close up of an art piece with fingers and small creatures on a wall

Alma Heikkilä starts as the new artist-in-residence at CSSM

We are happy to announce that Alma Heikkilä is the new artist-in-residence at the CSSM. Through painting, installation and sculpture, Alma examines things that are difficult to experience through the human sensorium, such as microbes. During the six-month residency, Alma will be developing her own thinking to better understand the complexity of microbial entanglements while also creating new works for two group exhibitions: After the Sun: Forecasts from the North at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in Buffalo, New York, and Toxic Transits at Hagströmer library, Karolinska Institute’s medico-historical library in Stockholm.

In her artistic work, Alma tries to make space and time for wondering and digesting scientific accounts that challenge familiar ways of thinking.

“Through the years I’ve felt there are many new approaches and findings in microbiology that drastically affect my understanding of what life, the planet, and my body might be. I feel these approaches don’t at the moment translate to our cultural traditions and understanding. There doesn’t seem to be very good words or images to describe these phenomena. I use my art making as a practice to try to make space for this thinking and understanding,” Alma explains.

a large art piece with shades of brown in a gallery

Alma has held several solo exhibitions, most recently semipermeable & sensitive in Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam, and Hot prefontal cortex in Tempesta Gallery, Milan. Her works have also been featured in Helsinki Art Museum; Helsinki Biennial 2023; Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki; Busan Biennale 2022; Arnolfini, Bristol, and various other venues in Finland and abroad. Alma is one of the founding members of Mustarinda, an association of artists and scientists promoting the ecological rebuilding of society, the diversity of culture and nature, and the connection between art and science.

Visit Alma’s website to get to know her work in more detail.

Where to see Alma’s work this spring:

Handle With Care

Turku Art Museum, Finland
28 Mar 2023 – 10 Nov 2024

The Observatory – Art and Life in the Critical Zone

15 Feb –15 Sep 2024
Kin Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiruna, Sweden


KunstHausWien / Klima Biennale Wien, Austria
5 Apr – 11 Aug 2024

After the Sun: Forecasts from the North

Buffalo AKG Art Museum, United States
26 Apr – 19 Aug 2024

The Blast

Mänttä Art Festival, Finland
16 June – 31 Aug 2024

Toxic Transits

Hagströmer library, Sweden
26 Mar – 8 May 2024

The feature picture at the top of the page is a detail from Alma’s piece Complexes (2023). The second picture is of a piece titled found living in total darkness (450 x 290 x 7 cm, 2020).