Matti Sirvio, painter, pastor, and humanitarian aid worker, has started a new venture. He has opened an artist-run, as yet untitled, gallery space. Off the beaten path in Muscat, Oman, the upcoming show is titled POSTE RESTANTE. The name refers of a post office that holds onto mail until recipients call to receive it. Strategically placed outside of the town center, the gallery is a place that people must seek out. “You go there through an exotic mountain road until you finally reach this newly built suburb area called Al Amrat. Wild donkeys walk by. In the evening, the lonely moon shines over the surrounding mountains. Not one person could accidentally stumble in here. Only those who cannot live without art will find it,” he says. Tucked away on the outskirts of Muscat, the gallery doesn’t have an official address. Visitors can type ‘Matti Sirvio Art Galleria’ into Google Maps to get directions. “I want people to come with an expectation to see if they ‘got some mail.’” Alluding to the name of exhibition, he hopes that people will seek and find a special connection to a piece of artwork.
The name POSTE RESTANTE speaks to Sirvio on multiple levels. It holds the elements of adventure and searching, and also temporality. These traits are reflective of his paintings. Sirvio’s artwork captures the emotion within fleeting moments, meditating on the ephemeral qualities of life with joy and gratitude. His current works in the gallery “contribute to deeper thoughts, a lot of hope and joy for the coming Christmas season.”
Transience is a part of life for Sirvio. While he calls Oman home, he is originally from Finland. He has lived, worked, and travelled throughout Central Asia, nations formerly part of the Soviet Union, and the Middle East. Even though he returns to Oman, he doesn’t stay in one place for too long. “With the gallery, I hope to travel less, but I’m afraid this is just wishful thinking,” he says. “I have a show planned in Europe for March and another one [in Muscat] for the fall. Besides that, I do continue visiting our churches in Central Asia and the Middle-East.” While Sirvio’s work is “very rewarding” the frequent travel can be challenging. “May God give me more wisdom on how to plan my schedule.” You can keep up with the artist here:
POSTE-RESTANTE will be on view from December 16, 2017-January 16, 2018.
Photos: Courtesy of Matti Sirvio