Tavastila utilizes thick and thin layers of paint—sometimes so thin they look almost entirely scrubbed off, creating a form of palimpsest—as an unconventional approach to examining the importance of paint, itself, as a medium. This contrast lends itself to themes the artist is interested in: namely, the juxtaposition of the visible and the hidden, and its relevance to the expression of individual emotion. What the visible shapes stand for is often personal, but what is not said explicitly is also key.
Born in Helsinki in 1977, Tavastila earned a degree from Taideoppilaitos Alfa-Art, and has since studied at the painting department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki, as well as art history and visual culture at the University of Copenhagen. She has been the recipient of a working grant from the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland for 2 years and received the Stina Krook Foundation art prize in 2012. Since 2006, Tavastila has had multiple solo and group exhibitions in her native Finland, as well as in Copenhagen, Denmark.