Contact and sales

Riitta Nelimarkka


Marjaniemenranta 4, 00930 Helsinki, Finland

Bonga Castle

Reservations / +358 040 072 9421 www.bonga.fi
Bonga Castle in 3D

Recent Events

Riitta Nelimarkka
La comédie faunaine
Adult fairy tale
Seneca 2023
136 pages, hard cover
Black & white drawings
Finnish language

APOLLON & HELOISE is an effervescent Liebenstraum and a surrealist adult fairy tale. It is a Finnish Romeo & Juliet, a tragicomedy, an autofiction carried far from reality, set in a small community of fauns in the middle of a biodiverse forest on the distant planet of Caro Mio. The book (released 29.9.2023) is so far in Finnish.

The book is available from Adlibris, bookstores and Seneca: riitta@nelimarkka.com (The book price is 29 € + mail and delivery costs).
Riitta Nelimarkka
10.6. – 13.8.2023

”Kesällä 2023 Vuohijärvellä järjestetään laaja professori Riitta Nelimarkan näyttely, Hassuna 2, joka tarjoaa avartavia näkökulmia tämän jäljittelemättömän maestran tuotantoon. Nelimarkka on monipuolisuudessaan ja ajattomuudessaan yksi kiinnostavimpia suomalaisia taiteilijoita, jonka teoksia on parin viime vuoden aikana ollut esillä mm. Venetsiassa, Milanossa, Firenzessä, Roomassa, Lontoossa, New Yorkissa, Helsingissä ja Sastamalassa.”

Taidekeskus Salmela (www) | Visit Finland (www)
Riitta Nelimarkka
Tammisaari, Finland
Happiness allowed
1.6. – 3.9.2023

Open: thu-fri 3pm to 7pm, sat 11am to 4pm (closed between 22.6.–2.7.)

Linnunlaulu 1, Tammisaari, Finland | www.knipnas.fi
Riitta Nelimarkka
Milano, Italy
Art crossings, group exhibition
13.3. – 15.4.2023

Spazini Tadini home museum

The art work: ”I did not promise you... any garden” 2020
Riitta Nelimarkka
Paris, Ranska
Whatever we dream, group exhibition
15. – 28.2.2023

Monteoliveto Gallery
Riitta Nelimarkka
Daniela Pronesti editor in chief in the magazine La Toscana Nuova – Article in La Toscana Nuova magazine (pdf)
Riitta Nelimarkka
Sastamala, Finland
11.6. – 22.8.2022

Art Pappila, Jaatsinkatu 2, Sastamala
Riitta Nelimarkka
Alajärvi, Finland
7.5. – 18.9.2022

Elise Travels (pdf)
Riitta Nelimarkka
May 20 – June 3, 2022
BONGA CASTLE summer 2022
Loviisa, Finland
Exhibition IMAGINE (pdf)

Gallery is open to the public
July and August Saturdays 1pm to 4pm.

By request around the year.
+358 0400 729 421
Porvoo Tours +358 (0)19 574 2200

Riitta Nelimarkka
Fortezza da basso, FIRENZE
A happy surprise from FLORENCE BIENNALE 2021 Premio ”Lorenzo il Magnifico” – arte tessile quinto premio for the large woollen sculpture ”My very determined Grandma”
Riitta Nelimarkka
Fortezza da basso, FIRENZE
Florence Biennale, 23st - 31st October, 2021

The art work: My very determined Grandma 150 x 250 x 4 cm, woollen relief 2021
Riitta Nelimarkka - Hassuna
Camden, LONDON
Curated by Stefania Carrozzini, 21st - 31st October, 2021

Opening: Thursday 21st October, 2021
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Contact: 07949661450 / elena@camden-image-gallery.co.uk

visit: camden-image-gallery.co.uk

Stefania Carrozzini (pdf)

The art work: Profound discussions about marginal topics 2021
Riitta Nelimarkka - Hassuna
MyMicroGallery, MILANO
Curated by Stefania Carrozzini,
24st September - 12th October, 2021

Riitta Nelimarkka exhibition HASSUNA MyMicroGallery MILANO 24.09.2021 – 12.10.2021 – Stefania Carrozzini (pdf)

The art work: Dedicated to my very funny grand mother 2021, 150 x 220 x 4 cm woollen relief
Riitta Nelimarkka - Happiness Allowed
MyMicroGallery - V I R T U A L
Curated by Stefania Carrozzini, 26.03.2021 – 26.04.2021

MyMicroGallery Virtual is pleased to announce “Happiness Allowed”, a solo exhibition of Finnish artist Riitta Nelimarkka hosted by Kunstmatrix Platform from March 26 to April 26, 2021. The exhibition brings together nineteen woolen relief artworks, from 2008 to 2020, in which Riitta Nelimarkka introduces us in the colorful and fantastic world made of joy, inhabited by characters full of sense of humor and irony, essential ingredients to make our life happy.

Riitta Nelimarkka

Group exhibition curated by Stefania Carrozzini
September 15 - 30, 2021

Venice Sant’Eufemia (pdf)

The art work: Deep night love in Venice 2020, photomontage
Riitta Nelimarkka – HAHMOJA – CREATURES
ARS LONGA, Helsinki
5. - 29.8.2021
Woollen sculptures and painting, 2007 – 2021

The art work: Dream a little dream of me 2020
Auran galleria
2.2. - 21.2.2021. Art works 2011-2021.
La SCALA - Riitta Nelimarkka
The exhibition La SCALA in Musiikkitalo has had such a good succès, that it will continue until 21st March.


Professor Pekka Mattila´s opening speech (pdf)
Critic Timo Valjakka´s writing about Riitta Nelimarkka (pdf)

The art work: Mint ice cream as an instrument for flirting - the fourth lesson of the art of gallantry 2017
Santa Eufemia Gallery
January 1 - January 21, 2021
Galerie m Beck
13 November - 19 December, 2020
La SCALA - Riitta Nelimarkka
The exhibition La SCALA in Musiikkitalo has had such a good succès, that it will continue until 6th December.
La SCALA Riitta Nelimarkka Wool reliefs and statuettes from 2010–2020
Galerie m Beck
10 October - 4 November, 2020
Camden Image Gallery
October 7 - October 16, 2020
La SCALA - Riitta Nelimarkka
HELSINGIN MUSIIKKITALO 03.10. – 08.11.2020
Wool reliefs and statuettes 2010 - 2020.
La SCALA Riitta Nelimarkka Wool reliefs and statuettes from 2010–2020
Riitta Nelimarkka “Chelsea Biennale”

Offering a visual response to Lucien Freud's statement: "It is through observation and perception of atmosphere that the artist can register the feeling that he wishes his painting to give out," Finnish artist and Professor Riitta Nelimarkka's visceral, polychromatic photomontage on Plexiglas compositions are in synch with Freud's perception, offering a labyrin of the subconscious. Employing the language of painting on Plexiglas to visualize her alter ego, Elise, and Elise's magical companions, Riitta Nelimarkka's whimsical compositions boast a synergy of exhilarated emotion and pathos. Fusing the duality of human beings with fictional characters, her colorful story telling paintings intermingle an alchemy of the human spirit with remarkable figures that revert between imagination and reality. Filtered through the artist’s perceptions and emotions, she explores the intersection of texture and color, resulting in a dynamic blend of the actual and the imagined which enchant the viewer through its striking composition and incredible coloration optical journey.

Read more: Artist Riitta Nelimarkka “Chelsea Biennale”
Read more: Artist Riitta Nelimarkka color flyer
Riitta Nelimarkka Artist of the Month
CFA Affiliate Artist page has been published https://circle-arts.com/riitta-nelimarkka/
BONGA opens again
Bonga Castle is open again from 1.6. for guided tours 10 – 20 persons. Reservations: www.bonga.fi
Warmly Welcome! Enjoy Bonga 3D virtually BONGA ART youtube: https://youtu.be/r9WZucI8qsY
Amsterdam Whitney Gallery
AMSTERDAM WHITNEY GALLERY is pleased to inform you that we showcase your fabulous images on AMSTERDAM WHITNEY GALLERY's Web
The Link is: https://www.amsterdamwhitneygallery.com/ritta
Riitta Nelimarkka invited to Florence XII International BiennialE of Contemporary Art
Professor Riitta Nelimarkka has been invited to the Internationale biennale of contemporary art and design in Florence 18.10. – 26.10.2019.

Artwork: Gnome in Blue 2019 from the triptych Les trois Melodieux.
BONGA CASTLE summer 2019
Loviisa, Finland

Large woolen reliefs, glass towers and graphique

Bonga is open in June, July and August 2019 sat-sun at 13-16

By appointment throughout the year
+358 (0)400 729 421 and Porvoo Tours +358 (0)19 574 2200

bonga.fi, nelimarkka.com

Lukkarinkuja, Loviisa, 100 km east of Helsinki


Professor Riitta Nelimarkka is a distinctive and versatile artist whose repertoire includes graphic art, animated films, paintings, art and poetry books, textile art, and extensive exhibition entities. She has doctor´s degree in the arts (DA at UIAH, Helsinki) and has studied painting in Paris, photography, film and art education at the Konstfacken, Academy of Art in Stockholm and piano playing at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

Her art is characterized by brilliant colors, friendly sarcasm and innovative irony. In recent years, her production has centered on comprehensive collections of drawings, photographs, velvet pictures, videos and woolen reliefs. She has also been commissioned a great number of works, including the large-scale "Con Calore" woolen carpets for the official residence of the President of Finland.

Her artworks, illustrations and animated films have been presented at various international festivals and biennals. She has been awarded numerous prizes and honorary mentions for her work and been invited to have extensive private exhibitions in numerous cities all around the world.

Ambassadeur Serge Mostura 2016 (pdf)
Short biography 2023 (pdf)
Biography 2022 (pdf)

HAPPINESS ALLOWED MyMicroGallery Virtual MILAN (Stefania Carrozzini)
Chelsea Biennale (Amsterdam Whitney Gallery 1.10.-1.12.2020 - pdf)
Riitta Nelimarkka (Critic Timo Valjakka´s writing about Riitta Nelimarkka - pdf)

Riitta Nelimarkka

My Helsinki studio is a paradise of being and a wilderness of thought. It is a lovely refuge. A womb. A seventh dimension. I put some music on and forget the reality outside. I sift through everything as suits my own mind. I don’t think about the role of art. About its morality, ethics or ability to influence. Its beauty or goodness. Skilfulness makes me laugh or cry. I don’t do mental craftwork. This is an ideal situation. I write, I paint, I sketch. I make, I don’t think. The studio is my personal lagoon, where judgement can be cast aside. Afterwards, I investigate what has been done. The sky falls once a day. In life there is nothing for it but to rejoice in what little there is.

Riitta Nelimarkka

Riitta Nelimarkka

Riitta Nelimarkka

My art - Elise thinks on behalf of me.
“Nature loves to hide.” Herakleitos. The sun is new every day! Moon is older. Love is blind, which makes it earless. It rests by changing. Bad memory and many friends. All things are one. All things are none.

Curriculum Vitae

Self Portrait, Elise´s Dissertation, Variation of a variation. Riitta Nelimarkka


PROFESSOR RIITTA NELIMARKKA has always chosen her own distinct path. Whatever technique or genre her art takes, from paintings and animated films to books, woolen reliefs and photomontages, the unique way of presenting it always remains. »My art emerges from real life, reflecting its joys and sorrows, conflicts and shocks, its normality and its chain of coincidences. I use parallels drawn from literature, film and music, but it’s always the personal experience which wins the process.” During years Nelimarkka has had numerous large exhibitions from Los Angeles and Lima to Bruxelles and Moscow. She has studied painting in Paris, film in Stockholm and music theory & piano performance at the Sibelius Academy. She has a doctorate degree in the arts and she has received the honorary title professor from the president of Finland. She has been the chairman of Nelimarkka-foundation since 1987.

The latest bigger works are the 13 meters long glass painting "Without too much thinking” at Hietaniemi pavilion 2016, and the same year the visualization for Debussy´s 5 Preludes for the Radio Symphony Orchestra. An exciting Gesamtskunstwerk with her husband Jaakko Seeck, is Bonga Castle, an old patrician house decorated by Nelimarkka´s over 200 works.

In 2016 she was awarded by the Order of France with the distinction of Officier des Arts et Lettres.

A Renaissance Woman with a Twist - Diving into the seas of colors

Riitta Nelimarkka has studied painting in Paris, film and photography in Stockholm and piano playing at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. She has a Doctor’s degree in Arts.

Comments about Self Portrait dissertation

Riitta Nelimarkka resides in Finland, in Helsinki. She swims every morning year around, no matter how cold the water in the sea is, and has a hunting license. She loves movies that make her cry and never underestimates the power of a good laugh. ”I work every day but I also party every day in some way or another. I’m an idealist and I don’t want to give in. Pain exists, but you don’t need to work everything through pain.” Riitta Nelimarkka says.


Riitta Nelimarkka-Seeck is a graduate art teacher 1972, Master of Art (MA) 1998 and Doctor of Art (DA) 2001 at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (UIAH).

She has also studied at the University of Helsinki, at the Sibelius Academy, at the School of Applied Arts and design in Stockholm, Sweden and at the Institute of Industrial Arts, Department of Film and Television.

Since 1971 she has been working together and separate with her husband Jaakko Seeck as an artist and producer in the fields of film, literature and pictorial and textile art, creating and producing e.g. animated films, large exhibitions and art & poetry books.


Riitta Nelimarkka has received a number of prizes for her books and animations including the honorary award by the Union of Finnish Critics in 1974, the State quality award for motion pictures in 1972, 1973 and 1979, the Jussi honorary award (the Finnish "Oscar") in 1979, a Special honorary prize at Tampere International Short Film Festival in 1979, Jury´s Special prize at Giffony, Italy 1980 and Risto Jarva prize in 1985. 2008 December Riitta Nelimarkka received the honorary title Professor awarded by the President of the Republic of Finland.


Her positions of trust include membership on the board of the Finnish Film Archive and the Finnish film magazine Filmihullu ("Film Freak"). She has also served at the National Council for Cinema, the Finnish Film Foundation and the Finnish Cultural Section of Unesco. Since 1987 she has been the president of Nelimarkka Foundation, since 1973 the president of board of Seneca, since 2001-2003 a member of the National Council for Design and 2003 -2005 a member of Design and Public display grant.

Many of Nelimarkka´s big textile works have found homes abroad especially in Finnish embassies and consulates in several cities all around the world. A remarkable work is the huge art textile Con Calore I - II commissioned for Mäntyniemi, the official residence of the President of Finland.


Amos Anderson art museum, Helsinki - Finland 1990. Art Centre of Pyrri, Savonlinna - Finland 1991. Wäinö Aaltonen museum, Turku - Finland 1994. Kunsthall, Helsinki - Finland 1994. Savonlinna Art museum, Savonlinna - Finland 1995. Tikanojan taidekoti, Vaasa - Finland 1996. Maurizberg Castle, Sweden 2000. Finnish Cultural Institut, Berlin - Germany 2000. EXPO 2000, Hannover - Germany 2000. FIDM, Los Angeles - USA 2001. Culture centre DOM, Moscow - Russia 2005. Gallery Tšeretelji, Moscow - Russia 2005. The Fortress of St. Peter and Paul, St. Petersburg - Russia 2006. Museo de la Nacion, Lima - Peru 2006. EU parliament, Brussels - Belgium 2006. Hallwylska museet, Stockholm - Sweden 2007. La ”MAISON DE L´AMÉRIQUE LATINE DE MONACO”, Monaco 2008. In addition to several gallery exhibitions as well as a number of joint art exhibitions, graphic biennales and film festivals in different countries.


Praise has also been bestowed on her picture books and children's books, which include "The Robbing of the Sampo" (rewarded e.g. by the Finnish Society of Kalevala), "The Seven Brothers", "The Space", "The Big and The Small in the Universe", "The Gallery", "Karmelia's ABC" (which received an award in Bologna, Italy, 1990), "Babylonia" (rewarded in Bologna and in Brno, Czechoslovakia, 1992), "Oceania" (invited to Biennale Brno 1993) and "Apollon". She has also published two illustrated collections of poems, "Tabula Rasa" and "Giovanna Idiaatta" (1996) and also a romantic, philosophical poem by the title "Self Portrait Elise´s Dissertation, Variation of a variation" (2000). Elise´s Unmemories (2008). Seven Brothers (2009). Big and Small in the Universe (2010)


Animations by Nelimarkka & Seeck (SENECA OY) include "The Legend of the Sampo" (60 min), based on the Finnish national epic Kalevala in 1972-1974, the old ballad of "Bishop Henry and Lalli" (11min) in 1974, the first Finnish full-length animated motion picture "The Seven Brothers" in 1979 and a series "Bagatelles op. 1 - 13, semi-sad human fates in the nut shell" (25 min) in 1972-1974 and "The Birth of Rabula (11 min.), a musical animation on creation in 1995.

Bonga - Casa Nostra


The inspiring gallery of the professor, artist Riitta Nelimarkka in the city of Loviisa, Finland, (1 hour drive east of Helsinki)


The Bonga gallery is open upon reservation around the year.
In summertime from July to the end of August sat and sun 12pm – 4pm.
Loviisa LWW event 24.-25.8., 12pm – 5pm.
Gallery tour 10 eur/person, min admission 200 eur/group.
The Gallery and Studio tour 12 eur/person, min admission 240 eur/group.

You can visit Riitta Nelimarkka's vivid art also virtually.

www.bonga.fi | www.nelimarkka.com

Reservations: +358 400 729 421, anne.sokkatuomala@gmail.com | Porvoo Tours +358 (0)19 574 2200

Sales SENECA: laskutus@seeck.fi | riitta@nelimarkka.com

THE BONGA CASTLE is an exciting, even peculiar sight in the heart of the idyllic small town of Loviisa, immediately south of the church. Its original design was made by Mr. Th. Hjelt, an architect from Helsinki. After the Finnish civil war, the house ended up owned by the Baumgartner family. Its Jugendstil from with its red roofed towels was modified according to the design of architect Hilding Ekelund into a granite castle along the lines of Italian neo-Classicism and functionalism.

In 1987 the estate came into its present owners Riitta Nelimarkka and Jaakko Seeck. The worn-out patrician castle has been renovated in the course of the years, with reverence to its old style. The house has been heated ecologically with wood chips since 1987. Also the engineering of the building has been completely redone. The church-side wing of the big main building now serves as atelier and production spaces. The south-side of the building has been renovated into an art museum-gallery that is open to the public. Nearly two hundred of Nelimarkka´s works are displayed there: drawings, aquarelles, graphic art, collages, woolen and flax reliefs, textile pictures, paintings, art and poetry books, photographs and animated films.


Loviisa - Lovisa

Bongan Linna

At Bonga Castle in Loviisa, 80km from Helsinki, is my second studio. My third, fourth and fifth travel with me on planes and trains, in dreams. If Loviisa is a city, then Helsinki is New York. So small and peaceful is Loviisa.

Even if I arrive a nervous wreck and sick of rushing around, at Bonga time stands still in a sphere, a “ball”, and a strange peace is traced on my soul. The more-than-a-century-old building exudes history. Even if you ask it nothing, the walls answer back. An ideal setting for coming up with ideas. The haunting of the building is incomparable and hilarious. And yet, sometimes during the night, you can hear teardrops falling. Bonga is strangely large, outright pompous in appearance, but surprisingly well-suited to being a half-mad stronghold of art. There is a nice contrast.

Renovating the building has taken us more than 20 years. Or actually it has given us those years. It is heated ecologically with woodchips, a solution we have not regretted for a moment. Half of the house is studio, working and storage spaces. Half is a whitewashed gallery, where the works are hung, mostly on aesthetic grounds. No chronology… “Time is an illusion”. (Einstein). Time is not a line and “change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal”. (Schopenhauer).

Bonga castle is itself a person, a myrtle philosopher standing on stone feet. Its silence is magical, but it is equally lovable when the whole edifice and gardens are filled with friends, visitors, musicians… With adults, youths and children. Actually it is always precisely then that its most beautiful flowers burst into bloom.

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna

Bongan Linna - Hakevoimala vuodesta 1989