Get to know our International Talent – Barbora Kachlíková



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Since this whole series of articles is about foreign talents in Finland, why not adopt a different approach from the previous articles and interview someone talented … ad literam.

Barbora Kachlíková, Art symposium in Most 2020, Czech Republic; Photo credit: Ondřej Lambád Voráč

Barbora Kachlíková, Art symposium in Most 2020, Czech Republic; Photo credit: Ondřej Lambád Voráč


‘The fact that my life’s journey will lead to Finland is because of a June summer night somewhere in Pyhtää, where I went on a night lake ride on a stolen boat. However, the thick fog caused concern for the Finnish artist Anssi, who came to save me. We rowed through the night and disappeared in the thick fog on the lake. Anssi and I have been together ever since. That time I was a student of the Estonian Tartu Kõrgem Kunstikool, who appointed me to participate in the student exhibition Stockfors Art Fair in Finland 2013’.

After graduating from the Czech University of Brno in 2016, with a MA in painting, she moved to Finland same year in October. The transition from Fine Arts to the Finnish reality was challenging for her in the first half of year. ‘I didn’t know how to structure a working day, deal with living costs and connect with the art scene.

‘Most valuable for me was the support of Finnish friends and family’

In the next couple of years Barbora started working as a goat milker at Jokiniemen Kartano, and in the same time she was volunteering for the Czech Embassy in Finland where together with Petr Řehoř, she organized and curated exhibitions of Czech and Finnish artists.

‘Art has been my concern all my life.’

It would be fair to say that her family’s background influenced her to become an artist and talent is inherited and passed on into her family from generation to generation.

‘The fact that I am somehow different, became clear around the age of 10 when we went on a school trip to the theatre in Prostějov. The following day we wrote an essay about theatre performance. However, my essay entirely described the statue of the ”Goddess of Water” by sculptor Olbram Zoubek, which occupied the theatre’s entrance hall. Art has been my concern all my life. My grandfather and great-grandfather were local artists who depicted the surroundings of my hometown Vyškov in their drawings and aquarelles.’

‘Travelling increased my sensitivity to surroundings and opened my mind’

As most artists, she’s used to being curious, exploring the world in search of new impressions.

‘I consider the change of scenery to be the most important thing for my artistic development. Consequently, the artistic residencies in Stuttgart in Germany and in the Khasi tribal society in Meghalaya, India, had the most transcendent influence on the development of my painting, technically and topically.

’Succeeding in Finland is difficult. Just like everywhere in the world.’

My new home in Finland has brought inspiration to my work by the closest surroundings and environment of Ratula village, where I create and live. The most important step in engaging in professional artistic life was a month-long working internship at the HIAP artist residency centre in Suomenlinna, thanks to which I became acquainted with the Finnish art scene.”

’The way to become part of society is through language.’

’I hit jackpot with the best Finnish language school in Kuurojen Kansanopisto. It was a significant moment in my socialization and involvement in the Finnish society. As an artist with an international background, my membership in Globe Art Point helps me in everyday professional tasks and networking. I am also a member of the Taidemaalariliitto (Painter’s Union), whose information services for painters helps me orientate on the art scene and actively participate. I took part in artists unions of Yö ry and Helsingin Taiteilijaseura. I enjoy activities and workshops of Feminist Culture House, HIAP and Publics, which always bring me inspiration.’

Currently, you can see her work at the ”Shaman Wears Nike ” exhibition at Vapaakaupungin Olohuone in the shopping centre Redi in Helsinki until 27.11. 2021.

I am pleased to participate in the Vapaakaupunki Olohuone program and support its activity by bringing my exhibition out of common gallery spaces to connect and interact with a new audience.’
‘The huge, gorgeous new 13 m wall motivated me to exhibit 28 paintings from three series. The concept of Vapaakaupungin Onlohuone intrigued me; I believe that for many, Vapaakaupungin Olohuone may be the first place to meet culture.

‘An artist is an enthusiastic person […] fascinated by life’

I wake up in the morning thinking about painting. I imagine an artist as someone sensitive to what is happening around them. Artists can transform experiences and things around them in a new and unique way. I think the role of the artist is to bring inspiration into everyday life.

Losing Face, oil on canvas, 140 cm x 200 cm, 2021

Losing Face, oil on canvas, 140 cm x 200 cm, 2021

‘The inspiration for the paintings are trends in society, human values ​​and diversity.’

‘For the abstract paintings, I was inspired by urban architecture and especially zones, which I call out of control. (zones that are not as consistent as the other parts of the city). In Helsinki, I like the rocks right in the city centre. That’s unique, I love it. I am very passionate about the world of the tribes in Papua New Guinea, who live today as they did in prehistory.

The ontological source of inspiration I found in the village Ratula in Finland, Wanniang family from Khasi Hills in India, from the environment of Asian food markets, literature, from Tibetan monks, from the Sámi band Solju, from the German kayaker Freya Hoffmeister and artists Nina Roos, Raisa and Misha, Richard Serra, Liu Xiadong, Xinyi Cheng, Karl Hörst Hödicke and Carolyne Walker.’


‘I am a big fan of Finnish literature.’

The authors and works that convince my perception of the world would be Emmi Itäranta -Teemestarin kirja, Joni Skiftesvik -Suolamänty, Mika Waltari- Mikael Hakim just to name a few. And the novel by Juhani Aho about the first oil lamp in the village. A mind-blowing event for me was seeing a theatre play “Valas” in Kotka City Theatre. The story about the man dealing with whale type obesity cracked something sympathetic and powerful deep inside. It is an amazing performance that you can’t miss!’

 She is currently working on the Christmas exhibition for the space of Cultural Center Kafara in Brno, Czech Republic. ‘For the last few days I have been figuring out how to paint Christmas ombre trees and Christmas trees in the colour of strawberry milkshake.’ In Finland, she will start 2022 with an exhibition at Taidetila Ruuma at Merikeskus Vellamo in Kotka.

Barbora is interested in future artistic opportunities, available for mentoring projects or cooperation that would challenge and help her grow as an individual and artist.

If you are interested in contemporary and abstract artworks, check out her website or follow her on Instagram

Get to know our International Talent -campaign is part of Kasvua Vantaalle kansainvälisistä osaajista – Talent Vantaa –project that implements the targets of national Talent Boost Program and receives funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Project is implemented in cooperation with the City of Vantaa and Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

Talent Vantaa