The pattern motif OXXO was inspired by the technique of the work, resulting in an association with tic-tac-toe, a game familiar to me from my childhood. I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamic worlds of pattern and colour of indigenous peoples, and around the time when I designed that pattern I was investigating the African idiom of form to a great deal. The patterns always came about from intuition, without being planned beforehand. A form could be suited to a given technique and a whole family of patterns would be created around it in a very natural and unforced way. The influences can be seen, but my Sámi identity is also clearly evident in the realisation of the works.
I feel that I am a Sámi designer. My own Sámi cultural background and the northern setting in which I grew up have been a richness for me, from which I have been able to draw upon to a great deal in my own creative work. At the beginning of my career, my Sámi identity was self-evident for me – a part of myself of which I was not actually aware. At the time, it was expressed as bold colours and patterns. It was only later in my career that I realised the great importance of my culture for me and my own great need to express myself without undue restrictions.
My Ságat brand emerged from a personal need to realise and express my own culture upon my own terms, as I see it. Having moved away from my home region and the environment of my own culture, I had to have something of my culture with me in Southern Finland so that it would live on in me. For me, the Ságat brand is a way of communicating with both the Sámi community and the rest of the world. It is a connection with the Sámi tradition of crafts and the present situation of the Sámi in visual terms.