Friday 3/30/18 time 3:39 PM


How did you end up choosing your media?

I chose to develop my work in Finland using text. This was as a result of my progressing interest with language, and concepts of truth in the ways in which attribute truth to words. This led to a body of work exploring the manifestation of words being presented as visually dominant in a fine art context.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

One of the best sides is the integrity and acceptance with which I am encouraged to pursue my ideas. This also comes with the support of work in progress being credited with the optimism of potential. One of the worst is the changeable circumstances and transient sense of value that can be attributed to art as a whole. Although this can be subverted and serve as motivation to dissolve out dated value systems and create a more sustainable engagement with art, recognising the need for it to be an accessible part of a very human future.

Is this your first time in Finland?

It is.

What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Dark on the outside, bright on the inside. Lots of snow. Limitless quiet and trees.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

Personally, a residency facilitates a concentrated space for production and development. The focus on the time you have there encourages a method and routine to develop. This can then adapt to your practice in quite a short amount of time, depending on the length of the residency, and is very conducive to succint and thematicly consistent work. I'm sure everyone's experience of a residency is different but as I can't afford a studio 24/7 I value the way in which it helps consolidate my ideas I have been working on in the months leading up to it.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

To apply for an MA in fine art and go back to Wales to work.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus is built around ideas I value and it met my expectations effortlessly. I am grateful for my time there and to Merja and Raimo for their formiddable vision and work in creating an exceptional residency setting and art centre.

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Saturday 1/27/18 time 10:11 AM


Background as an artist

I was born in Sydney, Australia and I now live in Tasmania. 

First I trained in photography in the days of film and darkroom chemicals. Then I studied
ceramics and visual arts in general. I attained a Masters Degree in Creative Arts and
started to get work teaching in art schools in various parts of Australia. I set up a
ceramics studio called One More Art Lane (it was a disused mechanics shed at the end
of Moore Lane). I also worked in community and cultural development, promoting
community arts and international cultural exchange.

After some time I set up a graphic design business called Infinity Design which was
logistically easier and cheaper to manage than a studio because everything happens in
pixels in a laptop computer. I was a board member of regional and metropolitan galleries
in Perth, Western Australia where I also worked in University art schools as head of
ceramics department.

In 1996 I was artist in residence at the Artigas Foundation Studios in Barcelona and had the privilege of working in the same studios that Picasso, Miro and Tapies had done in the past. I spent time in the USA, Asia and Europe and moved to the southern most part of Australia, the island of Tasmania in 2011. That was the year MONA opened (Museum of Old and New Art) which has changed the Tasmanian economy and cultural landscape:

I am currently employed as Arts and Cultural Development Officer near Hobart, the main
city of Tasmania.

How did you end up choosing your media?

I have been heavily influenced by Japanese ceramics. From first contact I fell in love with
ceramic form and surface. Ceramics is a complicated process from the beginning to end
with many chances for failure along the way, so it is satisfying when to go through the
physical nature of working with clay and fire to achieve a good work.

Ceramics is my main medium but at Haihatus I chose to make brushes from found
materials and to explore mark making on paper using Sumi ink as a medium.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best side of being an artist is being able to explore like a child, to discover what
different mediums can do and how they can be manipulated and explored. Human
creativity is a primordial trait that is common to every culture. Its a privilege to be part of
this global aesthetic. I have also met some wonderfully interesting and engaging people
from all over the world.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about
Finland/ Joutsa?

This my first time in Finland, however I grew up with a Finnish friend named Heikki
Nivala. The Nivala family lived two houses along the street and the job for Heikki and me
every Friday was to heat the wood fired sauna. After sauna we would have Sima drink
and Pula buns. So I knew a little about Finland and am very happy to come here. Because I
came in winter I expected it to be cold, I was not disappointed.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

The best side of an art residency is that you get time to focus on the work and to relax.
There is an opportunity to create a body of work that could lead to exhibition or

What are your plans after Haihatus?

When I return to Tasmania I intend to set up a new ceramics studio. I started the process
before Haihatus and look forward to spending days in the studio creating and engaging
with the elements of earth, water, fire and air.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus has enabled me to take some time out of a busy schedule, to relax and create and
explore some different creative processes. It is unique in its structure and location, its
mysterious and inspirational.

I made a simple website called to display some of the works I
created at Haihatus:

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Friday 12/15/17 time 10:23 AM


Background as an artist

I am a Greek-American Multi-Platform Artist.  I have always painted, sculpted and drawn, and am interested in exploring any materials I can get my hands on!

How did you end up choosing your media? 

Growing up I was mainly interested in pen and ink because it was easy to have it on me or to find it when I had the compulsive urge to draw, which was almost constant. I have experimented with a lot of media, but I work as a scenic artist and also do a lot of theater scenery and had a lot of extra and sometimes very interesting latex house paints left over and started using these in my own practice.   I like the density of color and the maneuverability of acrylics.  I travel a lot, so I appreciate the quick drying time and the low  odor as well.   

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best thing about being an artist is that I can zen out on something and lose track of time and sounds.  I am extremely sensitive to my environment and can feel crazy and dizzy until I sit down to draw or paint, and then somehow, everything is amazing.  I worry about people who haven't realized that a lot of angst is pent up creativity.  The worst part about being an artist is the roller coaster of an uncharted life, which is also, I realize, what makes being an artist somewhat enviable and exciting. 

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

I have been to Finland once before,  but only for a few days.  I loved it then, although I was really freezing!  Now I live in California and I have a newfound appreciation for the cold and the woods.  The proximity of nature in Joutsa is the most incredible, healing and inspiring aspect.  

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

I have had 4 artist's residencies and my favorite part, initially, was meeting other like-minded people who are so dedicated to their craft that they will leave their lives to focus on it.  But now my favorite part is the mentality of being in a place where you exist to create that I can recreate when I return home. 

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I am writing this a month after my return from Haihatus.  I have put together my work from the last 2 years, showcasing 40 pieces from my travels since the death of my father, as I explored where my place in the world might be.  The paintings include a 2m squared painting of a Sphynx and her cohorts which i completed at Haihatus.  Unfortunately, my opening night was cancelled due to the huge fires in Ventura, where the gallery and my home are.  I have made the paintings into a coloring book to accompany the show, however, and the coloring book idea has sparked a lot of interest, and I have just been granted a paid residency here in LA to create a coloring bus for Toolbox LA. 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I LOVED Haihatus.  I have felt an aching for your forests and the biking and the peace since leaving.  What a magical place.  I would be there all the time if only you were a little closer!!

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Thursday 11/2/17 time 10:47 AM


I am a visual and performance artist with background also in architecture. I was born and raised in eastern Finland but have always had a wandering spirit. And now just shortly after graduation I am fulfilling my eternal longing for changing place, landscape and a house to call home.

I spent the most beautiful autumn time in Haihatus. I watched the leaves in the trees outside my window turn yellow and slowly dance with the winds down to the ground. The autumn is here, we are prepared for the hardships to come, the nature told me as I had the haunting feeling of witnessing decay. I talked with trees and made many little friends as the flies escaped the chilly nights to inside the house. I walked in the nature and danced with the rays of sun before the clouds affiliated them.

During my days in Haihatus I had some very important reading and thinking done. I was extremely happy to be in an environment so serene. Haihatus is a place to come back to. It’s the kingdom of freedom, boredom and possibilities. I absolutely love it!

Joutsa is a special town from a perspective of a Finn as well. There is a real opportunity for a serious Kaurismäkian experience there. The brown paper in the windows of forgotten buildings, drift stores with peculiar opening hours, an old movie theatre, disco in the gas station… I most definitely recommend to experience it all.

After Haihatus I will be going to go swim in the Arctic Ocean and whisper secrets to the Northern winds. I will continue my work with animate surroundings and soon move to Iceland to conversate with mountains and springs.

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Friday 9/8/17 time 1:06 PM


Background as an artist

I received my BFA in painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, in old lyme CT.  Before that I took classes with local artist. Im still quite young so my background is a bit short.

How did you end up choosing your media?

I got to my current media through lots of experimentation and a natural progression. Moving from paint to collage and printmaking felt natural. I had been using film stills as inspiration in my collage work for quite a while before I decided to just make the leap and try out video art. As soon as I started that some thing clicked and that became one of my primary mediums.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

I believe that being an artist is a way of life and there are not good or bad sides to being one. I make work to express my self and to experiencing that struggle feels as natural as breathing and is just as necessary to my existence. 

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

This is my first time in Finland. Before I got here I only had a vague idea of what Finland would be like through I tried not to have any expectations. I expected a small town surrounded by nature that would be a grate place to focus on my artwork. Also something about saunas.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

At an artist residency to best thing is all the time I got to focus on my work. Over the time I was there I got more done in the short time I was there than I would have otherwise. The other grate thing is meeting other artists and being part of a small community. Doing artwork around others that are working just as hard makes for a grate environment for art making.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus I will be returning home to Texas to continue my projects. I plan on applying to more residences and eventually to graduate schools.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus surpassed my expectations. The rooms were amazing and gave just the right amount of privacy when I wanted to be alone but also allowed me to go out and be social when I wanted. The studios were large and I felt like I had a lot of space to work even tho there were four people working in the studio with me. The surrounding area was beautiful and the people I met there were amazing.


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Monday 9/4/17 time 10:31 AM


Background as an artist

I'm an Israeli-based multidisciplinary artist and an educator.

 I received my BFA from "Hamidrasha" Faculty, Israel and received the Sharet Foundation Grant. I exhibited in Israel in several of galleries and museums and participated in a number of residencies with a focus on collaborative vision.

My work deals with the tension between nature's flux and the human attempt to enforce order. 

How did you end up choosing your media? 

I wander between mediums (such as drawing, video and installation) and am curious to discover and learn new things. Many times I use photography - which is a very direct and quick tool for examining colors, compositions and atmosphere. I keep challenging what I know. Recently I even started to practice art as therapy and I am trying to develop a practice that connects care and art.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

I feel that through art I explore and understand the world better. This is a way of life that invites a connection to the world, to nature and the people around me. Regard to the bad aspects - sometimes my work in the studio is very lonely, and I have to deal with my fears and second guess myself more intensely.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa? This is my first time in Finland. My expectation is that I will come to an isolated place with saturated nature that will allow for a consistent artistic process indeed come true. I felt very happy to take part in such a magical, green and pleasant place.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? Reaching to a new places and time zones that allows different and new states of mind.

What are your plans after Haihatus? Continue working. I'm l going back to teach, and going to present some exhibitions this year.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations? My expectations were answered above and beyond. The studios, the nature and the other residents made this place to a very productive environment for creating.

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Thursday 8/31/17 time 12:20 PM


The time I spent in Haihatus was mainly focused on rewriting and better understanding my practice after feeling removed and alienated from it for so long. With this in mind, I would like to leave behind a small statement I wrote during my time here.

“Touch is an intimate connection and way of knowing the world we inhabit. As human beings we always strive to reach out and touch further, building structures that bring us closer to what is beyond. Like bridges and towers, tombs and temples, telescopes and stratospheric balloons, we create forms that draw on what we know and rely on what we feel, and as a result extend both. Stratospheric balloons are ethereal, otherworldly, and yet they bring the reality of this world closer to us. In this way we are always structuring our understanding of space and time, attempting to find some balance between our experiences and the realities of our world. I am interested in our personal and at times domestic connections to cosmological ideas, both spiritual and scientific. Recently I’ve also been thinking about the idea of the horizon, and its meanings for us. It is experienced but never realised. Observed as a limit but intangible and unreachable. Experience is filled with the soft contradictions of the horizon.

In producing and experimenting I use my practice as a means of negotiating a place for my own experience within realms of intertwining and contradictory information. Teasing out and testing hypotheses through constant play with materials, forms and working methods. The work emerges out of this constant and prolific inquiry. Elements are combined, pieces are fitted together, individual experiments are threaded into a cohesive whole that the viewer is invited to explore. The spaces created attempt to provide intimate meditative environments that let go of the restlessness that comes from residing within the boarder of knowledge and sensation, and in justifying these two elements, allow the viewer time for stillness, contemplation and tranquility.”


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Monday 7/31/17 time 4:37 PM


Background as an artist

I always loved art. My mom was an art lover. She used to take me and my sister to a park to draw when the cherry blossoms were in full swing. I joined an art club at school when I was 10, started oil painting. From then on, I studied many art media. I have an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute. I really enjoy making something with my hands. The process and materials are as important as final outcome in my work.

I manage Printmaking and Fibers area in the Art Department at the University of Oregon in the US during the academic year.

How did you end up choosing your media?

I have a strong background in sculpture and printmaking. The methodology of prints works really well with my concept, in terms of making multiples and layering. Both areas are technical and I love being in the process. I like experimenting and letting some happenstances on the way shaping my route. People often call me as a multidisciplinary artist since I'm not fixed in one medium. I use a lot of found objects that caught my eyes. It's very satisfying to create immersive installations that people can be in them.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best part is that I'm doing what I love. I get high in the process. :)

I feel sad about the commodification of art. What I really want to create is an experience, not a product. Managing my time is such a challenge: balancing my job, family life, creating art, applying for shows/grants and paying bills.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Yes, this is my first time in Joutsa, Finland and I imagined it to be surrounded by nature. The beauty in the area is beyond my expectations. The trails around the two lakes nearby are my favorite; an insects haven.

I got to work at Ratamo Printmaking and Photography Center in Jyväskylä and take a short trip to Lapland. Those were such amazing experiences. I'm so glad that I had the opportunities. 

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

The best thing is to have ample space and time to create without any specific agenda. It was so wonderful that I could let the environment inspire me.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I've been working on a project that examines the relationship between human and nature. I started on multiple etchings at Ratamo and I'd like to continue and finish it when I get home. It'll be a triptych consisting of those copper etchings, woodblock, and some collage elements. It contains many plants, insects, birds and flowers that I saw during my residency.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I got everything I hoped for and more. This is such a warm, welcoming place. I love Merja, Raimo and the kitties. I had a lot of freedom to just let my heart soar. Thank you very much for having me.

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Wednesday 7/19/17 time 2:44 PM

Background as an artist
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso 

Probably I didn't grow up properly.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

I enjoy every moments of creating anything since I was small. Throughout all the years receiving professional arts education, I tried working with different media and ended up feeling the most comfortable when i work on paintings and drawings. The satisfaction that painting and drawing bring me is irreplaceable amongst all art forms. I am completely devoted and committed every time. Yet I am open to possibility to work with different media and recently I start to work on some miniature sculptures and mixed media.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

For me, I think the worst part is at the same time the best part of being an artist.

I struggle every time I make art. I have millions of questions in my head that hold me back. I have an urge to create but somehow I don't know what should I do. Someone told me I feel stressed while making art not because I don't like it, it's just because I have so much pressure from my desire to make it good. And I think that's true. Once I overcome the hard time. The worst becomes the best. There are answers for the questions and it leads me to develop my works little by little. 

Struggling gives depth to my life and this could be reflected in my works, questioning allows me to have conversations with myself and tears myself apart a little bit, but then reveals a deeper layer of myself like a mirror. This may be painful but without these desperation, both life and art can't be revived.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Yes it is but I am sure I will come back at some point. I come to Finland for inspirations , for changes (mentally and physically), for experiencing something different and step out of my comfort zone. now I look back I think I did quite well. I love Scandinavia and I have been to all Nordic countries except Finland. I don't know why I saved it to the last but I think everything happens for a reason. This is my first residency programme and I have spent some weeks here to experience the Finnish living style. That's probably why this is my first time to feel so connected to a Nordic country. 

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

I am lucky enough to witness the start of the summer exhibition. Artists come and go to prepare for the show. I have plenty opportunities to chat with them, to see how they work and of course to participate in the opening. Besides, the time that I spent with the other residents during my stay somehow changed my thought about my artworks. I am more than grateful about all the encouragement and inspiration from everyone I met. Definitely a fruitful memory to remember .

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I will keep working on my zine which I started in Haihatus. And of course to prepare for the exhibition in autumn.  

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I think haihatus gave me a very good experience as my first residency programme. The stunning wilderness and freedom allow me time and space, not only to think but also to feel, to absorb and ended up producing something great.

1 comment .


Wednesday 7/5/17 time 3:27 PM


Background as an artist

I am a writer, musician and zinemaker from Sydney, Australia.
I grew up in the regional city of Wollongong, on the South Coast of New South Wales, and studied a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in Philosophy and Creative Writing. I'm currently undertaking a Master of Arts (Research) at the University of Sydney.
For the last few years I have been writing my first book. It is an autobiographical work focusing on my experiences as a female with facial hair. My writing explores how, as someone who doesn't fit the binary, I have navigated gender identity, public life, relationships and self-acceptance. I will submit part of my book for my Masters major work. My writing has been published in The Lifted Brow, Trace Magazine and Tincture Journal.
I am also a writer of zines, and have been making zines (small independently published magazines) for 12 years. Some of my zines include the 'How To Be Alone' series and 'Ladybeard', which is held in the collections of the National Library of Australia and the National Gallery of Australia.

As a musician, I am one half of dream pop synth duo Moonsign. We weave magic, sensitivity and lush, synthy sounds to take you to another galaxy full of blissful experiences, touching melodies and compassion. We have independently released several EPs and a full-length album, and have toured in Australia and Europe.
I love being able to express myself in different mediums, and I also love to collaborate and be part of creative communities. For me, making art is intrinsically tied to self-love and self-care, sharing my ideas and discoveries, connecting with others, and connecting to the universe. It's how I process my experiences and how I find meaning in everyday life. Creating art is one of the best ways that I feel I can I contribute to life.

How did you end up choosing your media?
Since I was a kid I've been writing stories and singing. I taught myself to play guitar and sing as a teenager and then started writing songs. Growing up, I was obsessed with music and reading books, and as I started to think deeply about aspects of my identity as a young adult, I realised how valuable these mediums were as communication tools and tools for self-reflection and empowerment.
I chose to study Creative Writing so I could learn how to write, but I also taught myself a great deal about writing through writing personal zines.
In 2013 I decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and wrote a 50,000 word draft of a book about my life in one month. That was the thing that set me on the path of writing a book, and in the last few years of writing, studying, thinking, refining, and seeking feedback from my writing group and supervisor, I feel that I have really been learning what it takes to be an artist. A book seems to me to be the best way to share my journey with others. I write so that others can see their own personal stories reflected in mine, so I can give courage to others and so that those on the path to self-acceptance may have a companion.
Music was the way that I sought to connect with others in order to be understood as a teenager, but my reasons for making music now are different. I love to sing and perform for others as a kind of offering. I enjoy the feeling of transforming the energy in a room with my joyful performances. It gives me so much pleasure to sing and write music. While writing is usually a solitary pursuit, with music I work best in collaboration. When I started writing songs with Carlin Dally for Moonsign, I was able to realise my dream of being in a band. I've learned so much about making music through collaborating with Carlin! It's ultimately about sharing an experience.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
What I love about being an artist is the freedom to express yourself, being able to share magical experiences with others, using your intuition, allowing yourself to daydream, feeling connected to the flow of life in the universe, being able to have intimate experiences with others through making art, touching people, being part of creative communities, making something that can mean so much to another person, being able to let yourself play like a kid, being able to go on adventures and call it research, documenting life, commenting on what it means to be a human being alive right now, honouring all the artists that have come before you, meeting artists that are making art now, making art with friends, discussing being an artist with other artists, finding out what is the best part of being an artist for other artists, learning about how other people work, discovering your own work rhythms, being able to give people unique gifts, being able to honour your friends and family though your art, being able to honour yourself through your art, being able to honour the creative spirit of the universe itself.
The most difficult aspects of being an artist for me are: self-discipline, believing in myself, working out a good routine and sticking to it, not losing heart when the work is hard, letting go of my original idea for what the work would be, feeling uninspired, feeling like I rely on other people to reassure me about my work, procrastination, fear-based withholding, having the stamina to finish things, getting overwhelmed by the size of a project, feeling confused about how to make a career our of anything I do, not taking proper breaks and then getting really tired, and the lack of opportunities, mentorships and financial support for artists.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
I've been to Helsinki twice before – in 2008 and in 2014 – but I've never been to the countryside in Finland.
My expectation was that Joutsa would be a quiet little town with beautiful lakes and forests and a lively artistic community within Haihatus, and I think my dream has been fulfilled!
I expected that we would have lots of nice times enjoying sauna together, and that has definitely happened. At Midsummer we even had vasta/vihta to gently beat ourselves with, thanks to Raimo! I imagined that the artist resident group for summer would be bigger, but our little group of four was just perfect for getting to know each other and being able to give each other space to work. I definitely wasn't expecting the club at the gas station to be so much fun!
I feel that through my experience living in Joutsa for a month, I came to a deeper appreciation for the Finnish landscape and people. It's something I can't quite articulate, but there is a very special feeling you get from being in a forest or sitting by a lake or just looking out your window at the empty streets at midnight when the sun is setting. I felt so blessed to experience such gorgeous silence. As the days went by, I felt myself emptying out, relaxing into the calm energy of the place, and I feel like I left with a much stronger sense of self and security in my purpose for making art.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
Time and space to be alone with your art, and with yourself. Talking to other residents and the opportunity to collaborate. Being in a dedicated artistic space for a good period of time. Exploring the area. Soaking up inspiration from the lakes and forests. Being able to look at the art exhibitions and talk with the artists who made the work. The silence of the landscape. Letting the residency guide you. Letting the residency be whatever it wants to be. Reconnecting to the source. And sauna, of course!

What are your plans after Haihatus?
My band Moonsign are doing a short tour of Europe, playing in Tallinn, Riga, Vienna and Berlin. Then it's back to Australia where I'll be finishing my Masters and my book. Busy times ahead! Having had this quiet, contemplative time in Joutsa will be working wonders for me for a long time.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I mostly had expectations of myself, rather than Haihatus. I thought I would work super hard and be so productive! But the landscape kind of got to me, and I found that I needed to rejuvenate after working so hard on my book for so long, and the forests and lakes made sure I was well-rested and filled up by the time I left. Haihatus itself was a truly magical place. The summer exhibition was a source of inspiration, which I wasn't expecting. The house is full of little treasures to discover. And Merja and Raimo are such lovely people. I hope to visit again one day!

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Monday 7/3/17 time 9:19 AM


Background as an artist:

I am the daughter of a filmmaker and a printmaker. I grew up in a house full of art and surrounded by artists. I didn't want to be an artist myself and I trained to work in television. I hated it though and realized after a while that the only place where I would fit was the art world.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

I was trained to work with film, but I constantly expand. Most of my media are digital but I have a soft spot for everything conceptual and performance. Growing up I was interested in many things (theater/film/music/history) and I developed an art practice in which I can play with all these interests.  My only consistent media is absurdism. 

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best side of being an artist is that art takes over every aspect of your life and you end up enjoying every experience as a source of meaning and inspiration. Art is almost more a religion than a career. The worst part about being an artist is that art is not a career and making a living is a constant struggle.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

It was, in fact, my first time in Finland. I was always attracted to Finland because of the beautiful surrealism of Arto Paasilinna and the Moomins. I didn't know what t expect about Joutsa but I knew it would be a radical change of pace from my regular lifestyle and I knew that was what I needed. However, I mostly came with no expectations and the will to experience something new.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

I wasn't sure what an art residency was going to be like. I had long lists of things I thought I wanted to do. Once arrived at Joutsa everything changed and I started to question everything I was doing. This new environment allowed me to look at my work (and even myself) with a whole new perspective. I didn't produce as many works as I would have wanted, but the amount of mental work I did hadn't happened since I was a student. I also met very interesting people who really supported me through these change. I think that art residency may become addictive... I surely want to do another one.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After spending a few more weeks in Europe in my family, I will head back to the US where I will start a brand new life in Philadelphia. I hope to continue to travel for art purposes. I have plans to do art projects in Texas, Ohio, and Portland. I am also scheduled to talk at an art conference this coming October on the topic: "Oulipo for Google".

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus exceeded my expectations. I wasn't sure what I was going to be doing there but I got to live a life there that I will never forget. I met so many Finnish artists, along with the International artists that were doing the residency. I also got to learn about the Finland art traditions in a really direct way. I was so glad I was able to attend all the art events (openings, concerts, festivities) that took place in this dynamic institution. Even though we were isolated, the art events came to us. That was a wonderful experience. If I have one regret, it would be that I was so shy that I did not get involved as much as I would have liked. There are so many opportunities I did not take because I was mentally struggling. I hope that in the future I will have opportunities to interact with these beautiful people again.


Many Many thanks. This experience has changed my life. 


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Wednesday 6/28/17 time 2:29 PM

Background as an artist
I was born in California and have lived in Las Vegas Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and then back to Colorado. I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and minor in Studio Art in 2002. Although I knew I wanted to teach graphic design early on, I knew having practical experience in my field would benefit myself as well as my students. I’ve worked as a Graphic Designer for 17 years and had a freelance business on the side for 11 years. I just completed my second year of the MFA program at Colorado State University.
How did you end up choosing your media? 
Right after my son was born I decided it was time to go back to school. I knew I wanted to do something creative. I had always enjoyed the arts and I had become a cake decorator and Bakery Manager at a local grocery store. I quit my full-time job and my Dad asked me if I wanted to help him with his off-road business by making commercials and logos. I jumped on the opportunity and in the meantime, I discovered the career path that fit me.
What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
Working with clients is a double-edged sword. I love the challenge of solving problems and finding many solutions for one project and I enjoy working with people. I also enjoy the freedom of being able to pick up extra work on the side or just relying on my freelance work if I need a break from working for someone else. I can work from anywhere, even the beach! I just need my computer and I am ready to go.
Some of the challenges I have encountered are difficult clients, explaining there is no magic wand–things take time, connecting with stable freelance clients. Graphic Design takes commitment and drive to stay on top of deadlines. I have worked for companies where I am the only designer in the department so there is no one else to help when things are busy. I have been at the office or working from home until all hours of the night. Deadlines take priority!
Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
I visited London once my senior year of undergrad for my 5-year wedding anniversary but this is my first time in Finland. As for expectations, I was expecting beautiful scenery, a quiet place to work, and new experiences to inspire me. I was looking for a place to focus on my Thesis topic and think about where I am going with my work and my teaching.
What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
Having an art residency allows me the freedom to focus on what I need to focus on without the daily distractions and responsibilities I have at home. To be in a beautiful country so different than mine own allows opens so many doors for me. It has given me the opportunity to explore, reflect, be inspired, make new friends, and find a balance that I desperately needed. I am walking away from my residency feeling rejuvenated.
What are your plans after Haihatus?
I plan to finish my last year of the MFA program and graduate in May next year. I will be applying for teaching positions at colleges and focusing on my teaching philosophy.
How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
Haihatus gave me exactly what I needed. A quiet place with the freedom to do what I needed to do every day. Sometimes that included going to Hypoteekki for a delicious pastry! Joutsa is small enough to get around easily by bike and large enough to have variety in places to explore. I was also able to take a bus/train to Lahti, Mikkeli, and Jyväskylä.
There are many Museums and art exhibitions in Finland. I encourage residents to seek them out. Be sure to allow some time to explore Helsinki because there are some amazing museums, cathedrals and must see sites. Other recommendations: visit the free gym in Joutsa, the library is a great place to work, visit the forest and the beach, explore, try new foods, and make sure to try the pastries at Hypoteekki.
Haihatus was an experience I will never forget. I thought having a family meant I would not be able to take the time for a residency but having the support at home and everyone pulling together to make this happen is something I will never forget. Haihatus provided the environment I needed to have a fresh perspective and a jump start on my last year of my MFA. I gained a lot from sharing my work and seeing others work. I loved talking to artists from different countries and learning new things. We learn from each other and making life-long connections here is inevitable. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity.

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Monday 4/24/17 time 2:53 PM


Background as an artist? 

I have a background in film making and production design, photography and sculpture. 

How did you end up choosing your media? 

The project decides the media.  This can be daunting as usually I have to learn a whole new skill set to achieve the desired result.  It's a bit more experimental science and lots of thinking through structural elements than anything.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist? 

The worst bits are garden variety type stuff such as anxiety and lack of faith in your abilities. 

The best bits - getting lost in a world of your own making. 

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa? 

If you love forests, liquorice, coffee and sweet buns you will have found your homeland. I had never been to Finland before and I will be coming back.

I had a loose sense of what to expect prior to arriving by Merja's awesome booklet (check out the pdf!) I knew that Joutsa was near forest and there was a lake and there would be a sauna. From my own imagination I thought I might find myself in the forrest in the midst of a death metal music video.  In reality I knew I would have to take lots of photographs of my partner as if he were in a death metal music video. 

I hoped rather than expected to see the Northern Lights, sadly it was the wrong time of year. I did get to see the local disco lights (Terhi will take you and make you dance and it will be an experience - also Tehri is the best).  Also, snow and wild blueberries! 

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? What are your plans after Haihatus? 

To be drenched in the work and free of outside obligations.

After the residency my partner (who was also participating) and I travelled through Russia, Estonia and Latvia.  I am currently back in Melbourne chipping away at new work. 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 

Above and beyond. 

It was a challenge applying to come at first as I had secretly started to view myself as a complete and utter dilettante. Being able to get over the fear of reconnecting with my practice and be open to a non linear approach of making work continues to enrich my practice to this day.

One of my favourite experiences of Haihatus was the particular group I was with and the way we all loved to share dinner and chat about our day, wins and frustrations.  It was pretty special to be able to ground the at times slow going practice of art making as real and of purpose

The Haihatus experience is perfect for self directed work, you can develop work, try a totally different medium, complete a project or all of the things  You can walk around and conduct personal performance pieces in the yard and no one bats an eye as you cross the perimeters between the present and the past.  

One of the best things is that the Haihatus residency currently comes with the bonus of Terhi *

*NB everyone is wonderful, I got to know Terhi the best and I owe her a kangaroo (ahem) bottle opener - you can delete that bit if you want Terhi haha!

Just go!! I will probably see you there at some point :)

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Saturday 4/22/17 time 5:26 PM


Background as an artist

I am graduated from the European School of Fine arts of Brittany in France since 2011. I use different kind of mediums mainly drawing, sound, video, writing and photography. I participated in various collective art projects (musical collaborations, writing collaboration, collective exhibitions, etc) and shown my work in video and music festivals.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

I think I choose the medias with which I can work the most intuitively. There are the shortest way that lead to the mind.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

Best side is to reinvent the world everyday. The Freedom ' s right. Worst side is always reaching to be recognized by the profession.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

I had already been in Finland. I am very attracted by this country, its culture. And I was very interested by Joutsa's location especially for the natural environment.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

Having a residency give you the time to concentrate on your work, to redefine it. It is a place where you can test new works, where it comes a profusion of ideas. Maybe because you are in a new setting that changes from your everyday life.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus I will take part in a collective exhibition to compete for a price selection that will held in France during the summer.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

I was looking for an inspiring quiet place where I can focus on my work : simple things, like working in a studio, going outside, walking. At this time taking some distance with my country was important for me. Haihatus revitalized me !

Furthermore I like working from environment that I can find around. And the residency is well situated for that. I enjoyed a lot all the surprising paths surrounded Joutsa and the wonderful landscapes !

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Friday 4/21/17 time 1:01 PM


Background as an artist

I'm from Kotka. I live and work in Imatra, but I still conceive myself as A native of Kotka. I mainly draw and paint. Sometimes I combine painting with wood-engraving.

How did you end up choosing your media?

It varies. Recently I have made works that have my own interpretations of works by other artists. I was devoted about this new way of doing when I attended a 5000m2 -exhibition-happening in Lappeenranta. In the theater building that has been demolition judgment, I painted the wall of the tobacco room as I interpreted Helene Schjerfbeck's painting Toipilas (Convalescent). Here in Haihatus I am doing a work where is my interpretation of Ingmar Bergman's film The Seventh Seal. My own works may have some comical features, but I have great respect for original works.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The finest thing is to do something meaningful to yourself and then notice that someone else gets something out of it. The hardest thing as an artist is to wash your paint brushes and consent that you can not continue.

What kind of expectations did you have about Joutsa?

I came to Joutsa with open mind and I expected that Haihatus is an inspirational milieu. It seemed like that in photos.

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

Place exchange is good every now and then. It calms down and gives new perspectives. And the residence has good working spaces.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

Continue my daily working in Imatra. I´m planning to make a solo exhibition.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus has been a very inspirational milieu. It's nice to meet other artists and see their artworks. There are friendly people and cats in Haihatus.

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Wednesday 4/19/17 time 4:27 PM


Background as an artist
I had been applying to art schools after high school when I found myself in Heinola
studying audiovisual media back in 2010. I didn’t have any background with moving
images at the time, it was completely uncharted territory for me. I fell in love with
video and after graduating from Salpaus, I applied to Tampere University of
Applied Sciences (former TTVO) to study Film and television.
The best things that the school brought to my life were people I met and culture scene of Tampere.
I started working with Sami Sänpäkkilä in couple of his music videos when I suddenly
realized it’s possible to do something by actually doing it, you don’t have to know
everything in advance. The DIY-spirit only got stronger when I started to work on the
film Samurai Rauni Reposaarelainen with art group Moderni Kanuuna.
I realized that I didn’t have to have lots of (or sometimes any…) money, certain
diplomas or even experience. Everybody starts somewhere – I just needed a hint of
devil may care-attitude, enthusiasm, time and courage to write down and act on

How did you end up choosing your media?
Like many things in my life, a happy accident I guess!
Even though I studied film, I hadn’t ever really thought about video art. My
background was more in photography at that point.
In Tampere I majored in cinematography. I wasn’t that interested in traditional
television or movies, more like art house and experimental films. Film industry is often
compared to an army and that isn’t really my thing. I don’t usually work with traditional
scripts or have a strict hierarchy in set for example. I found it hard to do my own (quite
experimental) work through film studies so I started participating in the arts
department studies too.
First I found music videos, which are like video art to me, I just don’t have to worry
about sound! I still do them every chance I get, they’re fun and rewarding and I’ve had
the chance to do them with some great and inspirational artists.
Then I stumbled across a video art course at school. On that course I made my first
video artwork and found my media - it was at the same time very familiar, but
something totally new!

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
Uncertainty and ”real life” are the worst sides I guess. By real life I mean things like
money, rent, time control and stuff like that. I juggle between paying freelance jobs,
unemployment and making art. Sometimes I’m also worried that I have to give up
some of my dreams because of art. I’d like to have my own house in the woods for
example, but can’t really plan things like that because my financial situation is always
uncertain (and most of the money I get goes towards making art, it’s a mystery). On
the other hand uncertainty can sometimes be great too! Things can and will change.
I can’t say that I’m like a fish in the water when I make art. It’s not always like having
an intense flow experience, I don’t enjoy every moment. But even at bad days I still
don’t worry about anything else.
In regular life I overthink and analyze things, I worry a lot and sometimes I’m way too
conscious about myself. Some days I find it very hard to exist in this world or in my
life. But especially when I’m filming and/or directing, I don’t think about anything else
but that moment. Even (or maybe especially) when everything feels hard and things
are going wrong on the ”set”, I am present, make decisions and the stuff I’m doing at
that moment is the most important and interesting there is. That’s the time when I’m
out of my head. I need that.

Is this your first time in Joutsa? What kind of expectations did you have about
Yes it is! I’ve lived most of my life in the countryside, so this wasn’t a ”culture shock”.
I’ve been living in Helsinki for a year now and I still feel like an outsider there, so I
looked forward to the silence, peace and nature.
My tips for other residency comers:
- Get a library card!
- Go to see a movie in Joutsan Kino!
- Hypoteekki is a nice cafe/lunch place. Very good pizzas in Jouto-Tupa!

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
Normal life doesn’t get in the way of doing art! It’s harder to procrastinate (you can’t
organize your drawers or wash windows etc). You know you have only X amount of
time here and you want to make it count.
I don’t live by myself and right now I don’t have a study either so peace for working is
sometimes hard to find (or at least I tell myself that). Here you have it and you can’t
pretend otherwise!
You can also live and do your work in your own schedule, which is super nice. You
could also come here and just chill, without a plan, I heard. That sounds cool too!

What are your plans after Haihatus?
I’m shooting a music video for Konna-Sami in May and possibly doing some ”real
work” in a couple of Finnish feature films this summer.
I’m also working on a joint art project with Sami Sänpäkkilä and possibly another one
with Sanna Komi and Hanna Kaihlanen. We’re also curating a video art/short film
screening with Hanna for Joutomaa Fest in May! So I’m pretty much settled ’til
If you’re interested in my upcoming projects, exhibitions etc. you can follow this link:

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
Perfectly! I had this kinda strict schedule about working since I wanted to edit two
projects here before I start new ones (also there are some deadlines creeping up on
me…). I’ve stayed in my schedule and I’ve still had time to drink coffee, pet the
residency cats, read books and bike around Joutsa!


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Wednesday 2/15/17 time 12:43 PM


I am not an artist but am here at Haihatus with my husband, John, who is a painter. For me, what was attractive about Haihatus was the opportunity to have an extended amount of time to reflect, think, read and be outside in nature, experiencing a snowy Finnish winter.

Arriving in small town Finland was a bit of a culture shock for a couple of days – we live in London and had just spent three months in Bordeaux – but now I love it and the pace of life and the surrounding landscape it offers.

It’s our first time in Finland and I knew almost nothing about the country. It’s been an unexpected pleasure to learn a bit about the history, culture, language and to meet Finnish people.

I’d hoped that I’d get plenty of opportunities to do outdoor activities like skating on lakes, cross country skiing and hiking – and it’s been great doing all these things. The ski trails are just a few minutes’ walk away and there’s some wonderful peaceful hiking in Leivonmäki National Park. I wasn’t sure how much variety there’d be in terms of food you could buy in the supermarket so was very pleased to discover that there is plenty of choice and you can buy pretty much anything you want, even fairly exotic items.

The time at Haihatus is great for us both as there is so much freedom to follow your interests in a very relaxed and positive atmosphere, with few interruptions and in a beautiful setting.

After Haihatus, we will go onto another residency programme in Berlin where John will paint and I will study German.

Haihatus has really exceeded my expectations. I was reflecting the other day what a good choice it has been for John and me. It’s given me time and space to be both active and reflective – which is exactly what I was looking for.

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Wednesday 2/15/17 time 12:26 PM


 I am a painter / print-maker living in London who has been making art since completing my Fine Art degree in 1987. I arrived here at Haihatus Artist Residency with my wife Carole at the beginning of January 2017 and we are staying for 3 months.

Last year Carole and I planned a break from our regular jobs and we are now almost 5 months into a 12-month sabbatical which has taken us initially to Bordeaux, France for 3 months and now to Finland. In April, we move on to Berlin Germany for 3 months where I will attend Takt Artist Residency and continue painting and making prints.

I have painted for most of my career but actually started off as a sculptor. But leaving college and continuing to make sculpture seemed to present too many obstacles for me and so in truth I became a painter because I thought it would present fewer practical problems. I quickly discovered that creatively it was harder but immediately felt I had a much more authentic personal voice as a painter than I ever did making sculpture. And I do think that a background in sculpture informs, in some small way how I make my paintings.

In London I was typically working 2 or 3 days a week in my studio before returning to my part time job. What is most rewarding and exciting about this planned 12 months is the uninterrupted time to be able to work, reflect and experience different locations and environments.

I have exhibited fairly regularly over the years but wanted to challenge myself to be more focussed and ambitious about my art and was looking for a residency which provided this opportunity as well as the chance to have fun and experience new things.

Haihatus Artist Residency is an ideal, relaxed and comfortable setting, perfect for concentrating on my painting, thinking through ideas, mixing with the other artists and as a base for excursions. Before coming to Finland, Carole and I did not know very much about this country, its customs and culture. We did know it was going to be cold, snowy and quiet in Joutsa which suited us well. When not working, I have really enjoyed the peace and tranquillity, ice skating, cross country skiing and of course, saunas!

After the first month, I am very happy with how the painting is progressing and feel that the residency has provided me with both space and freedom to explore my work as well as a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere and I look forward to the next few months.

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Monday 2/13/17 time 10:05 AM


​Background as an artist

Hello all! I am a recent graduate of Alfred University School of Art and Design in Upstate New York, with a degree in Fine arts and a minor in Art History. While my concentration is in Art Photography, I have begun reaching into the world of sculpture and video art pretty enthusiastically!

I have only recently begun my trepidacious journey to become a working artist, and Haihatus was the first of what I hope will be many residency/programs that I will take part in!

How did you end up choosing your media?

It was a weird road, but I began school as a primarily 2-D artist, focusing on drawing, life drawing, and painting. However, I ended up have a weird relationship with oil painting in college, and after a long interest in photography, I took up my first film photography class sophomore year of University. I fell in love with photography, only transitioning to digital photography this past year! My school encouraged multimedia practice as well, so I wound up finding my love also existed in jewelry making, metal and wax casting, and video work too. Which is great, because I personally believe a lot of contemporary artists are finding multimedia to be the best language for their concepts, and it is the most exciting place to be in.

What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?

The best is easy; it’s being able to find your passion as a never ending, continual process. Being an artist means you are always fighting something one way or another, which is great, because I think I’m pretty angry a lot of the time. I love that I never have to question my calling, art is my one true love. The worst? You can never leave your job, as an artist, you carry the burden of your work around with you constantly, even when you’re out at a park you may find yourself worrying about when to apply for something next, or to email that curator, or to find a solid chunk of time to dedicate to studio practice per week. Unlike a 9-5 job, you can’t just go home and relax. It’s kind of maddening, I know why so many of us go crazy.

Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?

Well, I was good friends with a girl from Helsinki a few years ago, and she introduced me to Moomin, but It was my first time in Finland! The expectations I had about Finland were that I thought it would be a country mixed between Iceland and Sweden, but seemed to be more like a mixture of Russia and Norway? If that makes sense? I also thought it might be more queer, just because of how progressive nordic countries are. But, I loved it for what is was. I just wish I had seen the northern lights!

What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?

I feel as though there are many ways to measure opportunity, and at an art residency you have to take into account that most residencies are practically art vacations. You can take a break from your money day job, and just have pure time to dedicate to working in a studio, around other artists, and get inspired and work hard at your art. The opportunity lies in networking, and meeting others as well as developing your body of work richly in a foreign place!

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus, I will be moving with my two friends and peers from University to either NYC or Chicago, where we will continue to live, make work, strive for recognition and success, and apply for more programs and residencies! We simply are going to go, and continue to meet great people and artists, and I’ll be trying my best to keep moving forward at all costs.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus met my expectations and exceeded them. The availability of studio space and the materials that were afforded us around the residency house were amazing. Having my own room and kitchen and yet also having a communal kitchen to cook in as well were all great factors. Having such a large studio space for my photography was excellent, as I need to be able to move quite a bit when doing my photo work.

Meeting Finnish artists, Merja, and the other residents at the house was such a great experience. There was nothing but hospitality, saunas, art making, and new faces at Haihatus, and I feel richer for that being given to me as an artist. Thanks Haihatus!

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Thursday 2/9/17 time 1:11 PM

Being an artist has not been easy for me, 
...but it is what brought me to Haihatus. 
My first media of interest was photography. This interest flourished and eventually evolved into a love for video. Video then turned into installation, and now my art practice has become a conglomerate of experimentation with different media, though my main practice is in video, photography, and installation.
Since my art was not conducive to the place I was living, I left. I donated everything I owned, burned my artwork, and flew to Finland. I needed somewhere to sort my art practice and have the freedom to create. Living at Haihatus for what will be five months has become a sort of therapy. It is a process slow in sorting, but it has been effective. 
In April I will move to Berlin, a place a bit more fast-paced. I thought Haihatus would just be a stepping stone, but it has become much more.

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