Pentti Sammallahti /Camera Obscura Gallery
Sammallahti describes himself as a nomad who enjoys the nature of the great north: the darkness, the cold, and the sea. Sammallahti is a master craftsman, carefully toning his prints, to create a poetic atmosphere of desolate silence.
As a wanderer and master craftsman Sammallahti records the relationships he discovers between people and animals in the far-off places he visits. As a passionate seeker of the perfect mechanical printing method, his own innovative printing techniques and reintroduction of the portfolio form have re-awakened broader interest in published photographic art.
Pentti Sammallahti (born Helsinki 1950) is a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography. Sammallahti has been photographing the world around him with a poetic eye since the age of eleven. At the age of nine he visited “The Family of Man” exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall, confirming at a young age his photographic path in life. Featured in solo exhibitions by the age of 21, Sammallahti continued to exhibit and teach at the Helsinki University of Art and Design until receiving the Finnish State’s 15-year artist grant in 1991. Sammallahti’s travels across Europe, Scandinavia, Siberia, the far East and Africa, combined with his interest in fine printing and lithography, led him to publish numerous portfolios such as Ici et Loin (Actes Sud, 2012). He has received awards such as the Samuli Paulaharju Prize of the Finnish Literature Society, State Prizes for Photography, Uusimaa Province Art Prize, Daniel Nyblin Prize, and the Finnish Critics Association Annual, and has been represented at art fairs and in exhibitions in Europe and the USA for over four decades.