The collective is made up of 6 members; Otto Byström, Henna Hyvärinen, Jonna Karanka, Mika Palonen, Sakari Tervo and Tuomo Tuovinen. Each maintains a practice outside of the collective, working across film, performance and installation.
The name Sorbus, chosen in reference to the preferred alcoholic beverage of low-income alcoholics and hardcore punks, is an assertion of the group’s anti-institutional position in the Helsinki art scene and a want to establish “the kind of place in which we ourselves would like to show our work.”
They set up an artist run space on the infamous Vaasankatu in the former working-class district of Kallio. Nestled in between stripjoints and dive bars, in January 2013 Sorbus Galleria was launched with Opening Festival. The programme, which included music, performance, poetry, live cinema and vinyl record cutting, would define Sorbus’ mission as a multidisciplinary art space and kickstart their all-in approach to both making and presenting work. For the next 6 years the collective played host to some 90 group and solo exhibitions and over 100 live events. Through which they brought together and galvanised a network of local and international artists such as; Josefin Arnell, Aapo Nikkanen, Zoe Barcza, Maria Gorodeckaya, Sanna Helena Berger, Shawné Michaelain Holloway, Leslie Kulesh, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Katja Novitskova, Viktor Timofeev, Maija Timonen, Matilda Tjäder and Holly White.
In addition to their curatorial output, since 2015 the members have collaborated on and produced installation works, short films and performances, and since January 2019, the collective decided to turn their attention more fully to such projects, transforming the gallery space into a private studio. These works further explore their interests in counterculture, art markets and collectivity, all of which is delivered in an ironic, humorous tone, one that remains a deeply serious analysis of their subject. These have been presented internationally with the likes of; Antwerp Art Weekend, Prairie (Chicago), Enclave (London), Ciné REX (Bern) and De Ateliers as part of Amsterdam Art Weekend.