"It's not all doom and gloom.
Hope is what I look for."
Hannes Heikura was an internationally awarded press photographer and photographer-artist. Born and raised in Karvia, a small town in the country-side in Western Finland, Heikura relocated to Helsinki in the early 1980’s to study cinematography at the University of Art and Design. However, he soon switched to photography, which better suited his restless character.
What followed was a long, successful career at Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland. During this time Heikura saw and experienced the aftermaths of war while photographing in Irak and Afganistan, the joy of athletes pursuing their dreams during the Olympic Games, and the-sometimes-less-exciting everyday life of the Finns, such as politics or roadworks. Whatever Heikura photographed, he did it with perseverance, ambition, and respect. He had the ability to turn a “boring” scene into a piece of art.
In 2009, Heikura started to create the first series of his Helsinki Trilogy – Dark Zone. He wanted to create his own world, a world where the city changes into a timeless scene.
“On a November morning I stepped out the door into my home street, into bright light and shadows, and I knew that was what I had been looking for. So close.” Heikura writes in the pre-words of Dark Zone. He walked around the city center of Helsinki day and night to capture the dance of bright light and dark shadows, loneliness. A sequel, We Walk Alone, followed in 2012, where Heikura continued with black and white photographs.
Documentariness was the most important aspect in Heikura’s photographs. They had to be of this life, a photographer’s interpretation based on reality. Each photo he took was a reflection of himself, a self-portrait of some sort. The last part of the trilogy, End of the Road, continues the same theme as the previous two, but with colors. Heikura wandered around the same areas, this time in the early morning hours of Autumn and Spring, when the sun colored everything in different shades of red. According to Heikura, the red completed the trilogy, brought it closer to certain finality, something that the first two series missed, closing the circle.
Photo: Juhani Niiranen
Best of News Design 2015, Orlando, USA. Illustration of loneliness in Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.
Press photographer of the year (Finland) 1992, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Press photo of the year (Finland) 1992, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2007.
Press photo of the year in Greater Helsinki (Finland) 1996, 1997 and 1998.
News photo of the year (Finland) 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2002.
Photo essay of the year (Finland) 2009.
Photo illustration of the year (Finland) 1996.
Fotofinlandia (Finland) 2008.
Suomen kuvalehti Journalist Award (Finland) 2006.
Tammisaari photography award (Finland) 1998.
Fuji Euro Press Award (London, UK) 3. place 1998.
Fuji Finland Press Award (Finland) 1. place 1997 and 1998.
Fuji Finland Press Award (Finland) 1. place, news photo 1993.
Fuji Finland Press Award (Finland), sports photo 1992 and 1997.
2015 - End of the road, Virka-Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2014 - Zone (We walk alone & Dark Zone), Jyväskylä Art Museum, Jyväskylä, Finland
2014 - We walk alone & Dark Zone, Rosphoto, St Petersburg, Russia
2013 - We Walk Alone, Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2013 - We Walk Alone & Dark Zone, Salo Art Museum, Salo, Finland
2012 - Dark Zone, Heinola Art Museum, Heinola, Finland
2011 - Dark Zone, Kuopio VB Photographic Centre, Kuopio, Finland
2011 - Dark Zone, Helsinki Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
2009 - Silent Images, Mai Mano Haz, Budapest, Hungary
2009 - Photographs, Oulu, Finland
2008 - Photographs, Finland’s Institute in Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden
2008 - Photographs, Kankaanpää, Finland
2008 - Silent Images, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
2007 - Fotografias De Prensa, Finnish Institute in Madrid, Madrid, Spain
1999 - Valovuodet, Kuopio VB Photographic Centre, Kuopio, Finland
1999 - Valovuodet, Gallery Zone, Helsinki, Finland
1998 - Valovuodet, Tammisaari Museum, Tammisaari, Finland
1988 - Ilta, diploma work, Taidesalongin kellari, Helsinki, Finland.
2005 - Arkemme Kuvittajat, group exhibition, Korjaamo Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
2005 - Jaren 60-Deze Jaren, group exhibition with Pertti Jenytin, Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Netherlands
2005 - Arkemme Kuvittajat, group exhibition, Mikkeli Centre of Photography, Finland