Elina Putkinen

I was born on the 11th of January in 1982. I spent the first year of my life in Kenya where my father was working as an engineer during that time. We came back to Finland to live in a cosy log house in a city called Järvenpää. I had a childhood filled with cold winters with lots of snow and big snowcastles, cross-country skiing, long summers in the archipelago of Turku, ferry voyages to Sweden, eating candies, swimming, playing, drawing and painting, scout camps and fairytales. In school I enjoyed the most art and sports. After high school I started to study ceramics but I felt something was missing.

Before my studies in Turku I got to know little bit about mask theater and puppet theater when I was part of a little amateur theater group in Helsinki. I worked also as a fire performer in fire performance groups and enjoyed it a lot. I knew that I had found my way of expressing myself in performing arts. I wanted to work more especially with visual theater and applied to study in the puppet theater department in Turku Arts Academy.

Studies in Turku were challenging and the life of puppet theater student was filled with rehearsals, puppet constructing, reading, performing, watching and talking about performances, meeting amazing teachers and struggling with your body and mind. Outside the school it wasn't easy to confront the prejudices finnish people had about puppet theater but I knew I wanted to show people how versatile, touching and enchanting form of art puppet theater can be. It was quickly clear that we as a present puppet theater students were part of breaking that was happening in the finnish puppet theater history. We were the pioneers of the modern finnish puppet theater.

As a gratuated, professional puppet theater artist I am now working in several fields of puppet and mask theater. Since graduating I have been improving my skills as a constructor of theater masks in Paris as a student of italian mask making master Stefano Perocco di Meduna and doing co-operation with Teatteri Metamorfoosi, a finnish theater group specialized on mask theater.

Ever since the year 2005 I have been one of the proud members of the newest and youngest puppet theater groups of Finland: The Sixfingers Theatre.