Maarit Mäkelä works as an artist in the junction of ceramics and fine art. Her works deals with femininity. Her works has been displayed in Finland, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Italy, Spain, USA, Poland, Germany, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and China. She is a member of Finnish Painters' Union and Finnish Association of Designers. She works as a Professor of Design in Aalto University, Finland, where she also completed her master and doctoral studies in the field of ceramics. She has also studied painting in the National College of Art and Design Dublin, Ireland.
The core of Mäkelä’s artistic practice is the local, natural environment and in particular earth samples she gathered during her walks in New Zealand, especially around Waiheke Island where she lived as a visiting professor at AUT in 2015. These materials were processed in her studio in Waiheke and then used as clay body for the works, and as coloured slips for the paintings she produced on clay. Mäkelä then fired the paintings with the help of Waiheke Pottery Society members in Catherine Mitchell’s Arts Centre and at 1060°C they were transformed into ceramic.
The exhibition consists of clay paintings. The related catalogue includes documentary photographs of local places and materials she encountered during her walks to collect materials. Earth-dialogue also contains samples of sand, stone and clay – the materials Mäkelä gathered from different locations in New Zealand, that she then processed and fired as test pieces