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selection of drawings on paper

From over 3,200 submissions by 1,673 artists located in 45 countries, 134 works by 112 drawing practitioners were shortlisted for the TBWDP22 including: Paula’s Lace Top IV, graphite on paper, 83x83cm, 2021; photographed with Leftovers by Ilona Kiss and Silly River Scene by Gary Lawrence. Trinity Buoy Wharf, London; the Willis Museum & Salisbury Gallery, Basingstoke; ArtHouse, Jersey.


Solo show, Korundin seinä, Rovaniemi Art Museum, June-July 2023
Great-Grandmother’s Collar, perhaps / Iso-Mummin kaulus, ehkä, 2021
Great-Grandmother’s Baby Collar / Iso-Mummin vauvakaulus, 2022
Graphite on handmade paper, 77 x 57 cm


Great-Grandmother’s Baby Tops (or Death) / Iso-Mummin vauvapaidat (tai kuolema), 2022.
Graphite on handmade paper, 77 x 57 cm or 57 x 77 cm.
The Jenny and Antti Wihuri collection in Rovaniemi Art Museum.

Great Grandmothers Legacy Baby dresses EAlaluusua.jpg

MEMORY - series; on-going
Recollections, 30cm diameter each, graphite & oil paint on handmade paper, 2021


Close-up detail from Paula's Lace Top no. II, 80 x 80 cm, graphite on paper, 2020

03 Pitsipaita2 CU2 EAlaluusua.jpg

I Remember, 150 x 150 cm, graphite on paper, 2017-2018. Private collection.

I Remember close-up.jpg
I Remember01
I Remember02
I Remember03
I Remember08
I Remember16
I Remember21
I Remember23
I Remember24

Making of I Remember from June 2017 to October 2018; at the studio with Carol Dine

Memory Nuclei -set of graphite drawings on card, 28 x 28 cm each. Total of 100.

EAlaluusua Memory Nuclei graphite 28x28c
memory nuclea at studio.jpg

The Memory-series started when I discovered numerous crochet lace items in my late aunt’s belongings. She had lived a troubled life isolating herself from everybody after her husband died many years ago. The discovery of beautiful hand knitted lace in vast piles was a revelation. A story of endless hours spent alone started to unravel and made me think of the skills and the tradition; the way women choose to, or are expected to, spend their time preparing beautiful craft pieces, quietly, at home. There was a time when these skills were proof of being a good woman; a good wife would come with an impressive dowry, with evidence of capability to create a home, to provide and look after.  


I wanted to celebrate my great aunt’s skills and honour her heritage. She had no children, no one to pass on her craft. The exquisite lace items started to represent the family, the life of women, the expectations, and the demands for beauty. But looking beyond the beauty, another life was revealed – the isolation, the anxiety, the difficulties with getting along. Pieces of the puzzle of her life started to fall in place when dementia was finally diagnosed and the obsessiveness of making was no longer a choice, but a chore – a desperate attempt to survive.


Only after her death, we were able to understand that dementia might have been a part of my aunt’s life for a long time. The fragility of life was suddenly imbedded in her beautiful lace objects. I brought them from Helsinki to my studio in London. Since then I have been working on a series of lace drawings where the thread is replaced with a continuous graphite line as I try to make sense of my own family history and what it means to be a woman in today’s world. (See a few drawings from the series below.)


You never really understand what dementia means before you experience it closely, before it ‘hits home’. My great aunt was not the only one with a memory illness in my family. Since her death, we have lived through Alzheimer’s too. That series of drawings is still very much on-going and I am unable to put it into words yet. ‘I Remember' and 'Memory nuclei’ graphite drawings as well as ‘Tripoli 1978’ video drawing are from this series.

Shavings (big II) - series (150 x 150 cm) graphite on paper, 2015

Exhibition view: Frank Bowling RA, Daniel Reynolds, Elisa Alaluusua - Art From the Pullens (2015)

LACE AND BIRCHES an on-going series, graphite on paper, sizes c. A2 (42x59.4cm)

LUUSUA -series (114 x 42 cm) graphite on paper, on-going



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