kolehmainen has recently completed a residency in Istanbul where he was given the opportunity to work alone inside the Hagia Sophia (now a museum) as well as ancient mosques and churches in the City. The resulting series celebrates the volume and the light and colour of the surfaces of these sacred buildings and integrates profane items such as scaffolding and lighting appliances into the compositions. In the photographs, with their textured ornamentation reflecting historical layers and decorative interiors, Kolehmainen has captured the sublime essence of these historic buildings and the mysticism that they radiate.