30/11/2021 To be able to listen, I need to slow down
I have been feeling into the slowness of crafting. I can just imagine the rhythm of it one thousand years ago - you couldn't easily go to a store and buy yarn that is already dyed like you can now. Back in the day, creating a piece of clothing would be an extremely slow process compared to the speed of it today. Most probably, either you or someone else in your community would have had a close relationship with the sheep and asked their permission for their wool. From the wool, you would spin yarn that would be dyed with plants. From that yarn, you would weave fabric on a loom so you could make warm clothes to keep your family alive in the cold winter nights. In this time, I have a very different relationship to this type of creating - it is not a form of survival, but a path of honoring, connecting, and remembering the wisdom and ways of my ancestors. I wish I knew and had a relationship with the sheep or flax plants who gave this beautiful wool and linen fibers, or the skilled people who made yarn and fabric out of them. I am grateful.
I am not saying we need to fully go back to the old ways and that is not even possible because the world we live in today looks very different. Rather, that there is something precious there that we can learn and bring it to the world today. A couple of years ago I was living on a small old farm in the middle of the woods with no central heating system or tap water. This experience taught me deep and important lessons in interconnectedness and creating relationships with the elemental and land spirits. I still carry these ways of relating with me where I go, connecting with the land to my best knowledge. Through this connection I am also connecting with my ancestors, who knew the importance of maintaining balanced relationships with the natural world – their survival and wellbeing were connected to the wellbeing of the land. And this is still true today; in many places we just can’t see it so directly anymore. It has been such a healing journey for me to learn about the ways that my ancestors connected with the land and continue carrying out those same traditions.
I have been tuning in to my natural rhythm of working here in the residency, really listening to my body and the land here. What are they saying to me today? Do I need to dive straight into weaving, or first take a walk outside and greet and make offerings for the land spirits? When I create today, do I need to dance and sing, or be still and silent? Some days I can just breathe in the passionate, creative energy and work from the moment I wake up almost until the moment I go to bed, having breaks in between of course. Some days when I wake up, I know I need to take it slow that day and maybe not work at all and do something completely different or just simply be still. I have found that this is very connected to the rhythms of my surroundings, and by honoring the rhythm of my body I am doing a service for the land as well. We are in the same rhythm and go through the same cycles of seasons, life, and death. I feel the seasonal changes deeply, and it is a beautiful time to be working in the residency now, when darkness is increasing, and we are shifting deeper into winter.
A couple of years ago when I was painting and regularly holding exhibitions, I was working with a disciplined rhythm and structure, having deadlines, and pushing myself to produce and accomplish certain things before those dates. Now as I'm working here, I am not sure if I will have anything finished when I leave this residency - and that's okay. This shift in perspective and approach feels like the most important thing right now. Slowing down, being still, taking time to listen, enjoying the process, not knowing what will come out of it and not focusing on the outcome, feel like a rebellious act in a culture focused on fast producing and accomplishments. I've needed to develop ways to work with mostly my left hand as my right wrist is in a state of healing from an injury, and this has slowed down my work especially this week. It feels good to listen to that and be gentle with myself. I feel privileged to be able to rest when I need to, and not think about survival. It is also interesting what kind of pathways open when you cannot do things in a familiar way anymore.
What I have noticed is that quite often things move forward and fall into place when I don't push myself to do more but let go, trust the mysterious ways of life, enjoy my receptive nature, and let things come to me. The right ones always do. I came here with the intention of remembering, learning, and connecting, and what will come out of my time here is yet unknown. I am sure whatever will come out of this period, will carry the energy of deep healing, connection, aliveness, commitment, and joy of remembering.
Artist in Residence 8.11.–19.12.2021
20/9/2021 Environmental art workshops
One of the key objectives of our land art and environmental art workshops for us is to create a new connection between the environment and the artistic experience. The creative processes can take part in the discussion on ecology, about humans and the environment – considering both aesthetic and ethical aspects that come to play.
What defines land and environmental art is that they are created under natures conditions in discussion with its phenomenas, change and corruption. Therefore the works of art are rarely fully permanent but always somehow temporary and in change. Process works may only exist a small while, expressing also evidently the current place, time and the surrounding conditions.
The attention of the work often shifts and expands in the various changes and the boundaries of an artwork integrates in its surroundings and the phenomenas happening in it. The work kind of continues in its local landscape.
In our workshops we discover these charactaristics of land and environmental art and consider these aspects by the materials and concepts of works.
Picture: Our Garden fellow 2021 Isa Kiviaho was working at Ars Eukaryote ry as part of her Media Arts studies in TAMK. In addition to assisting our residency artist and managing administrating assignments she got to demo our environmental arts workshops in our amazing immediate surroundings for the artists of NEO - Omapolku Ateljee from Setlementti Tampere.
The workshops included clay graffiti, earth mandala and chalk drawing in nature.
If you are interested in having a workshop for your community or group we are happy to arrange one for you.
Contact us >> firstname.lastname@example.org
15/9/2021 Two weeks at the Attic
I think the concept and feel of time have been collectively changed during the pandemic.
Everything is far away, constantly happening, and yet nothing is happening, but
everything is completely different. There is a feel of this great exhaustion and I ar-rive at the residency, a little bit rested yet still recovering from pretty severe burnout. The plan to distract myself with work and projects has carried this far.
But I’m running on fumes and I cannot lie anymore to myself and say that I’m not
affected by all the surrounding circumstances. Including all the mundane tragedies as well my holistic being is ready to fall apart.
The summer has been scorching and brutal UV light has whipped the landscapes for multiple weeks. I arrive to find two rooms designated for me; a bedroom where I can unload mypackage and a studio room that bathes in the evening sun.I need to write. I need to deal with a small mountain of things that were leftoverfrom the utter chaos of spring.
So I sit in the studio, start to move words around. I look at the trees and the leaves as they dance with the breeze which provides some relief from the unprecedented heat.
After two days I’m finished, and I merge from the studio to pet the cats, make dinner, have coffee and conversation. This is what I’ve been waiting for and what always seems to be the most important aspect of any socialized existing; just being together, sharing time and space. Not doing anything but doing the most important thing - maintaining.
Maintaining yourself, your functions, and your social relationships.
The work also happens there, beyond schedule, beyond structure. In the stupid jokes, coffee stains, threads the unwind under cat scratches, in cold leftovers...
I feel I can breathe a bit better. The shallow tightness which has found a home inmy tissues has relented and receded. The cat purrs under my hand, sometimesgrazes my skin with claws if the stimulation is too much. There are more things I want to do. I pick up few different impulses which I wantto follow. Go filming by the lake, edit old materials and try to make some sense oflast year's actions.
I write a love letter, to someone, not to anyone, to everyone. It includes wishes,
whispers, illusions, and futility. I cover the letters, they become knots and I weavedreams into a visual puzzle.I want to reveal myself sincerely and completely, yet still disappear totally, hide inform and aesthetic. In the end, I leave the letter to the residency.
Objectively two weeks is not a long time.
I wish I could stay and experiment with impulses and follow each subject of obsession that arises, but I need to leave.
Summer is giving in to the first glimpses of autumn. I cannot stay this curve of time forever.
Artist in Residence 19.7.–1.8.2021
4/3/2021 The Beginning
It’s March 2021 and we are in the very verge of putting our residency program in action. This is a project that has been simmering in my mind for years. Luckily now things have aligned in such a position that it is possible to open a space for co-creating and -learning and to develop our dreams further into production of works around our environment.
With the current situation of the world for me it has become even more essention to strengthen structures for creating, grounding and connecting. I’ve always felt being in a residency has done that for me. A designated period to work, a designated space to work, designated people to help and reflect together, a new environment to discover, a new culture to discover, new individuals to discover, a new layer of myself to discover, a new layer of the world to discover, some part of me to leave behind to discover and say goodbye to. A work of art to discover.
These journeys have always given me a great opportunity to expand and really get the hang of the very foundation of my artistic work – almost like magnifying my practice. When all my usual mundane is swept away for a while, where its just a bit more silent, somehow a safer space to investigate something still fragile and growing and unsure.
My main motivation to put such a thing into motion as an artist residency is to get to work as this enforcing and supporting anima for creation and learning. I want to get to witness from very close artists engaging with themselves and their vision. I want to see more environmental art around this city. I want to create a neutral ground for experiments. I want to be able to create time and space.