Seating | Niina Räty Installation, 2022
Juha Sääski, don`t worry be happy, Oil and pencil on paper
Uwe Sennert, Performance Toolbox
Frank Gratkowski, concert in Toolbox Finnish German Art Space


Andreas Wolf
Koloniestraße 120
13359 Berlin

Tel.: +49 176 81 82 60 30

About us

TOOLBOX is an independent cooperative project of artists, organizing exhibitions to advance international exchange in respect to contemporary art and artistic positions.

Openings are every last Friday of the month; the exhibitions present contemporary art in its manifold forms.

The artist members of TOOLBOX conceive art as a tool for reflecting on the present age and art as having an impact on or even creating the social world. TOOLBOX has its focus on showing Finnish contemporary art in Berlin and presenting juxtapositions of Finnish next to German artistic views on relevant topics like, for example, ideologies, limits of perception, the significance of emotions, philosophical or political theory or human patterns of making world intelligible.

Event for the Koloniewedding

29.09. - 21.10.2023 Wounds – Drawings by eight contemporary artists from Iran

1.–22. 10. 2023
Wed–Sat 3–7pm

Opening Fri 29. Sep 2023, 7 pm

Sahar Nahavandi Nejad, Atefeh Mehrvarz, Minoo Kiani,
Azin Rostami, Raheleh Ghavipanjeh, Behnam Bakhshizadeh,
Farhad Gavzan, Hossein Ghafouri

The exhibition is complemented by smaller works on the same topic by Toolbox members Maija Helasvuo, Sampsa Indrén, Mika Karhu, Niina Räty, Juha Sääski and Ilkka Sariola.

Curated by  Farhad Gavzan and Ilkka Sariola

The exhibition “Wounds” is very special. Toolbox is honoured to present Iranian art, in particular drawings by eight contemporary Iranian artists: Sahar Nahvandi Nejad, Atefeh Mehrvarz, Minoo Kiani, Azin Rostami, Rheleh Ghavipanjeh, Farhad Gavzan, Behnam Bakhshi and Behnam Bakhshizadeh. In addition to Iranian art, some of our TOOLBOX members, Maija Helasvuo, Mika Karhu, Juha Sääski, Sampsa Indren and Ilkka Sariola, will also be presenting some smaller works.

The theme of the exhibition, wound, is ambiguous; everyone has their own invisible wounds, the wounds of violence may appear as scars and the traces of war as open bleeding wounds. We live in critical times and societies are threatened by the Corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine. In fact, the pandemic and the ‘quarantine galleries’ on Instagram, which took place in the year 2020, were the starting point for this exhibition. In the difficult early stages of the pandemic, Iran ended up in a complete lockdown and quarantine. The artist Mr Farhad Gavzan was interested in my artworks on Instagram and he presented some of my artworks in the “Quarantine Gallery” he founded. This gave me the idea to create a cultural exchange project “Quarantine gallery, drawings from Iran and Finland”. I ended up posting 78 days, Instastories and on my wall, from 18.3. – 1.6. 2020, representing as many artists from Iran and Finland. During this project I received many messages from Iranian and Finnish artists who appreciated this cultural art exchange. Many asked if I could represent their artworks. I was impressed by the powerful expression of the works of Iranian artists, often women. I experienced how a drawn picture touches across cultural borders. Now, after more than three years, I have the honour of presenting the works of 8 Iranian artists live in the Toolbox Gallery. This exhibition is curated by my friend Farhad Gavzan and I. The process has been challenging for many unfortunate reasons, but also rewarding. I thank I thank everyone involved in organizing the exhibition in Iran, Berlin and Finland, especially Farhad Gavzan, Andreas Wolf and rest of our Toolbox crew.

Past events

30.06. - 23.07.2023 Mindless obedience is the worst crime

Mi–Sa 15–19 Uhr

Drawing installation:

“Mindless obedience is the worst crime”.
Sampsa Indrén, Finland, Henrik Jacob, Germany, Mika Karhu, Finland

28.04. - 20.05.2023 Pilvi Ojala(Finland) Jakob Roepke (Berlin)

Mi–Sa: 15–19 Uhr

Pilvi Ojala

My interest is how things are installed. For example, stage design, illusions, artificial and “authentic” are themes that intrigue my mind. In addition to that I am as well interested in museums. Such as art museums, historical museums and biological, scientific, theatre and movie museums, not to forget the museums that show any kind of curiosities.

As a person I am curious. As an Artist I shift from technique and media to another which might seem to be a disability to concentrate. I paint, I draw, I make animation and I build three-dimensional works. Although for me the basic motive as an artis is to collect all kinds of visual material, to edit it and to compose a visual piece of art. I am like a collector who observes, discovers, and digests the world around me.

For me Art is a medium to combine various interests of mine and therefore a way to create a kind of personal Wunderkammer. It is a way to express myself and an attempt to try to place myself in the World and to try to understand it.

Toolbox Kabinett: Jakob Roepke

26.05. - 24.06.2023 Root Tales

Mi–Sa: 15–19 Uhr

Tiia Matikainen

A human figure shrouded in a protective web of plants and soil is at the core of Tiia Matikainen’s latest sculptures. Forms of roots and sand dunes sculpt on clay surface assume the form of strange woodland inhabitants. For the artist these sculptures are guardian figures, a protective layer between human and the surrounding world.

The forest and Finnish mythology related to that are important inspirations for the artistic work of Matikainen. One of the most interesting is the idea of being hidden by the forest. Spirits may lure those moving about there, to become lost in an absurd world and vanish from the view of others.

Being hidden by the forest represents not only fear but also security and connection to nature, for the forest and its flora protect us and all life on our planet.
– To be one with the forest so that finally you feel that you have been lost in its depths.
Tiia Matikainen (b. 1975, Kitee, Finland) is a sculptor and ceramics artist. She completed The Master of Arts degree at University of Art and Design Helsinki in 2002, and presently lives and works in Mänttä.

Further information:

Tiia Matikainen

Eine menschliche Figur, die von einem schützenden Netz aus Pflanzen und Erde umhüllt ist, steht im Mittelpunkt der neuesten Skulpturen von Tiia Matikainen. Formen von Wurzeln und Sanddünen, die auf Tonoberflächen gemeißelt sind, nehmen die Gestalt von seltsamen Waldbewohnern an. Für die Künstlerin sind diese Skulpturen Wächterfiguren, eine schützende Schicht zwischen dem Menschen und der umgebenden Welt.

Der Wald und die damit verbundene finnische Mythologie sind wichtige Inspirationen für die künstlerische Arbeit von Matikainen. Eine der interessantesten ist die Vorstellung, vom Wald versteckt zu werden. Geister können diejenigen, die sich dort bewegen, dazu verlocken, sich in einer absurden Welt zu verlieren und aus dem Blickfeld der anderen zu verschwinden.

Das Verstecktsein im Wald steht nicht nur für Angst, sondern auch für Sicherheit und Verbundenheit mit der Natur, denn der Wald und seine Pflanzenwelt schützen uns und alles Leben auf unserem Planeten.
– Eins zu sein mit dem Wald, so dass man schließlich das Gefühl hat, sich in seinen Tiefen verloren zu haben.
Tiia Matikainen (geb. 1975, Kitee, Finnland) ist Bildhauerin und Keramikerin. Sie schloss 2002 den Master of Arts an der Universität für Kunst und Design Helsinki ab und lebt und arbeitet derzeit in Mänttä.

Weitere Informationen:

Toolbox Kabinett: Anna-Maria Balov (Berlin)

25.08. - 23.09.2023 Contact 25.8.–23.9.2023

Mi–Sa 15-19 Uhr

Niina Räty (painting and drawing), Maija Helasvuo (wood sculptures)

Opening hours: Wed-Sat 3pm-7pm

Closed on bank holidays

Maija Helasvuo

My sculptures shown in the exhibition were created in memory of my deceased relatives.
In the old Finnish belief, the bird acts as a messenger between the living and the dead. So the connection to the afterlife is always there.

Fig.: From Spring to Autum, 2021, Photo: Jussi Tiainen

Niina Räty

I have a dog who brings joy and structure to my life. She trusts me, eagerly keeps me company, and makes ordinary days more meaningful. She is considered my property. Animals are traded, they are milked, sheared and slaughtered, they are made to carry and compete. Is it even possible to build a relationship with an animal without seeking benefits?

To milk, 2022, oli pastel on canvas, Niina Räty
To milk, 2022, oli pastel on canvas

Toolbox Cabinet

In the cabinet, two music archaeologists will introduce themselves.
One from Finland and one from Berlin:
Dr. Arnd Adje Both
Dr. Riitta Rainio
An archaeomusicological installation consisting of a virtual reality video and ceramic sculptures of instrumentalists will be presented.

The virtual reality videos bring to life the soundscape at the rock painting site of Siliävuori, Finland, about 5,000 years ago. The painted rock cliff rising directly from the lake responds to drumming and singing with echoes. Rock painting sites with images of animals, humans, boats and even drummers are believed to have been ritual sites for prehistoric hunter-fisher-gatherers.
The virtual reality reconstruction of Silävuori was made in collaboration between archaeologists, musicologists and cognitive scientists from the University of Helsinki, using terrestrial and aerial laser scans, spherical photography, spatial impulse response recordings, studio recordings and convolution. The work was part of Dr. Riitta Rainio’s project ”Acoustics and auditory culture at hunter-gatherer rock art sites in Northern Europe, Siberia and North America” funded by the Academy of Finland (2018–2023).