Remembering Juha Karhula: Artist, projectionist, gentle soul

He was a gifted artist who expressed his worldview through his paintings. Yet, he was self-deprecating and could not be persuaded to mount an exhibition of his Post work by his newspaper colleagues.

By ELLIOT JAGER
July 10, 2017 23:58
1 minute read.
Remembering Juha Karhula: Artist, projectionist, gentle soul

FORMER ‘JERUSALEM POST’ illustrator Juha Karhula died on June 26 at the age of 62 at his home in Finland.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Former Jerusalem Post artist and illustrator Juha Karhula died on June 26 at his home in Finland. He was 62.

Known by all as Juha, Karhula was born in Lammi, Finland, on February 19, 1955. He met his future life partner, Yosefa, at a café in a Swedish train station. Both had missed their connections and were passing the time.

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The chemistry was right and, in due course, he followed Yosefa to Israel in 1981. The couple married the following year. Their daughter Orin Milena was born in 1986.

Soon after he arrived in the country, Juha began working at the Post as an illustrator. He subsequently worked at the Jerusalem Cinematheque as a projectionist for 20 years or so.

Though a man of few words, at both the Post and Cinematheque, Juha was respected, loved and admired. A gentle soul who was seldom heard to raise his voice in anger; an atheist who respected all creeds and was fetchingly, almost-naïvely decent.

Juha insisted on reading any article he was asked to illustrate. He produced hauntingly abstract pictures that somehow captured the essence of a piece. Once he had an idea, it took him just a few minutes to produce his signature illustrations: a straightforward, clean, linear painting or sketch that gave color – even in black and white – and texture to a story.

He was a gifted artist who expressed his worldview through his paintings. Yet, he was self-deprecating and could not be persuaded to mount an exhibition of his Post work by his newspaper colleagues.



After he and Yosefa divorced in 1996, the couple remained on good terms, and Juha stayed in Israel to be near his daughter. Three years ago, suffering from the ravages of chronic alcoholism, Juha returned to Finland where his sister Tiina helped to look after him.

In addition to his daughter Orin Milena, he is survived by siblings Karri and Tiina who are brother- and-sister twins, and by grandchildren Yuval (4) and Ido (2) whom he loved very much.

The funeral will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 14, at the Kiryat Anavim Cemetery in the Judean Hills.

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