HAA Gallery presents the exhibition Figura 1 by Natalia Kopkina 22 February – 17 March, 2024.

Welcome to the exhibition opening on Wednesday21 February 5–7 pm! 

Natalia Kopkinan valokuva, jossa kaksi tyttöä rannalla.

Image: Natalia Kopkina – Nimetön (Étretat, 2021)


Natalia Kopkina: Figura 1                    

The word ’figura’ can mean shape, form, especially the representation of the human body as an image, the shape of the human body, or the representation of any form by drawing, painting, molding, sculpting, etc. The term can also refer to a sketch or drawing, a metaphor, the form of a word or speech, essence, a person or thing representing a certain consciousness, impression, or action, showiness or grandeur, as well as a numerical value or quantity. 

In the Figura 1 photography exhibition at HAA Gallery, Natalia Kopkina presents silver gelatin prints captured on film in France in 2021 and hand-printed in the darkroom. These works showcase various figures encountered by Kopkina during her residency journey. In her photo series titled ’Close-ups,’ Kopkina enlarges film negatives, abstracting human figures and providing them with new meaning and form. In the large photographic prints, the enlarged grain of the negative functions in a pointillist manner, with this effect being particularly evident in the three-meter piece that serves as the focal point of the exhibition. The series ’Scenes’ explores time and the transience of the moment where the figures come to life. Kopkina is interested in how both photographs and the human body communicate nonverbally, through the visual language alone. 

“As a photographer, I like being invisible and observing people’s activities from the sidelines. I enjoy watching people, and I focus my attention on seemingly insignificant figures and situations that often go unnoticed.” 

The exhibition is part of a broader manifesto-themed project initiated by the artist in 2016, where she examines the essence of contemporary photography and seeks suitable ways to create photographic art. The first exhibition of the project, titled ”Studies and Notes,” was showcased at the Photographic Gallery Hippolyte in 2020, and in spring 2024, the latest solo exhibitions of the project will be seen, of which the HAA Gallery exhibition is the first part. The second part of the exhibition series, Figura 2, opens in Tampere at the Mältinranta Art Center on April 27, 2024. 


Natalia Kopkina is a Helsinki-based photographic artist, emphasizing craftsmanship and a small-scale, independent approach in her practice. In addition to darkroom work, Kopkina publishes artists’ books and publications with a focus on photography through her non-profit publishing imprint ”I am not Publishing” founded in 2018. She actively works to promote analog photography and is one of the founding members of the Finnish Darkroom Artists association and the ”Mörk” darkroom in Helsinki. Kopkina earned her MA in Photography from Aalto University in 2015.

At the opening of the exhibition at HAA Gallery, on February 21st, Kopkina will release two new artist books, ”Rautahampaat” and ”Sokeripalat.” 

The artist’s work has been supported by the Alfred Kordelin Foundation and the Finnish Cultural Foundation. The exhibition is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland. 

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