Whilst painting, I feel like being present both in my body and in the work. Touching the painting, I touch my own being. Whatever it is that I’m painting, that something is at once fascinating and intimidating. It hurts and it caresses, it changes its shape and it expresses itself in different things and different people. At times, it is lucidly manifest in a painting.

Sara Orava ( born 1975 ) is an artist from Helsinki, known for her intense and introspective art works, moving on the edge between the physical and the psychical reality. Her works are characterized by strong layering, physicality and references to art history. She works in the field of painting, drawing and stage works.

She has had many solo exhibitions, among which at Galleria Ama and Galleria Artina (Helsinki), Kerava Art Museum, Neu Galerie im Artforum (Offenburg) and she has presented her works in numerous group exhibitions, among others in Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki), Amos Rex, Amos Anderson Art Museum (Helsinki),  Kunsthalle (Helsinki), Rovaniemi Art Museum (Rovaniemi), Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art (Vaasa). 

She has also worked as a set designer and director in the multi-artistic Exit3 Company, which she founded with soprano Piia Komsi and dancer-choreographer Milla Eloranta. ”The Purple Bird of the Heart flies through the night” was performed at the Finnish National Gallery Theatre in 2019. The chamber opera ”Medusa” composed by Paola Livorsi had its premiere at the Helsinki Opera Summer Festival at Alexander Theatre 2021 and achieved great popularity.

Her works are in the collections of Amos Rex, Kiasma, Espoo Museum of Modern Art EMMA, Wihuri Collection, Heino Collection, Paulo and Nelimarkka Foundations, Sammlung Gudrun und Georg Fröhner and in the Finnish State Art Collection.

She has been awarded numerous grants. The latest is a 3-year grant from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland for the years 2003-2005

She is married to Mika Orava. They have two dothers Militza and Elsa.