ANITTA TOIVIO & D. CICHON
A Collaborative Team

We are two conceptual environmental artists rooted in different cultures, Finland and the United States.  Our individual work and our collaborative works are based on the mysteries of our universe and of the commonalities of humanity.  Our goals are to inspire people to experience and feel the natural world in which we live and what it means to be human on the planet earth in relationship to the universe.  Furthermore, we hope to relay earth’s fragility and our collective duty to be custodians of it.

We take nature and the human condition and present it in a different light to where what it is may not be immediately recognizable but will hopefully evoke wonder and emotion.  Our work is meant to draw viewers in to take a closer look and perhaps question what they are seeing. 

The feelings that our videos and installations evoke seem to be an emotional reaction on a very primal and subliminal level, and it is amazing to see even young children’s reactions to it.  It is that gut response that is important in our work. 

Anitta Toivio, Kangasala, Finland has a degree in Art History from Tampere University. She also graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the Kankaanpään taidekoulu, the University of Applied Sciences.  She has done advanced special studies in sculpture at the Tallinn University of Fine Arts and studied Art Therapy in the educational program of The Finnish Association for Mental Health.  “The space in between boundaries interests me, the dilemma of existence and nothingness.  The contradiction of consciousness and the unconscious is in some way present in almost every work.”

D. Cichon, Mountain View, California has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley with extensive coursework in the Sciences as well as in Art, Art History and Design including Photography, Fiber, Metals, Clay and Glass.  She returned to the University of California at Berkeley for graduate studies in Architecture.  She has been a serious photographer from the age of 6 and a world-wide traveler all her life.  “Traveling, learning foreign languages, connecting with people, and experiencing other places in the world and their cultures have caused me to be in awe of our earth and to have respect for our environment and the need for us to preserve it for future generations.  The mysteries of life and our place in the universe are the inspirations behind my photography and artwork.” 


Collaboration
We find it incredible to work together.  We delight in the serendipity of having met each other in Venice Italy and are amazed at how well we complement each other and inspire each other to produce innovative work using new technologies that push the boundaries of the media.  In 2011, we collaborated for 6 weeks in Finland.  We are delighting in collaborating as Artists-in-Residence at the Mendocino Art Center in Northern California.  When not working together, we use the new technologies to collaborate although we are thousands of miles apart.