Ulla Väätäinen was born  in Leppävirta (a small municipality in Finland) where she also graduated from high school. In the late 1960s, she lived in London and later graduated from Savonlinna Language Institute. During the 1970´s she held a variety of jobs, working as a secretary as well as a cleaning woman, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as at the Finnish Steamship company. In Paris she studied French, devoured arts and attended art lectures. After some odd jobs in Finland she began to work for audiovisual design studios and acquired six years´ experience as a director and producer before setting up her own company, Ateljee Heijastus (1982-2012). Ateljee Heijastus focused on graphic and web design, photography and video productions. As a designer, Väätäinen tackled practically everything in the field of image and sound, and was in charge of the overall management of the productions.

Nearly thirty years, she has collaborated with Liisa Karvonen in making videos. The videos have been shown in galleries, museums and festivals at home and abroad.

In 2006 Väätäinen documented the demolition of the VR warehouses and held a photography exhibition on the theme.

She found again her old passion for photography and plunged into working with collages. Through them she is able to find her own expression.

Her collages have been shown at solo exhibitions at Galleria Art Frida 2013, at KamiterArs 2018, at Galleria Rikhard in Helsinki 2020, Galleria Rentola, in Kustavi 2020 and at Galleria Kamiter-Ars, Helsinki 2024. She has participated in group exhibitions in Helsinki at Lasipalatsin Akkuna, Galleria Rantakasarmi, Kanneltalo, Rööperin taidesalonki, Taidelaitos Haihatus and Galleria Art Frida.

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