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

01.06. - 22.06.2024 YÖ in BERLIN

Mi–Sa 15–19 Uhr

Yö ry Artists’ Association is an advocacy organization for professional artists from various fields, primarily operating in Helsinki. YÖ in BERLIN is a group exhibition organized by Yö ry, featuring works by its member artists. Yö has over 300 member artists and a gallery in Helsinki on Lönnrotinkatu. The space is free for all exhibiting artists, not just members of the association. At the core of Yö is its members’ desire to act. Yö ry is not merely an artist-run gallery but a coalition of proactive and enthusiastic professionals from various fields. Yö is a movement and community, whose large membership enables even the most ambitious initiatives to be realized.

YÖ IN BERLIN is the first exhibition exchange between Yö ry and Galerie Toolbox. The exhibition is curated by Toolbox’s founding members together with Yö ry members Mia Makela and Henriikka Pöllänen.

Yö’s exhibition at Galerie Toolbox includes video art, visual art, and a portfolio showcase, where you can browse the works of Yö’s member artists on a screen. The video works and portfolios were selected through an open call.

All the videos have been produced during 2020´s. The video works have been curated into 3 different screening programs. Remnants of the Wild presents videos exploring our partnerships to non-human world from Earth Forces, Mia Makela and Lau Rämö. Tapestry of Time contains video works unraveling the echoes of past in the present time from Johanna Väisänen, Hanna Råst, Joonas Jokiranta and Airbakers (Toivola & Wager).
Close Encounters presents a collection of videos focused on exploring intimacy through performance art from Juhani Koivumäki, Kainulainen&Latva, Mari Hokkanen, Eoin O`Dowd,
To Kosie, Sini Henttu and Ginko Shu.

The paintings and sculptures in the exhibition bring forth the diversity of materials. Isabel Pathirane’s paintings are bound together by the strong use of color and expressiveness. Tuomas Holst blurs the lines between painting and sculpture with works that are made from recycled materials. Krista Blomqvist’s series “Creatures of the Night” consists of paintings on copper, which evolve over time as the copper itself changes. The glass sculptures of Henriikka Pöllänen and Kimmo Reinikka bring out different dimensions of glass as material.

Curatorial team consisted of Toolbox founding members Maija Helasvuo and Niina Räty in collaboration with Yö Association board members Mia Mäkelä and Henriikka Pöllänen.

Opening program includes a performance from Tapani Pirog and an opening talk by Yö curatorial team.. Tapani Pirog will premiere a new performative work entitled Ich bin ein Baseball during the exhibition opening.  Tapani Pirog is a Helsinki-based ultramodernist and post-expressionist.

More information on the schedule will be available later on Yö’s and Toolbox’s websites.

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

29.03. - 20.04.2024 Joakim Sederholm


I have always tried to express humanity with my work. I have expressed what it meens to be a fragile human being. I hope my art would increase tolerance and understanding between people. Often my work take the shape of a man or woman and sometimes a dog.
I mostly use wood as material.

Joakim Sederholm

Artwork. Sorrow, 2023, 21 x 21 x 83 cm, painted wood

Toolbox Kabinett: Anton Laiko

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)

26.04. - 25.05.2024 Nadja Schöllhammer and Juha Sääski


Juha Sääski
Joyful light and gloomy shadows

Nadja Schöllhammer
Human Tangle

28.4.-25.5. 2024

Opening on Friday 26.4. 2024, 19-21

Galerie/Projektraum TOOLBOX
Koloniestraße 120
13359 Berlin Wedding
we-sat 3-7 pm
U Bahn Osloerstraße

Juha Sääski Artwork

Mortality is elsewhere, mixed media on paper (watercolour, acrylic, colouring pencil, drawing charcoal on paper), 40 x 60 cm, 2022

Juha Sääski is showing a collection of mixed-media works, which are dealing with lights and shadows of human life. Mixed media in this case means: : acrylic color, watercolor, colouring pencil, drawing charcoal, pencil on paper.

The starting point for this theme was an own experience of the fragile dividing line between life and death. The works are shared in two parts, the larger area is filled with colorful and happy world of life, the smaller area shows black and white and cold shadows of death.
Sääski uses cliche-like, naive , happy and sad contradicting elements and some humoristic tools. In combining tragic-comical and contradicting elements he is striving to describe the paradoxes, the fragility and the beauty of human life.
According to Charlie Chaplin: ”Life is tragic at close up, but comedy from distance”.

Juha Sääski is a finnish artist, born in Helsinki 1952, living and working at west-south of Finland. He has exhibited mostly in Finland but also internationally, in Berlin in several solo shows and in several group exhibitions and in Germany also for instance in Galerie Nord, Nuremberg, Galerie Nord/Kunstverein Tiergarten Berlin, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz and Kunstverein & Kunsthaus Viernheim. Sääski has also participated exhibitions in UK, USA, Sweden, Italy and Estonia. More information and CV at homepages: and also

artwork Nadja Schöäälammer

Ghosts at work (I)

Nadja Schöllhammer: “Ghosts at work (I)”, 2011/2024, 
Paper, cut-outs, newspaper fragments, hot glue, Indian ink, wood, eggshell and plant parts, 
53 x 72 x 20 cm
photo and © Nadja Schöllhammer

Nadja Schöllhammer – Human Tangle

Nadja Schöllhammer invents methods of expanded drawing. At Toolbox Gallery, she is showing a selection of drawings and paper assemblages. Schöllhammer is interested in the mutability of human consciousness and the connection between individual and collective existence. In her group of works “Human Tangle”, she develops graphic transformations of human body forms. Using pencil, cutter knive, hot glue and Indian ink, she explores the material paper and thus creates a structure in which the individual bodies are integrated into a larger organism.
She describes her approach as follows: “By expanded drawing, I approach a condition that seems impossible in so-called reality: a parallel world in which the (supposed) boundaries between human/animal/plant, male/female, beautiful/ugly disappear. An alternative world to the usual hierarchies of perception and meaning, in which many things are possible at the same time and contradictions are overcome.”
Nadja Schöllhammer, born 1971 in Esslingen am Neckar (Germany), has shown her work in Germany and abroad, e.g. at Kunsthalle Tübingen, Galerie Nord/ Kunstverein Tiergarten Berlin, Fengxian Museum, Shanghai, Marta Herford Museum, ARTER Istanbul, Arp Museum Rolandseck, Remagen and many more. She has received numerous grants and awards, including grants by Kunstfonds Bonn, Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral`s grant and art award, the Tokyo residency by Berlin Senate, DAAD travel grants for Colombia and Mexico, a grant by Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, and many more. Since 2024, she holds a professorship for drawing at Hochschule Hannover. Schöllhammer lives and works in Berlin and Hannover. More information at

23.02. - 23.03.2024 Siiri Haarla – Iris Germanica


Opening: Fri 23.02.2024, 7pm

Exhibition: 25.2-23.3.2024
Open on Kolonie Weekend, Sun 25.02. 24, 2–6pm

Toolbox Cabunett: Hildegard Skowasch

Iris Germanica, a plain flower seen all over Europe
Iris Germanica is Goddess of Everything
Iris Germanica is my sad song of time passing by

I think my painting as a living organism. In the beginning there is a seed of idea, something that bothers me and wants to see the light. First painting is a sprout, second is a leaf, third is maybe a flower and ten paintings makes a body.
I’d say: I paint for pleasure, pleasure of the recognition: that’s what it’s meant to be!
I’d hope: there are seeds of all seen sprinkled on you!

In my painting I’m guided by association and desire. I want to paint something that I yet never saw, but still when seeing it feels obvious. This feeling of recognition is what declares painting ready.

I moved to Berlin ten years ago, and while painting these paintings I also relived that time, time that made life permanently dichotomous, it goes on two tracks.

Iris Germanica is fragmented saga about time, loss, immigration, nation, myth, botanic, cities and evolution. Some parts were lost, some altered, its old but not original. It’s sincere but not true.

I am a visual artist based in Helsinki and Berlin. I did my MFA degree in 2011 in University of Fine Arts in Helsinki, where I’m also doing my PhD about meanings of colours an seeing. My works were shown in several soloshows and group exhibitions in Finland, Denmark and Germany like Helsinki Kunsthalle, Forum Box Gallery and Kunst am Spreeknie/Transformart festival.

Siiri Haarla
Helsinki 23.1.2024

artwork: Iris Germanica ‘Nibelungen’ oil painting on canvas, 140x100cm, 2023 (detail)

Hildegard Skowasch

*born in Essen. Lives and works in Berlin.

Studied at the Kunstakademie Münster and at the Ecole supérieure des Arts Plastiques, Tourcoing (France).

Hildegard Skowasch’s work focuses on sculpture (paper/ceramics), drawing and printmaking. Starting from form, she uses different materials to create projection surfaces and a world of her own with shifts in content, possibilities and perspectives on being.

She is the initiator of artistic collaborations such as the “Hildegard Project” and “Generator”.

Since 1989, she has held numerous residencies, including at Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, USA, the Saari residence of the Kone Foundation, Finland and the KKVV Luleå, Sweden.

She exhibits internationally.

In 2019, she was represented with a comprehensive exhibition at the Polish National Museum in Gdansk and in 2022 with another major solo exhibition at the BWA Municipal Gallery in Olsztyn.

She is showing ceramic wall works in the Toolbox Gallery cabinet.


Hildegard Skowasch: untitled, 2019, Ceramics glazed, ca 20 x 20 x 20 cm


Galerie/Projektraum TOOLBOX
Koloniestraße 120
13359 Berlin-Wedding
U-Bahn Osloerstraße

Wed, Fri-Sat 15-19, Thu 16-20
An Feiertagen ist die Toolbox geschlossen
On Bank holidays Toolbox is closed

27.10. - 25.11.2023 Video Works | Aalto University Film Students


Video Works | 28.10–26.11.2023

Aalto university, Finland
Students of the Department of Film

Opening: 27.10 at 7pm

Exhibition: 29.10–25.11.2023

Kolonie Weekend: Open on Sun 29.10.2023 from 2–6pm

James Coker, Suvi Hänninen, Venla Monni, ,Sameli Muurimäki, Julius Repo, Hilla Tykkyläinen

Galerie/Projektraum TOOLBOX
Koloniestraße 120
13359 Berlin-Wedding
U-Bahn Osloerstraße

Opening Times: Wed–Sat, 3–7pm

On Bank holidays Toolbox is closed

26.01. - 16.02.2024 United comparison


27.01 und 28.01 16-20 Uhr, 2.-3.,9.-10. und 16. Februar:
16-20 Uhr + nach tel.: Vereinbarung 01795475312.

The year 2024 could be decisive. Another state could disappear from the world map. Completely or within the borders we know. After several years of the nightmare unfolding around us and the tragedy lurking within, this possibility no longer seems unimaginable. Last year, we Armenians lost an important part of our homeland – Artsakh. An independent democratic state, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia is in danger. Ukraine is in danger. Who is next? We are artists, and we have no ready-made recipes on how to bring back peace and stability, prosperity and confidence in the future. But we do have a refuge – our love of and belief in painting as a world of its own. In this exhibition, we want to reflect on the limits of this world.

We got to know each other at a vernissage at Galerie Taube in 2019. Gagik had been to Berlin several times before and was invited to take part in the December Salon. As it turned out – in the last catalogue of Galerie Taube. The next year, the Covid pandemic closed the borders and artistic exchange slowed down drastically. In February 2022, bombs fell on Ukraine and Gagik decided to leave his new home, studio, library and artworks to save his family. (The war began suddenly and insidiously. Modern missiles can reach any point in the country, no one is safe). The picturesque town of Uzhgorod, where Gagik lived with his young wife and daughter, lies on the border with Slovakia. I offered to come by car and pick up my colleague at the border. Many countries from Switzerland to Canada invited the Ukrainians, but Gagik was already familiar with Berlin and settled in the German capital with his family. In the Berlin district of Pankow, we ran a gallery together with the artist Andreas Wolf and Wolf&Galentz could not help but reflect on the situation after the outbreak of military aggression. In June 2022, we offered the public a group exhibition Commentaries on Betrayal and Violence. Gagik was the painter at the centre (focus) of this project. At the same time, we could not expect the 69-year-old artist to be able to immediately produce new works for the exhibition. After his arrival in Berlin, Gagik had to go through a long process of finding accommodation for his family, a school for his daughter and sorting out paperwork. However, Gagik brought his experience and vision of art to Germany and masterfully commented on the works of numerous artists of different generations and from different countries in our group exhibition. Gagik continues to actively participate in artistic life in Berlin, his works are light and virtuosic, lively and fascinating. I would also like to allow myself this freedom of expression. 30 years of living in Berlin have disciplined and somewhat constricted me. In this exhibition, I would like to allow myself to be a painter who comments. In addition to Gagik’s paintings, I am presenting a series of objects. Some are found, others are placed in the context of the frame, but all are not created with brush and paint. In addition, we – both Armenian artists – have created a joint print for this exhibition Vereinte Gegenüberstellung: Back to back, I – a Russian citizen and Gagik – a Ukrainian citizen try to demarcate a small free space for us. Thanks to Berlin, where artists find refuge and to Andreas Wolf and Toolbox where Gagik Kurginian and I are allowed to exhibit together.

Archi Galentz, born 1971 in Moscow (Russia as part of the USSR), 1989 studied at the State University of Fine Arts and Theatre in Yerevan, Armenia (part of the USSR), 1992–97 studied art at the Berlin University of the Arts, master student of Klaus Fußmann. Since 1989 over eighty international exhibitions, since 2000 working as an exhibition curator, journalist and lecturer. Founding member of a platform for Armenian diaspora artists ‘Underconstruction.Home’. 2008 founding of his own project space InteriorDAsein in Berlin. 2019 founding, together with Andreas Wolf, of the gallery Wolf & Galentz Galerie in Berlin Pankow. Father of two children. Archi Galentz lives and works in Berlin.

Gagik Kurginian, born 1953 in Yerevan, Armenia (part of the USSR). 1966 resettlement with parents to Zaporizhia, Ukraine (part of the USSR). 1977 graduated from the State Medical University. In addition to being a doctor, he worked as a jeweller, sportsman and artist. Since 1989 participation in numerous international exhibitions. 2015(?) Relocation to Uzhgorog, Ukraine, 2022 relocation with family to Berlin. Father of two children. Gagik Kurginian lives and works in Berlin.

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.

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).