Lena Ylipää

Arv – strövandet (Heritage – the wandering), 2022, Lena Ylipää

Forests, history, and belonging. The Luleå Biennial will be showing a work by Lena Ylipää that focuses on a forest in Lainio that Ylipää and her sister have been taking care of since it was passed on to them by their parents and grandparents.

In a series of drawings, Ylipää offers reflections on what it means to inherit a forest. From having once been a familiar place, that she once viewed through a child’s eyes, it has now taken a very different place among her personal responsibilities. Drawing, for her, is a way to learn anew, to see in-depth, and interpret various aspects of stewardship and her own understanding of the complexities of ownership. In an age when forests have increasingly come to be regarded as renewable resources in political discourse, Ylipää’s work adds a local and poetic dimension to the ongoing discussions.


Lena Ylipää lives in Lainio, in the eastern part of Kiruna municipality. She moved back to Norrbotten after graduating from Konstfack in 1996, and has worked in the county ever since. Ylipää works with a wide variety of materials, but finds herself returning to drawing with increasing regularity.