Point sublime : Anna Niskanen
4.11.2023 – 4.02.2024

Curators: François Cheval, Yasmine Chemali
With the support of Frame Contemporary Art Finland.

Reclaiming traditional photographic techniques is an attempt, while it is still possible, to resist the standardisation of prints that is a consequence of digital techniques.

By virtue of its uniqueness, a photographic print is more than an artisanal refuge; it affirms a principle of life, a way of paying homage to nature and a refusal of the inevitability of ecological peril. Cyanotype, Prussian blue and gum bichromate, an earthy pigment, are used here to capture a residency in Mougins by Finnish-born photographer Anna Niskanen.

The prints, blue for the Mediterranean and ochre for the hinterland, in large format, capture the place as it burns in the sun.

The area around Mougins is beautiful and wild, yet there is also a damaged coastline and a scarred mountain.

This sums up the photographer’s singular experience of complex landscapes, an admission that they are no more than poetic artefacts, an affirmation of a play on the picturesque as well as her own memories. It is as if the fabric of the landscape could protect and comfort us.

Anna Niskanen’s photography rediscovers through the making of images these primitive passions and the emotional spontaneity that stands in modest opposition to the false rationality of the world.

An invisible presence that only the sun is capable of revealing.

Under the sun, to be precise.


Anna Niskanen (born in 1990 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish emerging artist. She approaches photography through alternative printing processes, creating large-scale installations of handmade prints. An overarching theme in her body of work – a continuous flow of unique prints – is memory of place and nature. She builds an archive of photographs and ecofacts collected while visiting places. This vast library of images and natural objects is then used to recreate images in new compositions.

During her graduate studies at Aalto University Photography Programme (Finland), Niskanen developed a distinct aesthetic by exploring photography in printmaking. She was first introduced to the possibilities and limitations of light sensitive materials during her exchange studies at Emily Carr University (Vancouver, Canada). Since then, she has been enhancing her process further in her Helsinki studio as well as artist residencies abroad.

Her work takes on the subject of her surroundings and the following exhibitions are typically designed for their specific spaces. Her collection of works called ‘Oyster’ was made of and during her multiple artist residency stays at SÍM in Reykjavik, Iceland. The work was inspired by the surrounding waterscapes, water in all its different forms.

‘Point Sublime’ follows this paradigm. During an artist residency in the southeast of France, Niskanen has explored, learnt, saw and collected material. The resulting installation at the Mougins Center of Photography represents her first solo exhibition in France.

© Anna Niskanen
Small pine
Cyanotype and gum bichromate on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
Toned with red pigment from a hike at Point sublime [Cians Valley]
40 x 30 cm

© Anna Niskanen
Whirling to Embrace
Cyanotype on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
240 x 270 cm

© Anna Niskanen
Cyanotype on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
58 x 46 cm

© Anna Niskanen
Cyanotype and gum bichromate on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
Toned with yellow pigment from a hike at Roche Rouge Cap Estérel
50 x 40 cm

© Anna Niskanen
Two-channel cyanotype on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
Toned with French eucalyptus
60 x 75 cm
© Anna Niskanen
Hold on
Cyanotype on paper (Fabriano Tiepolo)
Bleached with French pine
210 x 500 cm

Cahiers #7

Point sublime : Anna Niskanen
Nous irons jusqu’au soleil : Jessica Backhaus

Authors: François Cheval, András Páldi, Anna Niskanen
Publishing: November 2023
Bilingual French/English
144 pages
29 €
Isbn: 979-10-90698-56-7
On sale in the MouginsCenter of Photography store.

The Cahiers #7 of the Mougins Center of Photography represent a paean to light.
In “Point sublime” and “Nous irons jusqu’au soleil”, we witness the convergence of two photographers who harness the vibrancy of rays to communicate profound messages. Jessica Backhaus’s meticulously curated selection of coloured papers elegantly complements Anna Niskanen’s cyanotypes imbued with essences and natural pigments discovered therein. This synthesis beckons us into the realm of pictorialist heritage, prompting contemplation upon the passage of time.

Past Exhibitions

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