Biography

Sinikka Elfving was born in 1949, close to the Arctic Circle in a place far north of Finland, called Kuusamo. During the Second World War, Sinikka’s family faced daily struggles of survival that influencied the artist’s approach to life, while forming the basis of later ideologies.  Yet,  the surrounding wild arctic nature established a wonderful playground for Sinikka's eleven brothers and sisters. Imaginary landscapes, a great memory of childhood, is a recurring theme in Sinikka’s art as well as expressive paintings of the "Madonna" that demonstrate her spirituality. 

In 1972 Sinikka Elfving studied at the University of Vienna, Austria, and later moved to Salzburg, where she graduated in Psychology. The same year Sinikka started her career as a psychologist in Finland, subsequently moving to Sweden and Norway.  

Sinikka was confronted with mental illness and the suffering of children and families on a daily basis. Sinikka's professional life and philosophical persuits lead her to question the meaning of life and the meaning of war and conflict, which are the basis of inspiration for much of her artistic expression and creation. 

Sinikka has always been, in essence, an outsider artist. Her art being based on her surroundings, her emotions and her feelings.
 

Sinikka's professional life as a psychologist had a very strong impact on her art. In fact, she worked with the most delicate and complex minds in her profession and helped children through art therapy by teaching them intuitive painting. Sinikka could see how children had a tremendous ability to heal during art therapy by being able to express feelings on paper. While observing, Sinikka realised that human suffering always dates back to the same origin - the soul. According to Sinikka, when the soul is suffering, the whole body is unbalanced. Thus, freeing a person’s spirit through art generates happiness and good health.
 

 

Sinikka's life experiences lead to an explosive and creative force within her. During her career as a psychologist and an artist, Sinikka found herself embraced by the art world and decided she should embrace the theory of art as well as exploring and researching the expressive process of art. Sinikka applied her creative talents at the Art School of Stockholm, improved her theoretical skills and found further inspirtions, which allowed her to grow as an artist.

Sinikka's focus on psychology is maintained by a current and deep interest in Romanticism.  Artists of that era are seen as the first psychologists. The movement, which emerged from ideologies of the French Revolution, includes philosophies of a time, where humanistic and ethical values have been influenced by confrontation. The blue flower, which becomes a central part of her works,  is a symbol of Romanticism, reflecting joy yet relying on the persuit of happiness and the meaning of life. It furthermore stands for love and the metaphysical desire for eternity.

While painting, the artist occasionally listens to Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Mozart, Brahms -  virtuous musicians of the romantic era.  She mentions the theory of Romanticism, engaging the individual and acknowledging it as a creature within its own right. Furthermore, the importance of social justice and human rights as a central position in Romanticism are essential to Sinikka.  The artist refers to Plato, who stressed the originality of natural order and Montesquies, who accentuates nations as entities with its own characters and historical systems of justice being the natural law. Also, she highlights existential philosophers, who refer to the “Tree of Life”, consisting of a wide range of single choices and thus individual independence and freedom of choice. Last but not least, she emphasizes Rousseau, who states that mankind is free from the beginning since we are born freely and individually.

Romanticism has not only influenced Sinikka’s art but also the way she experiences the world and the human race.  For her, every human being is an individual with equal rights and obligations in respect to each other and life itself.  There is a shared aim for peace, dignity, security and  freedom. She indicates Voltaire’s philosophy, which discusses a “garden” we live in and the need to care for it.  According to her,  human beings play roles given by others, without questioning them or  the meaning of life.  Mankind should move forward to a new era of humanity,  to a new renaissance of human – ethical values in a time,  where materialistic values govern,  leaving us empty with our the hunger for spirituality unsatisfied.

Sinikka calls herself an “Artist for Humanity”, speaking up for her illusion of a new world in peace and harmony and universal understanding between nations, races and religions. She stresses the fact that in our hearts we are all of the same kind, with shared human emotions and needs. Sinikka fights for the prosperity of the “Tree of Life”. To conclude,  the artist remarks; "When the power of love overcomes the love to power, the world will know peace."