Inka Bell is a visual artist who works primarily in the expanded field of printmaking, using material, color, surface, and repetition to explore the relationship between two- and three-dimensions. She strips away anything that is unnecessary, leaving only what she finds to be essential and focusing on observing the behavior and processes of her chosen media.
Paper, which Bell prints or shapes into new forms, plays a central role in her work. Informed by her experiences as a graphic designer, she considers printmaking to be a natural part of the design process and notes that we often use paper as a two-dimensional surface—her interest lies in finding new ways that we can use it. And, as she explains, “Typical to my practise is a dialog with a machine whether being a computer to create the matrix or a tool that enables me to work the material in a way that I could not achieve with my bare hands. In the end, it is my hands that revise what the machine has shaped.”
During Bell’s 2019 residency at Tamarind—her first experience working collaboratively—she and Tamarind printers took advantage of the lithography process to fine-tune the intensity between colors, making note of how even small adjustments could completely change the nature of the work, turning it from calming to intense or vice versa. Her residency resulted in three editions that reveal increasingly more about the colors and surfaces with extended looking. Inspired by the process, Bell went on to create two more print series at Helsinki Litho in Finland.
Bell holds degrees in graphic design and fashion design from the University of Art and Design Helsinki. She has given courses, lectures, and workshops at Aalto University, Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki, Estonian Academy of Arts, Helsinki Design School and Kalasataman Seripaja. She was selected as Grafia’s Graphic Designer of the Year 2018, and her solo exhibition Passage was recently on view in the Helsinki Art Museum Gallery. Her work is in the collections of the Finnish State Art Deposit, Frans Masereel Centrum, the Helsinki Art Museum and more.