Sanna Kannisto

Born in Hämeenlinna, Finland in 1974. Lives and works in Helsinki.
E-mail: sanna(a) |


  • 1998–2002 MA, University of Art and Design in Helsinki, Dept. of Photography
  • 1994–1997 Turku school of Art and Communication, Dept. of Photography

Selected solo exhibitions

  • 2022 Sense of Wonder, Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France
  • 2022 Reseach on wonder, Galerie La Ferronnerie, Paris
  • 2020 Sense of Wonder, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2019 Observing eye, Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2019 Trabajo de Campo, Centro de la Imagen, Lima, Peru
  • 2018 Wanderer, Observer and Conveyor, part of EMOP photofestival, Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin, Germany
  • 2018 A Song System, Metronom gallery, Modena, Italy
  • 2017 White Space, NonostanteMarras, part of PhotoVogue Festival, Milan, Italy
  • 2015 Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland
  • Galerie La Ferronnerie, Paris, France
  • 2012 Fieldwork, Le Château d’Eau, Toulouse, France
  • Gallery Taik Persons, Berlin, Germany
  • Gallery Metronom, Modena, Italy
  • 2011 Fieldwork, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, SKMU, Kristiansand, Norway
  • Fieldwork, Aperture Gallery, New York, USA
  • Kalhama & Piippo Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2008 Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Contemporary Art Centre, Bignan, France
  • Le centre photographique d’Ile-de-France CPIF, France
  • Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Korjaamo Culture Factory, Gallery 1 & 2, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2007  Galerie Georg Kargl, Vienna, Austria
  • 2006 Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, USA
  • Yours Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
  • Galerie Wilma Tolksdorf, Berlin, Germany
  • Gallery F-Station, Photomonth in Krakow, Poland

Selected group exhibitions


  • Bestiaires, Centre Jacques Brel & Puzzle, Thionville, France
  • Snowflakes and Other Surprises, Photo North gallery, Oulu, Finland
  • Balance, Art Center Purnu, Orivesi, Finland
  • Enchanteurs, Galerie La Ferronnerie, Paris
  • Animalia, Forays from Los Angeles to Mumbai, Kunshalle Darmstadt, Germany


  • Snowflakes and Other Surprises, Landskrona Foto, Sweden
  • Festival photo of La Baden – Gacilly 2022, Baden, Austria
  • Snowflakes and Other Surprises, Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen, Denmark


  • Plein Nord, Festival photo de La Gacilly, France
  • New Perspectives Through Photography – 25 Years of Helsinki School, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Finland
  • Model Animal, Kunsthaus Göttingen, Germany
  • Langt ud i skoven, Skovhuset Kunst & Natur (close to Copenhagen), Værløse, Denmark
  • Whose Nature? Jyväskylä Art Museum, Finland
  • Whose Nature? Northern Photographic Centre, Oulu, Finland
  • Whose Nature? Photographic Centre Peri, Turku, Finland


  • Illusionary observations, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig, Germany
  • A Fresh Breeze from the North! Lübeck Kunsthalle, Germany
  • The Helsinki School – The Nature of Being, Persons Projects, Berlin, Germany
  • Life Under Threat, Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
  • Working on it, Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland


  • Finnish Aalto, Busan Museum of Art, South Korea
    Datong International Festival of Photography, Datong, China
  • Unfolded matters, Nature as Culture, Culture as Nature, Galerie Georg Kargl, Vienna, Austria


  • Considering Finland,  Kunstverein Ludwigshafen and Port25 Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Mannheim, Germany, 10th of November–13th of January 2019
  • Nature as a Playground, The Museum of Photography Seoul, South Korea,
  • 9th of June – 18th of August 2018
  • Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity, Whatcom Museum, Washington State,   Bellingham, USA, 8th of September 2018 – 6th of January 2019
  • The Von Wright Brothers, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
  • Systema Naturae, Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway
  • Herbarium, Fotografiskcenter Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Kuusi, Lachenmann Art, Konstanz, Germany
  • Human/Nature, Northern Photographic Centre, Oulu, Finland
  • You want Truth or Beauty, Kunsthalle Nexus, Saalfelden, Germany
  • Antologia, Metronom gallery, Modena, Italy
  • Lehmä pitää viedä jäälle, jotta se tanssii, Samuelis Baumgarte and the Ratskeller, Bielefeld, Germany


  • Paradise Lost, Kunsthalle and Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden-Rot, Germany
  • Kolga Tbilisi Photo 2016, Museum Of Modern Art Tbilisi/ MOMATbilisi, Georgia
  • Longing for Landscape – Landscape Photography, Tieranatomisches Theater, Berlin, Germany
  • Les Explorateurs, Parc de Clères, Clères, France


  • Fotografia Contemporanea dall’Europa nord-occidentale, Fondazione Fotografia Modena, Italy (catalogue)


  • Collective Collection, volet 2, BBB centre d’art, Toulouse
  • Summer Selections – De Buck Gallery, New York City, New York
  • What´s Life Anyway?, Tromso Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway
  • Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, Kristiansund, Norway


  • ARTE Vidéo Night 5/ screening, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
  • Vermessene Dinge/ Measured things, Eres Stiftung, Munich, Germany
  • Reality Bites, (2 Nov. 2012 – 14 April 2013) Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (catalogue)
  • Spécimens, Domaine de Chamarande, Chamarande, France
  • The Near and the Distant – Photography and Space, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Germany
  • Photography into Art. The Hannula & Hinkka Collection, The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki


  • State of the Art  – New Contemporary Photography, NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf, Germany (catalogue)
  • International Photo Festival Knokke-Heist, Belgium
  • Hunters and Hunted, Insects in contemporary art, Museum Villa Rot, Burgrieden – Rot, Germany (catalogue)
  • Sammen/Together, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway
  • Äärimmäisyyksien yhteinen tekijä, WAM, Turku, Finland  (catalogue)
  • Finders Keepers, Mänttä Art Festival, Mänttä, Finland (catalogue)
  • Regards photographiques finlandais sur la nature, Jumieges, Abbaye se Jumieges, France


  • A Female View. Part 2-aus der Helsinki School, Foto Raum, Wien, Austria
  • Für Hund und Katz ist auch noch Platz, Art Foyer DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Beautiful Vagabonds, Yancey Richarson Gallery, USA
  • Prague Biennale, The romantic construct, Czech Republic (catalogue)
  • 8th Mercosul Biennial, Essays on Geopoetics, Porto Alegre, Brazil (catalogue)


  • Strange Travelers, Tanya Bonakdar gallery, curated by Mark Dion, New York, USA
  • elles@centrepompidou, women artists in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (catalogue)
  • Wald, Städtische Galerie Waldkraiburg, Waldkraiburg, Germany (catalogue)
  • Repeat All, Centro Cultural Chacao, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Speed, Ulrich Museum of Art, Kansas, USA


  • The Tree, Fuglsang Art Museum, Island of Lolland, Denmark
  • FotoRio –Short List/The Dream Machine, Niterói Museum of contemporary art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Repeat All, MIS – Museu da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo, Brazil (catalogue)
  • Arctic hysteria Onscreen, Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary
  • Får ej övertäckas, Eskilstuna Art Museum, Sweden (catalogue)
  • Nature en Kit, MUDAC Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Struggle for  life, Eres Stiftung, München, Germany


  • Other florae, Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Video short list : Machines à rêver/ Dream machine, Passage de Retz, Paris, France (catalogue)
  • REAL, Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (catalogue)
  • Observing beast, time, evolution, Kunstverein Hildesheim, Germany (catalogue)
  • Arctic hysteria Onscreen, Museum of Modern Art Moma, New York, USA
  • Cinéma et videos d’artistes, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, France
  • Five variations on the finiteness of human vision, Artget Gallery, Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Serbia


  • Research and Invention, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (catalogue)
  • Bird Watching in Harlem, De Vishal exposition space, Haarlem, Netherlands
  • Garden Eden –The Garden in Art since 1900, Kunsthalle Emden, Germany (catalogue)
  • Self-timer, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest, Romania
  • Age of the Animal, Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland (catalogue)
  • Grey matters – photography is thinking, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki (catalogue)
  • Repeat All, Centro Cultural Matucana 100, Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • Photo Finnish – The Helsinki School, Stenersen Art Museum, Norway
  • Repeat All, House of Culture, Buenos Aires, Argentina


  • Self-timer, Nikolaj Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Art, Life & Confusion, the Belgrade Biennial, Serbia (catalogue)
  • Streams of Story, Glasgow Festival of Contemporary Visual Art, Tramway Gallery, Great Britain
  • The Faraway Nearby, White Box, New York, USA
  • Self-timer/ Selbstauslöser, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany (catalogue)
  • Presence, Wäinö Aaltonen Art Museum, Turku, Finland
  • Vad är fotografi? The Helsinki School, Borås Art Museum, Sweden

Works in collections 

  • Centre Pompidou – Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
  • Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
  • MEP, Maison européenne de la photographie, France
  • Kiasma – Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
  • Finnish Museum of Photography, Finland
  • Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland
  • Le Fonds national d’art contemporain (FNAC), The State Art Collection, France
  • Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, FRAC Haute-Normandie, France
  • Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, FRAC Bretagne, France
  • DZ-Bank Art Collection, Germany
  • Statoil Art Collection, Norway
  • Fondazione Fotografica, Modena, Italy
  • State Art Collection, Finland
  • Vihuri Foundation, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland
  • Salo Art Museum, Finland
  • Kuopio Art Museum, Finland
  • SKMU Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Norway
  • Le Château d’Eau, Toulouse, France
  • Domaine Départemental de Chamarande, Chamarande, France, France
  • Artothèque, Bibliothèque d’Auxerre, France
  • Société Yves Rocher, France
  • Private collections Finland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, USA, Austria and Switzerland

Selected publications

  • The Flower in Contemporary Photography, Thames and Hudson, 2022
  • BIRD by Hoxton Mini Press, London, UK, 2022
  • Observing Eye, monograph, Hatje Cantz, 2020
  • White Space, Metronom books, 2017
  • 22 Ways, On Artistic Thinking in Finnish Contemporary Art, Parvs Publishing, Helsinki, 2014
  • The Helsinki School, From the Past to the Future, Vol 5, Hatje Cantz, 2014
  • State of The Art Photography, Feymedia and NRW-Forum Duesseldorf, Germany 2012
  • Fieldwork, monograph, Aperture Foundation, New York, 2011
  • The Helsinki School, Vol. 4, A Female View, Hatje Cantz, Germany 2011
  • Northwawe, Overview of video art in the Nordic Countries, Guerini, Milan 2009
  • Photo Art: The New World of Photography, Thames and Hudson, 2008
  • Photo Art: Photography in the 21st Century, Aperture, 2008
  • REAL, From the collecton of DZ-BanK, Städel Museum and Hatje Cantz, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Research and Invention, catalogue, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland 2007
  • Photo Art: Fotografie im 21. Jahrhundert, DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Germany 2007
  • Garden Eden, DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag, Germany 2007
  • The Helsinki School, Hatje Cantz, Germany 2007
  • Selbstauslöser –catalogue, Kunsthalle Fridericianum 2005
  • Helsinki Photography Festival 2005, catalogue, Gallery Hippolyte, 2005
  • The Helsinki School, Hatje Cantz, Germany 2005

Selected  articles

  • Essay Bird’s Eye Perspectives, Barbara Hofmann-Johnson, Observing Eye book, Hatje Cantz, 2020
  • Observing Eye, Text by Sophie Wright,, 2019
  • A Conversation between Sanna Kannisto and Chiara Bardelli Nonino, White Space, Metronom books, 2017
  • “Sanna Kannisto: The gaze of a bird”, Susanna Pettersson, The Brothers von Wright. Art, Science and Life,
    Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum, 2017
  • “Science and beauty collide…”, Feature Shoot magazine May 27, 2016 by Elizabeth Sulis Gear
  • “Through an Artist’s Lens, Field Biology Takes the Stage”, National Geographic Proof, March 21st 2016, by Sarah Stacke
  • Unseen Amsterdam magazine 2016, by Celia Graham-Dixon
  • 22 Ways – essay, Maria Hirvi-Ijäs, Parvs Publishing, 2014
  • Immense Disorder – essay, Steve Baker,  Fieldwork-monograph, Aperture 2011
  • Sanna Kannisto Fieldwork, -review, The Brooklyn Rail, by Alexis Clements, 2011
  • Flight of Fancy: Sanna Kannisto’s Field Work, Time Lightbox, Time Photo Department, April 26th, 2011
  • “Theatre of Nature”, Foam Magazine Issue #19 Wonder, Theatre of Nature by Harri Laakso, Oct 5, 2009
  • Photo Art –The New World of Photography, text by Barbara Hofmann-Johnson, Thames & Hudson, 2008
  • Research and Invention catalogue, text by Thomas Seelig, Fotomuseum Winterthur 2007
  • A conversation with Sanna Kannisto, Birgit Eusterschulte, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, 2005
  • The Silence of Species, Framework Magazine, The finnish art review, issue 4/ Dec. 2005, by Harri Laakso

Selected grants and awards

  • 2022-2023 Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • 2020 Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • 2019 Finnish Cultural Foundation
  • 2017 Finnish Art Society, William Thuring Prize
  • 2016 Arts Council of Finland, 5-year working grant
  • 2015 State Prize for Photographic Art
  • 2015 Nomination for the Finnish Fine Arts’ Academy Prize
  • 2012 Finnish Cultural Foundation Prize

Public Artworks

  • 2023 Commissioned Art work to Nuotti day-care centre, HAM Helsinki Art Museum, Finland
  • 2022 Södersjukhuset, Stockholm Sweden
  • 2020 Hospital Nova in Central Finland, Jyväskylä, Finland
  • 2018 Hyvinkää Hospital, Finland
  • 2015 Linköping University Hospital, Sweden
  • 2013 Stockholms Sjukhem, Stockholm Sweden
  • 2005 Laurin koulu, Upper Secondary School, Salo, Finland (The percent for Art Principle)