SARA-JEANNE BOURGEAT

Thursday 9/29/16 time 2:24 PM

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Background as an artist

I have recently obtained my bachelor degree at Concordia University in Fine arts. It’s onlytowards the end of my studies that I found a direction to my art, thanks to one of my drawing teacher. I have a studio in Montreal where I work and socialize with friends but the real work mostly happened outside, when nature has the kindness of having me. I am still developing ideas, thinking about my process and understanding creative patterns I have. I am taking things steps by steps, applying to projects, residencies and exhibition, maybe considering a master degree.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

First of all, I make a lot of fires - I got very interested in the making of charcoal, which led me to use my production of charcoal as part of my artistic process. It is important for me to be fully aware of the medium I use. Also, I don’t think I am hurting the environment too much with my burnt branches!

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

Best sides: Banality is rare. Community is the key. Solving technical problems is awesome.

Worst side: Having a regular job on the side

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

It’s my first time in Finland. I can’t recall if I had any expectations but I am more than satisfied about what the Finnish nature has offered me.  Joutsa is a tiny town but it is so nice to get to experience life outside of big cities. It is harder to blend in with the people living (especially because of the language) but people are always kind and helpful. Also, I didn’t expect to see all those reindeers on the road up north, so many of them!

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

Getting out of the daily routine is what’s most important. An art residency offers you time and space to create and meet fellow artists with whom you can elaborate projects and converse about ideas. Travelling is also the best way to get you out of old habbits and it puts you in a situation where everything is new. In my case, it refreshes my ways of thinking, makes me hungry for newness; all opportunities for experiences, social connections, sharing moments become extremely relevant. The introspection part of it is important as well. You come alone in a world of unknown and it is the best time to get to know yourself a little better.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

Well, to be honest I will have to find a job. But as soon as I can, I will apply to an art residency again. I am also planning on applying to projects that suits me in order to exhibit my work. My studio is waiting for me, I have plans to embellish it and make it more appropriate for my desire of making very large drawings.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus was wonderful, peaceful, inspiring and filled up with all resources any artists would need. The people who run it are so kind and caring, it does feel like home as soon as you step in. It was such a needed break from urban life, having nature right at the doorstep. I am sad to leave but will surely bring with me amazing memories and a couple new good friends!

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MARIE JOSEE LAVIOLETTE "MOJO"

Tuesday 9/27/16 time 1:32 PM - MojoHHphoto600.jpg

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Background as an artist

I am a self-taught musician.
A performer, emerging producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter/arranger.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

I chose music because is it food to my soul!

I’ve been a performer and a singer-songwriter since 2009. I have performed with various ensembles, from folk, pop-folk, blues, swing jazz and jug band music ensembles. I have been a member of the Muddy Basin Ramblers for 3 years now. I am one of the vocalist, the clarinetist and the bass clarinetist.

This coming year, I am taking part in the recording of my 3rd album with the Ramblers. Working with the jug band is a sacred soul-filling thing! We sell medicine at our shows to cure all ailments. It’s called Music! Music is medicine for the soul!

I chose to shift from acoustic singer-songwriting to electronic music production because I like the versatility of the medium. I became more interested in music production after attending music festivals, and meeting inspiring producers. I love to feel the power of music and to dance, sway, move to the vibrations.

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

The best side of being an artist is having the freedom of expression. I enjoy being independent in my work. I learn what I need to learn when I want. Another great side of being an artist is the traveling and meeting interesting people. Collaborations can also be lots of fun.

One downside of being an artist is the infamous doubt. I can speak for many: I walk a less beaten path and it can be difficult sometimes. I stumble, I fall, I lose faith. I start to wonder whether I still have the energy and the love to push my vision. I also fall into the mindset of ‘seeing results’, especially ‘seeing satisfying results’ that are worthy to my peers.

But… Downsides are also part of it all. I keep learning more about living happily with the unknown.

The worst moments are thankfully only written in the fine print. I create music and art because I enjoy the process. I learn a lot about myself, learn a lot from others, and from the world around me.

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

Yes, it is my first time in Finland. I came here fully open to what the adventure would bring and I am delighted with what has taken place. Haihatus has fulfilled my needs!

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

The best sides of being at an art residency are meeting fun and interesting people, working with others on projects, and focusing on my art. A residency also allows me time for perspective… on my music, on myself, and on the human condition.

Lastly, another great side of doing an art residency is to travel and discover a new culture and new environments.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus, I want to continue honing my skills. I also want to keep creating and following my vision. I’d like to continue receiving feedback that can help me improve.

Once I am back in Asia, I will also continue performing with the Ramblers and other fellow musicians on the beautiful island of Formosa.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus has met my expectations by being in the countryside and close to nature. Haihatus has allowed me to meet and connect with awesome people, and has allowed me the space (a cozy bedroom, a big kitchen and common space, a sauna, a work-inducing studio, galleries and art to see, a lovely locality called Joutsa,…!) to live comfortably and to be inspired.

Haihatus is also managed by wonderfully generous, helpful and friendly people. I am grateful, Haihatus, for your welcome and love. Thank you!

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MIGUEL SOPENA

Friday 9/23/16 time 12:37 PM

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Background as an artist

I have always liked art very much but I didn't start making art myself until recently (about five years ago). It was one of those things I always wanted to do but I think I was too scared or I thought it was too difficult or that I wasn't talented enough. It started like a hobby, by teaching myself photography and taking short and evening courses (mostly on drawing) while I was at university studying a completely unrelated subject. I soon realised I wanted more and I ended up doing what in the UK is known as a Foundation course, which is an introductory course young people take before studying art at university (I did the version for grown-ups). I then decided I needed more training but I didn't want to put myself through another degree so I did a 2-year painting diploma instead in a small London school. I finished in 2015 and I've been practising and trying to establish myself ever since.

How did you end up choosing your media? 

Painting was not (and is not) the only media I'm attracted to but I've always loved looking at paintings and when I decided to train I realised I had to specialise and focus on one technique. Painting is slightly scary in that it is a very flexible media, in the hands of a good artist it can be beautiful but it can also be very mediocre and, personally speaking, I know that I am capable of producing very bad paintings (as well as good ones sometimes).

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

The best side is being successful with your creativity, when you achieve positive results at the end of the creative process and your confidence gets a boost. The worst side is the uncertainty I think, both in terms of how difficult the creative process can be and also the uncertainty in the real world as it's so difficult to promote one's work let alone make an income from art.

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

Yes it is my first time in Finland. I was attracted by the landscape around Joutsa, the forest and the lakes, which looked like they would be beautiful (and they are!). I was also attracted to the idea of focusing on my work for a whole month leaving all the other distractions behind. Because of the surroundings I decided to focus on landscape painting for the duration of the residency which I had never tried before (I usually work on the human figure).

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

It is great to be able to focus on work without distractions and it is really stimulating to be in new surroundings, especially in a beautiful location like Joutsa. It really helps you look at your work (and lots of other things) with fresh eyes.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

To continue painting using the lessons learnt this month. I'm sure I will apply to other residencies in the future (or to come back to Haihatus!) as the experience has been really positive.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

The experience of coming to Haihatus has been incredibly positive. I love nature and the outdoors and the change from London to Joutsa has been amazing. I think I'm gonna have a hard time adjusting when I get back home. I will really miss the forest! From the point of view of painting the experience has been really positive as well, my studio was great and I found myself thinking about my work in a different way. I only wish I had more time as a month looks like a long time but it goes by really quickly. I think the residency provides everything that people need and everyone has been really welcoming. A big thanks to everyone at Haihatus.

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NICOLAS PIRATA

Tuesday 8/9/16 time 8:42 AM

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Background as an artist

I'm a Brazilian photographer and video maker. I hold a BFA in Social Communication from UNIMEP, Brazil. In the past I've worked producing feature films and documentaries in Brazil, along with the Núcleo de Cinema de Paulínia. I also co-founded Mariachis Audiovisual, a small production company, and I worked as the production manager and cinematographer for short documentaries and other video works. In 2011 I moved to New York City, and then I begun developing my vision as a photographer. Lately I’ve been creating my portfolio, and working as a freelance photographer.

 

How did you end up choosing your media? 

In school I was immediately drawn to film, particularly cinematography. I began working in small productions, short films, and then feature films as well. But I realized that I needed a better understanding of photography in order to improve as a filmmaker. And then I began shifting to photography. I fist focused on dance photography, and street/documentary. And later on, by finding artists that I admired, I begun creating long exposure photos, and focusing on landscape. This whole process was mostly self-taught, and it happened through research and practice.

 

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

For me the best part of being an artist is the chance to express myself and to explore how I can see the word trough a different perspective. I love photography and film, and this admiration made me pursue this life path. But the worst part is understanding the value of my own work. If I value what I do, am I being a narcissist? But what if I don’t? I struggle to find the balance to appreciate my own work while still challenging myself everyday, and accepting failure as a necessary part of the artistic process. 

 

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

This is my second time in Finland! The first time that I visited Finland was back in 2013 when I attended Loikka dance film festival in Helsinki to show “Last Stop”, a dance film that I co-directed and created with my partner (and wife) Carol Mendes. As for my expectations, I came here in search for nature and peace, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Joutsa is a lovely place, very quiet and surrounded by beautiful lakes and woods. I’ve been wishing to come back to Finland since my first time here, and I’m a huge enthusiastic of this amazing country, with such educated, kind and welcoming people!  

 

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

The best thing for me is the chance to focus 100% on my work as a photographer and video maker without the interference of problems of the regular day life… like surviving! My last 5 years living in NYC were an exciting and creative time, but there was a lot of pressure to produce work and to have immediate results. This scenario is really overwhelming. I was at a point professionally that I didn’t know for who and why I was creating new work. During my residency here in Haihatus I was able to spend time structuring my work, organizing my material and just reopening my creative mind. 

 

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus I’m spending sometime in Lisbon, and I plan to stay here in Europe to grow as an artist and challenge myself as a photographer. I’m currently in touch with some school programs that I’m interested in. I’m working hard to find solutions to live a more international life. It’s a lot of work and research regarding visas, and country mobility. I’m also applying to artistic residencies in different countries, and I’m waiting to see which path will open up ahead of me. 

 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Everything that I was looking for I’ve founded here. It’s really inspiring to live for a period of time in a shared artistic house among very creative people from different countries, cultures, and fields of art. I’m really happy to meet and become friends with other artists in different points of their career. This experience has blown my mind and it opened my eyes to new horizons. There are so many enriching art experiences happening in so many diverse parts of the world, and it’s amazing to see them come together in small town rural Finland. 

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TAMAR SHAHAR

Tuesday 7/26/16 time 9:01 AM

 

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Background as an artist

 am an artist who Engaged in wide range of subjects and mediums such as Drawing / Performance - Video / Installation - Sculpture and an educator.

graduated in 2013 with hig honors  honors from the Faculty of Art rt HaMidrasha at Beit Berel Academic College in Israel. 

Since then I held a solo exhibition at Beit KanerMunicipal Art Gallery,Rishon Lezion and have been working various art projects in gallery and  museum exhibitionsand as an educator ofart.

 
How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it? 

My artworks are based on multi layered processes of Mediums exploration including painting, sculpture, VideoSound and botany. am interested in the confluences between techniques and mediums in order to explore the interactions. 

Usually I have a vision and then I decide which media will serve it on the best way. It allows me to stay free and to be faithful to the idea that I would like to express.

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

I believe that words can't always describe or convey everything I want to express as an artist. Therefore the best part of being an artist is having the ability to express your thoughts and feelings through physical or visual mediaFurthermore I love the freedom of the creativity, there are no rules or limits to chain you. To see and to hear how the viewer experience  my artwork is definitely one of the most fascinating things for me in this process. 

One of the hardest thing of being artist is making yourself a framework. I find that the creative process forces you to explore, work and develop constantly.  

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

Tget out  from my comfort zone and to be able to concentrate in my artwork. 

The opportunity to live and talk with other international artists or locals.  I’m very much enjoying soaking in their unique presence and learning a bit about their culture, art and food:).

Haihatus is a  special place surrounded by beautiful nature which  allows a relaxed and creative spirit . 

 

What are your plans after Haihatus? 

Go back and teach art with the inspiration I got from here and to complete a new series of paintings based off the work I’ve done here and submit it for exhibition at a few galleries. 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

So far, all my expectations were met and more

There’s a very relaxed and creative spirit here; the incredible nature is really special and ispiring. I got the chance to meet all of those amazing people and artists, which was so fun to create next to them and to hang out with!

Haihatus gave me the opportunity to deviate from my normal routine back home and get my art practice in order. The house is really amazing and Merja really helped  with whatever I needed.

 

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RACHEL ROTHWELL

Thursday 7/21/16 time 9:48 AM

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Background as an artist

I studied at the Limerick School of Art and Design, in Ireland. I graduated in 2012, have been exhibiting regularly both at home and abroad since then, and had a solo show in April at Inspire Gallery, Dublin.

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

My original training was in ceramics, and I was used to approaching an idea with a 3D outcome in mind. However, when I moved to Korea in 2014 I no longer had access to a kiln, and started to experiment with other media. This led to the mixed media format I work in now, using inks, paints, found materials and embroidery on paper.

Overall I enjoy the freedom I have in painting. I had limited formal training as a painter, so I can experiment and use whatever is to hand without overthinking the process; something I struggled with when working in ceramics. It can lead to some surprising results, as I am often discovering the material as I use it. However sometimes this lack of formal training can work against me, as I can struggle to realise a project to the standard I would like.

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

I find it much easier to coherently express my thoughts on a page, and enjoy producing something and seeing how an audience responds to it. In my opinion the most difficult part is constantly questioning yourself and your work; wondering if you’ve just finished a really nice piece or if you’ve just wasted the entire day!

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

Yes, this is my first time here. I came to the area without overly researching Joutsa; I wanted to see and learn about the area first hand, especially when I knew I would have the time here to really get to know the place. I find the landscape here fascinating, the relatively flat open spaces hemmed in with seemingly endless trees makes an interesting contrast to the mountainous countryside in Switzerland.

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

The time you have, to really focus on your work without distractions. I don’t think it shows in a finished piece how much thought goes into the concept or the making of an artwork, and that the hours spent creating something are a much more involved process than just doodling on a page! Having a month to sort through my ideas has given me a clear idea of what direction I want to follow in my work next, and has allowed me the freedom to experiment with materials also.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

After Haihatus I will go back to Switzerland. I am hoping to exhibit my work more regularly in the coming year, as well as apply for some residency programs in Ireland and Europe.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

This was the first time I completed an artist residency, and already I feel like I would like to stay longer! The peaceful surroundings and relaxed atmosphere make it a very productive place for me to work, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience here.

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CHRIS TWINEY

Friday 6/24/16 time 7:14 PM - interview and photo by Terhi Dahlgren

 

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Background as an artist:

I graduated the Australian National University, School of Art in 2013 with a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours. Then in 2014 I completed two artist residencies in Canberra which lead to my debut solo exhibition in Sydney last year. 

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

My artistic practice is conceptually driven. First I choose an idea and then the  appropriate media. The best side to working this way is the freedom to choose any media depending on what my concept is. However, in working this way I have potentially closed the door on “art for art’s sake”. 

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

There is a great venn diagram floating around the internet. At the centre of the venn diagram is the word ART on the left it reads ABSOLUTELY NARCISSISM on the right it reads CRIPPLING SELF DOUBT. I feel these are the best and worst sides to being an artist. It’s a constant balance between self confidence and self doubt.

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

Yes it is my first time to Finland. I had heard the forests and lakes are beautiful and indeed they are however I didn't know much else. I spent a lot of time researching and interestingly enough this research became the concept for the work.

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

The best sides are you have a chance to make a new body of work in a completely different context. I think it is good as an artist to always be pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and asking fundamental questions . It’s also great way to build overseas connections and experiences. 

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I am entering the work I have made during this residency into a number of European based art competitions. I am also planning to show a sample of this new work in the group residency exhibition at Haihatus in  November.  I expect the ideas and environment of Finland will lead me in new directions. 

-How does Haihatus meet your expectations?

Haihatus has more than met my expectations! It's great to have a team of such supportive and creative people all in one place. I feel very lucky and honoured to have be offered such a great opportunity. 

http://christwiney.com/

 

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KATHRYN LAWRENCE

Thursday 6/16/16 time 4:11 PM - interview by Terhi Dahlgren, photo by Marie Desoubeaux

 
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-Background as an artist: I studied studio art and art history at Reed College, and kept painting in oil after school. 
 
-How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it? After a few years of oil painting, I switched to digital art. I think the best side is that it only requires electricity and my computer or iPad, so I can do it anywhere, no need for messy materials and lots of space. The worst side is that the tools I have are so powerful, and I'm basically still just painting and drawing with them. I know the potential is so great, so I always feel I should be pushing myself to do more complicated projects.
 
-What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist? The best side is doing things like this, since I've been here I've only had to eat, sleep, and make art, and that lifestyle is really working for me. The worst side is I'm going to have to find some way to make money again soon.
 
-Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa? Yes, first time! I expected Finland to be strange with the long days in May and June, and it has definitely been weird to still see light outside all night. Joutsa is so safe and peaceful and cute, those were all my expectations.  
 
-How's your average day in Joutsa? I wake up very late, because I've been staying up at night. My schedule is probably very unhealthy, but I'm still productive.
 
-What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? There's no pressure here at all, except internal pressure to make good art.
 
-How does Haihatus meet your expectations? The three cats are very nice and international friends all here for the same purpose is so refreshing to be around. Above my expectations: having BBQ for dinner and going to sauna at least once a week are so good!! 
 
-What are your plans after Haihatus? I'm doing another residency in Berlin, and applying for grad school there.
 

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MARIE DESOUBEAUX

Monday 5/30/16 time 1:15 PM - interview and photo by Terhi Dahlgren

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-Background as an artist:
I trained as a dancer from the age of 6, in a conservatory in Normandy (France) and move to Paris for my studies after I graduated from high school. I kept on training there and abroad, following my travels and wishes for workshops and projects around Europe and China. Since 2010, I got really interested into the performative field and Instant Composition process. I created and directed a platform dedicated to both those forms between 2012 and 2015, before getting into my own material as a director this year. 
-How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?
I wasn't really much attracted by theater when I was young, it didn't really fit my profile to talk on a stage, and I was already into dance studies back then. 
I recently work in the process of a featured movie, and it made me realize again why dance has also been my media for so long: I guess I just like to have a straight access to my instrument, without depending on an object between me and my way of expressing. Plus, I think I really have a somatic body, which talks to me a lot when any emotional force happens.
I like to put the body in the center of expression. I would say it has been hard to keep the energy and desire of dancing all those years, and I sometime go into phases where I don't have the curiosity to move any more. But it always comes back, and then I need to go extreme with it and dance a lot for a while. I guess I have trouble to stay stable with this, but I guess this is also how I work with it now. 
 
-What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
I love being an artist for the freedom of thinking that it offers. I feel it sometime puts me into a very nice position to be a link, a thread, or to go to very different fields of life and interest.
I recently had a big brainstorming with me and myself (!), to wonder if I should stay in the dance and artistic area as my main job. But I'm not sure I could really get away too long from that world, for the diversity if offers (or the diversity I take from it). For the worst side, as I guess many artists would say, is to find the right frame and conditions to be working as you wish for. 
-Is this your first time in Finland? What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
It is! My coming to Joutsa was actually so spontaneous and last minute made that I'm not sure I had time to have a lot of expectations from it... I quickly borrow a book on my parents' library about Finland, and just had the time to read its people were shy but welcoming at the end..! 
I have always been very much attracted to Scandinavia and Northern countries, and it that aspect it really fits the atmosphere I was expecting from it. I couldn't really picture Joutsa the way it actually is, but I found the environment to be just perfect to focus and get some air for and from your work.
 
-How's your average day in Joutsa?
I tried to fix some rituals for a basic daily day in Joutsa but it didn't really work that much! I tried to follow the flow as much as possible, without closing anything.
I have been working a lot, just in many different ways. I usually get up around 8:30am in the morning (after waking up around 4am to answer the sun's greeting...), get a good breakfast and coffee, listen to french news on the radio from time to time, and sit at my desk in the dance studio to work.
I haven't danced much, but I discovered I was actually in a different process this time, that involve more of gathering, making links and thinking through than actual dance experimentations.
Afternoons are usually more dedicated to reading or trying to find some other way to work and getting some fresh air, but it can also be the other way around. I try to get out at least once a day. I go to the lac and the wood paths around the house. I went a couple of times to Myllykoski, which is such a nice place to walk and get into the woods by the lac. Sometime I just go out to buy some food at the supermarket, or knock at the guy's doors to ask them to go out for a beer with me in Kellari's pub at night. 
I stretched, had some very creative naps, went out a lot to see Kari and Tehri working in the garden,...
SAUNA has been also a very nice place to finish the day, and get fresh (hot?) new ideas for the next day!
 
-What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency? 
It offers you the frame you need to deeply focus on your work, even when you feel stuck with it! It allowed me to sometime let go of the writing process itself, but still be able to let the seeds grow.
You never get out of your process in a way, even when you're doing something else. It is like having a place where your daily life has been put aside just for a moment, to allow you to work, but also to empty the space around for your work to rise.
 
-How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 
I feel a lot of freedom here. Haihatus was just what I was looking for: a place to focus on my own work, alone, but surrounding by people.
The spaces here are huge, and you can really get your own private space to work in, but it is also very easy to connect with people in the house, and get friends and company around you when you just go crazy with you and your thoughts! 
 
-What are your plans after Haihatus?
I was accepted for an other artist residency in Iceland, where my project is also rooted. But meanwhile, I will first go back to Paris, and start to work with my dancer in the studio to keep on going with the project I was working on here. I have a piece that is still touring from next month starting, and I will also be working for a festival in Paris this summer. 

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JACKSON DULANEY

Monday 5/30/16 time 12:46 PM - interview and photo by Terhi Dahlgren

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How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

Music started out as a very constant source of curiosity growing up. I was always encouraged to be curious and the interest always developed and progressed in a very natural way as I got older. I think that desire to expand and learn more while exploring new ground is what really drives the whole creative process to begin with. Once you have the curiosity, the rest of the details seem to choose you. Music was something I was just always drawn to and the guitar became a tool to help discover and experience it.

Having the opportunity to get close to music or musicians that inspires you is a really important thing to experience. I think that’s how I fell in love with the steel and slide guitar later on…just sitting in front of really good players in a really quiet room and thinking “Wow, that’s what I want to do now.” Those are the times that stick with you. Hearing and feeling that raw, acoustic, physical, and emotional side of simple wires and wood is where it all starts for me. All of a sudden good music feels so ancient and mystical and powerful.

The pedal steel guitar is maybe not the most typical instrument but I’ve been lucky to meet and play with many different musicians over the years. I love the invitation to sit-in with a project I’m not too well versed in for a recording project or a festival gig, whatever. You can meet all sorts of great friends and connections that way. That’s one of my favorite parts of what I do…the spontaneous improvisatory aspect. You call tell a lot about a person from playing music together and I’ve made some life-long friends that way.

Hmmm, the worst part is…you have to carry all this heavy gear everywhere! It can feel like a lot of work to get everything ready on a stage somewhere for a gig. The pedal steel weighs about 60 lbs. and then there’s the amplifier, speaker cabinet, sound processors, cabling, power supply, chair, and all the maintenance that those can require! It’s all worth it though. It’s all just part of the process.

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

The best side is there are no rules to it! It’s completely detached from the world of mindless tasks and social distractions. I think the challenge becomes not just being driven but staying driven and always chasing.

The world of pop culture doesn’t really nurture the mind of a creative thinker or an innovator. There’s a lot of self-motivation and a strong work ethic required to push the envelope and keep the ball moving.

At the same time, I try not to take myself too seriously and know I won’t feel fulfilled if I put too much pressure on myself. There’s the inevitable crippling-self-doubt from inventing too much expectation. Having patience and working hard seem to be the best combination to staying on track.

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

This is my first time in Finland. It’s been wonderful. I think if anything, I was expecting more of a big city feeling in Helsinki once we arrived there. I was shocked the city center isn’t flooded with a mass of neon billboards and bad traffic. For some reason I was expecting more of this “hustle-bustle” vibe but was pleasantly surprised by it’s eclectic nature yet down to earth feeling. Everyone seems so laid-back and patient which we don’t always experience back in America. It’s amazing how clean everything is; no trash anywhere.

I had heard only a few things as far what to expect like…it’s not typical to greet strangers in public and everyone loves milk and fish, haha. I don’t know, maybe there’s some truth to a few stereotypes sometimes, but everything makes sense after you’re here awhile. It’s an easy adjustment to be here and feel comfortable.

-How's your average day in Joutsa?

I’m usually one to wake up a little later than the others (laughing). I definitely take my time being lazy in the mornings. I have to check the baseball scores from back home, make coffee, and respond to e-mails. After breakfast, I’ll go to the Fanstasia house and work on a lesson plan for the day. After a few hours, I’ll come back inside and maybe take a walk with Melanie or ride to the market.

I enjoy breaking up the day of working by moving around and coming back to the guitar throughout the day. We like going to the Kellari pub to watch a hockey game or sitting in the sauna at night. There have been a few BBQ’s with the other artists here too which is a fun time to relax and tell stories over beers and dinner.

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

You can do things however you like here! It seems like the easiest place in the world to reinvent your sleep schedule or deviate from your normal routine back home. It’s rare to be an adult and feel such few responsibilities!

Everything is Joutsa is very close on bike and it’s like a little utopia commune here where everyone does their own thing yet still makes time to hang and socialize. It’s a good balance to be in.

-How does Haihatus meet your expectations

Well, it’s funny...I really tried to not have any expectations before arriving! I didn’t want to invent Haihatus or even Joutsa in my mind before I got here and be discouraged if it has somehow different. I knew there would be enough space around to not feel cooped up in a tiny room all day long so I wasn’t too concerned with other details as long as I could get this heavy guitar here in one piece! I am happy to have this experience. It’s been a great place to retreat in.

-What are your plans after Haihatus?

I’m heading back to Asheville, NC where I live with my wife Melanie. There is work at home waiting for me when I get back. I’ve made really good progress here and can’t wait to take what I’ve been woodshedding and apply it this summer and beyond. Time to turn the page! It will feel good to get back into the swing of things after this time here at Haihatus. We hope to finalize on buying our first home together when we return as well! It’s an exciting time.

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GABRIELLE VIGNEAULT-GENDRON

Sunday 5/29/16 time 10:25 AM - interviewed by Terhi Dahlgren

 

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photo by Marie Desoubeaux

Gabrielle Vigneault-Gendron, 24, Canadian

http://gabriellevigneaultg.com

Background as an artist:

I started to be seriously interested in visual arts towards the end of High School so when I was about 15 years old. Before that, I played piano and clarinet at my school orchestra and then the Wind Ensemble of Montreal. I was also very interested in creative writing before I really got into visual arts. I finished my B.F.A in Painting and Drawing at Concordia University in Montreal in 2014 with a minor in Film Studies.  I’ve exhibited my work mostly in collective shows in Quebec city and Montreal. I went to an artist residency in Iceland in March and April 2016 where I was able to compose music for my latest film and start my latest drawing series which I completed here in Joutsa. I am currently studying Film Production at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. I should complete this degree in April 2017.

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

I don’t know if I have chosen a media yet. I guess if you look at the tendencies in my portfolio, my main mediums would be both oil painting and filmmaking. Oil painting is definitely my favorite type of painting, I don’t think I will be able to go back to acrylic. Its ability to dry slowly allows you to do and discover so many things about colour. The medium itself feels alive, I really enjoy working with it. Of course this aspect does have its downside. It is a bit tricky to transport because it is never really dry. It is also a very costly material compared to pencil drawing and it is also very toxic. I always have one window at least slightly open when I paint to get air circulation, even when it’s - 30 degree celsius outside. I bring a lot of vests to my studio then!

Film is great because it combines so many art forms. It is also one of the newest art form and so I feel there are so many things to discover about the medium still. But it is also a very costly media  and the business surrounding it is very complex and competitive. It can feel very overwhelming at times.

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

I don’t think I would really see myself doing anything else. I find that creating something really gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. I like being able to communicate in that way and seeing other artist communicate beautiful things in different ways. But it does make you question yourself and your work constantly. The uncertainty can definitely become very tricky to deal with.

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

Yes! I knew it would be very peaceful and that there would be a big presence of nature. I was not disappointed in the beautiful forests and landscapes of Finland.

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

Meeting new people and new artists from all over the world is definitely one of the best perks. I also enjoy being able to work on my art full time. This change of scenery really allows you to think things through and to get your art practice in order.

So far, all my expectations were met. I have met some terrific people and artists which are not only fun to hang out with, but are also very inspiring. The residency is wonderful in the sense that it gives you a lot of time and space to work on your artistic practice. I wanted to work more on the drawing series I had started in Iceland and thanks to the Haihatus facilities I was able to do that. All the activities I can do here also allowed me to take a step back and get various perspectives on things.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I will get back to Montreal when my residency ends. When I got to Joutsa, I found myself very inspired by the giant trees and the gorgeous forests. At first it gave me an idea for a video installation, but during my residency, I transformed the idea into a potential painting series. In Haihatus, I worked a lot on digital sketches for this series and when I’ll get back to my studio in Montreal I will be able to start working on the actual oil paintings.

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HILA AMAR

Monday 4/25/16 time 8:22 AM - interviewed by Hanna Peräkylä

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Hila Amar, 29 years old, From Tel-Aviv, Israel/Palestine

I'm a jeweler artist. 

B.a in jewelry design, Shenkar college, Ramat-Gan. 

I love to sculpt in metal and use the goldsmith technique for making objects with small details. 

Lately I've started to draw portraits. 

It is  continuing from my final project in college that  I gave them different noses in different material. So I came to Haihatus to focus on drawing.  

When I start drawing, I'm automatically starting by drawing the nose first. It is the only organ who's come out from the face, and it says a lot about identity..

I recommend Haihatus for artists who need time and space. It is a peaceful and relaxing place to work with no instruction. The nature here is great, and I found the Finnish people very nice and kind. 

I found this residency online, and it was pretty much what I expected.  

After here I'm planning to keep on working hard :)

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JAMES MORLEY

Thursday 4/21/16 time 1:20 PM - interviewed by Hanna Peräkylä

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James Morley, 24, Canadian


www.jamesmorley.ca

Background as an artist: 

My interest in art began when I was 13 years old. My friends and I were always skateboarding and filming each other with a cheap video camera. I enjoyed editing the footage together, and would spend hours and hours creating short videos with it. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to try shooting still photographs. I wasn't as good at skateboarding as my friends, so I thought that photography would allow me to continue hanging out with them. Through skateboarding I eventually found myself interested in documentary photography and decided that I wanted to study it at a university level. I studied photography at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, and I received my Bachelor degree in Fine Arts in 2015. Throughout my time in school, my practice has evolved to incorporate video and installation work that mainly focuses on the individual experience of urban space.

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

I chose photography and video because of their indexical nature. I am not very well co-ordinated; I don't have the precision and control that are needed for drawing, painting, or sculpture. Cameras are the perfect tool to be able to document something in the world exactly as you see it. The best part of photography is exactly that - being able to transform your own vision into an image that everyone else can see. I also enjoy exploring and seeking out opportunities to find new subject matter, and photography is the best suited medium for capturing things spontaneously.

The worst part about photography is that the subject matter you are looking for just doesn't exist sometimes. Even though it is easier that ever to manipulate images on the computer, you still need to be able to find a subject in the real world that best conveys your idea. I do enjoy that part though, as well as the problem-solving that goes into finding the perfect composition.

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

The best part of being an artist is having the ability to take your ideas and concepts and materialize them into some sort of physical or visual media. I find that the creative process forces you to learn, think about things a bit differently than you normally would, and in the case of photography, it puts you in new places and interesting situations that you might not normally find yourself. I also really enjoy creating things that you can look at again and again.

The worst part about being an artist is definitely the financial side of things. Cameras, computers, film, and other materials are all very expensive, and selling a couple of prints here and there doesn't really help cover the costs very much. It helps that there are a lot of commercial opportunities within photography, but they come with their own issues. Once you start shooting things purely for money, the motivations behind your work tend to change a lot. It is sometimes quite difficult to separate purely creative and commercial work, and it can sometimes be detrimental to a project to start thinking about how you are going to profit from it. Maintaining a balance between the two is definitely the hardest part.

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

It is my first time in Finland! I think I expected Joutsa to be a bit smaller, and I thought that I might have a hard time going about my day-to-day activities without speaking Finnish. It wasn't a problem, however, as most of the people I encounter speak very good English.

How's your average day in Joutsa?

I usually start the day with some coffee. Throughout the day I will usually go for a bike ride or two and explore Joutsa, looking for opportunities to shoot photos or video. I also spend a large portion of the day reading, researching, and planning the project I am working on. I also try to spend some time in the common areas of Haihatus so I can talk to the other artists and hang out with the three cats that live here.

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

Having this art residency has definitely allowed me a lot of creative freedom that I don't usually have at home. Leaving behind my computer, job, and responsibilities has helped to give me a lot more time to think about work that I would like to make, and I have been able to spend a lot more time shooting and planning projects than I normally would.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 
Haihatus is exactly what I was expecting and hoping for. I needed a relaxed and easygoing environment like this to start thinking creatively and make some new work.

I would recommend Haihatus to anyone who has an artistic background and experience making work, who is also looking for an opportunity to spend time in a unique place while working on a self-directed project. The environment provides the perfect opportunity to work with a clear and unobstructed mindset. I do think participants should be fairly diligent and responsible with their time, as there isn't a strict structure that governs how you should be spending it.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

When I leave Haihatus, I will be returning to Toronto, where I will begin working again. I will be spending a significant amount of my free time over the coming months editing and finishing the film I have been shooting in Finland. When it is finished, I hope to exhibit it as well as a series of photographs in galleries Toronto and elsewhere.

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MANUELA MORALES

Thursday 4/21/16 time 12:50 PM - interviewed by Hanna Peräkylä

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Manuela Morales, 25, Chilean-Canadian

www.mamophotography.net

Background as an artist: 

At a very young age I got into making art through drawing. It wasn't until I was 14 years old that I became interested in photography, when my parents took me to see Robert Frank: Storylines at the Tate Modern in London. There was a room filled with Frank's contact sheets and the sheer number of images was astounding, the idea of being able to capture that many moments in time was incredibly appealing. In retrospect, I think the attraction may have been due to my own terrible memory and what seemed like a device to keep me from forgetting. 

I started taking photography classes in high school, where I learned the basics of the medium. I then went on to receive a Bachelor in Fine Arts with Honours in Photography Studies from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Through my four years at Ryerson, I became immersed in the history and theories of images, which led me to start also working in video. 

Currently, my work is situated within the documentary practice, often originating from my own lived experience. The themes of memory and post-memory have continued to be a central component and I also deal with issues surrounding trauma, womanhood, global politics and their impact on interpersonal relationships.

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

Probably my favourite thing about photography/video is that it takes me out of the studio. My work usually takes me outside into different environments and often different countries. I tend to go stir crazy quite easily; I'm incredibly impatient and get bored far too quickly. I would not do well making all of my work in one room. I think in this way I also enjoy photography and video because unexpected things can transpire when you're out in the world making work, and sometimes it can change your whole project or just be an exciting moment. Then, when you return to the darkroom or computer, there are often new things you notice each time you look at the work. You have created the overall composition, but what goes on within it can change or appear different overtime. 

The worst part of working with these mediums is that I can be a bit of a perfectionist and you can't necessarily change the composition of the world. This is usually something I can easily get over though. But there are definitely moments I wish I could move wires, or a tree, or a pole and that is impossible. 

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

In my particular practice I often look at my own family trauma. So personally, the best part of being an artist is that it helps me work through difficult things in my life. My work is extremely cathartic for me and in that sense I think I am always drawn to creating things when I have some sort of turmoil in my life. But through the process of making a project I often work through the distressing emotions attached to the subject matter and start moving forward.

I think the worst side of being an artist is fairly obvious. It is incredibly difficult to make a living. As a woman I find it more difficult because we are often the gender that is charged with thinking about family, and the idea of having children on an artist's salary can seem completely unrealistic. I have always been someone who wants to have children and really looks forward to being a parent, however I want my kids to have security and part of that is not worrying about their parents finances. For some this means working jobs they can't stand, however I am currently looking into pursuing the arts as well as a career in law. Law has always fascinated me and influenced my work, as well as being a lucrative career where I can support my art and a family. 

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

Yes! This is my first time in Finland. I had no expectations at all!

How's your average day in Joutsa?

Moving around from Haihatus to different parts of Joutsa. Shooting video, discussing/writing out ideas, editing, researching, hanging out with cats and other artists, eat, sleep, repeat. 

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

The best part of an art residency is that it takes you out of your comfort zone. New spaces really jump start the creative brain, also being able to just have a designated chunk of time for making things, not being distracted by other obligations. My mind is constantly occupied with making. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and see how they go about their artistic practice. 

How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 
The space and work areas were very much how I imagined, I like the communal areas and I feel like access to bikes, buses and walkable areas made exploring very easy.
I would recommend Haihatus to artists who are at similar places in their career or even further along than I am. I think it is a great opportunity for artists who have finished school and have one or more projects under their belt. I think if you are stuck in a rut this is the perfect place. Joutsa honestly does not have a ton of activities for visitors, but the atmosphere of Haihatus will get your mind working and you'll have nothing to do but make work. 

What are your plans after Haihatus?

I hope to continue working on the piece I have been working on here and submit it for exhibition at a few galleries.

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MELANIE NORRIS

Thursday 4/21/16 time 8:39 AM - interviewed by Hanna Peräkylä

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melanienorrispainter.com

How did you end up choosing your media? Best/worst sides of it?

I do watercolor portraits; that’s the only media that I’ve stayed interested in pursuing over the years.  Other forms of art I burn out on pretty quickly, but never portraiture.  Faces are infinitely interesting to me; I never see the same thing twice and they’re always relevant.

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

The best side is the worst side: being your own boss.  You get to dictate what you do and how you do it.  There is no one else guiding or directing you; you follow your inner voice and create your own checks and balances.  See how many “you’s” are in this response?  It’s all on you.  It’s excellent and terrifying, but that’s what drives creativity.

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

Yes.  I didn’t set up many expectations; I focused more on goals that I wanted to meet while working here.  It’s a great place to work; there are really no distractions, being such a small town. 

How's your average day in Joutsa?

I wake up early, make coffee, listen to NPR and work while the sun still feels early.  This jogs my brain; I find my ideas to be very sensitive to light.  It’s very difficult for me to work at night, so I do as much as I can as early as I can.  Then I walk to the store, make lunch, take a walk around the town or forest, come back for a second studio session and work til early evening.

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

Getting to live and talk with other international artists.  Even if we don’t talk each day, I’m very much enjoying soaking in their unique presence and learning a bit about their culture.  There’s a very relaxed and creative spirit here; it’s really special.

How does Haihatus meet your expectations? 

To me, it feels a bit like an artist’s psychological bootcamp.  There’s nothing to hide behind here.  At home, I can get caught up in the busy life and push aside any deep or critical feelings about my work.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting a painting complete; treating it like a job.  Here, there’s nothing to distract me from the series at hand.  I’ve had to finally buckle down and address some big questions and issues in my work that I’ve been avoiding.  It’s a distillation of the creative process and can feel overwhelming at times, but I think will yield great and honest results.

What are your plans after Haihatus?

Complete a new series of paintings based off the work I’ve done here!

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RIJN COLLINS

Tuesday 12/1/15 time 12:34 PM - Rijn Collins, Melbourne, Australia

I woke this morning and for a moment, thought I was back in the forest.

There was no music coming from the ground floor studios though, and no purring Finnish kitties curled up on my bed. I would not be mashing up boiled eggs to fold over the top of delicious rye karjalanpiirakoita for breakfast, or pouring black coffee into the soup mug I’d bought my first day at a flea market, covered in the blueberries that were my first Finnish word on my 2011 visit; mustikka.

Melbourne is beautiful on the last day of spring, but my head is still in the forest.

I spent the whole of October at a writing residency in Joutsa, a rural town in the midst of Finland’s Lake District. I arrived after a week of ruby port and decadent pastéis de nata pastries in Portugal with my beloved Lisa. As soon as I hit Helsinki the temperature dropped, the prices doubled, and the hood of my red riding coat was up for the first time since my previous residency in Iceland, this time last year.

Back to the wild northern lands I love, with my whole heart.

Haihatus residency, Finland

Haihatus residency, Finland

Haihatus residency, Finland

Haihatus residency, Finland

No snow for me this time; Finland was in her full autumnal glory, and she’d never been more bewitching. The colours of the forest, people! The colours of the forest. I wandered every evening at dusk, and found myself in tears of awe on more than one occasion. The light was like nothing I’d ever seen before, and the trees looked as though they’d been dipped in gold. For a woman whose feet are utterly at home in stilettos on city footpaths, my writing residencies in remote rural places steal my heart in ways I’m still processing.

Joutsa forest, Finland

Joutsa forest, Finland

Joutsa forest, Finland

Joutsa forest, Finland

The residency was huge, with buildings scattered around the grounds that were a delight to explore; a gallery space here, a lookout on stilts there. On my third night the call went out – to the sculpture garden, quick! I grabbed my red riding hood and raced after the other artists. I didn’t even know we had a sculpture garden (oh, you Finns) but found myself standing with head back, mouth open, as the northern lights danced above our heads. Indescribable. How lucky am I that I saw them last year in Iceland, and now here? Pen in hand, heart in throat, it was a gold star moment of the most wondrous kind.

Sculpture garden, Haihatus, Finland

Sculpture garden, Haihatus, Finland

Cheerful Lobster in the sculpture garden

Cheerful Lobster in the sculpture garden

Protective wolf outside my bedroom forest

Protective wolf outside my bedroom forest

My favourite place was the Pitkospuupolku, a narrow wooden path through the forest that the Joutsa guidebook had described with the line ‘In the Joutsa forest you can walk all alone, feeling like it almost kindly swallows you.’ Bliss of the best kind, breathing in the silence and solitude, watching sunshine sparkle on the water as I wrote, snacking on smoked salmon and rye bread, washed down with cloudberry cider on a full heart.

The Pitkospuupolku through the forest, Joutsa, Finland

The Pitkospuupolku through the forest, Joutsa, Finland

My favourite image of my trip

My favourite image of my trip

And I wrote, Damn, did I write. The joys of a residency, where writing is not an indulgence, or anti-social, but understood, and welcomed! In a studio filled with turpentine and taxidermy, I spilled ink until my fingers ached. Then stretched, scratched one of the house kittes, Purhonen, Korhonen and Räisanen, and wrote some more.

My studio

My studio

My studio in the gorgeous afternoon light

My studio in the gorgeous afternoon light

Korhonen and my taxidermy muse

Korhonen and my taxidermy muse

I took a mid-month jaunt into Helsinki with Amy and Joao, artists from the U.S. and Brazil. I knew Amy was kindred when we turned up for a walk to the local Joutsa pub wearing matching animal print ear muffs, and I wasn’t wrong. I took them to my favourite Helsinki restaurant, Zetor, the setting for a previous ABC story of mine called ‘Every Good Day Deserves Gingham.’ We ate reindeer and lingonberries around Soviet era hot rod tractors, sang to AC/DC in punk bars, and revelled in the exuberant joy that comes with sharing a city you love.

Animal print and cocktails...Amy, let's go to HUUTula!

Animal print and cocktails…Amy, let’s go to HUUTula!

With Joao at Zetor, my favourite rockabilly bar in Helsinki

With Joao at Zetor, my favourite rockabilly bar in Helsinki

And then my suitcase came out again.

The rest doesn’t need to be told: the last reindeer steak, the last walk through the forest, the last time I turned the lights off in my studio. I know I’ll be back, to both Finland and Haihatus, the residency…at least, I have to keep telling myself that, or I never would have left.

A hammock in my final Helsinki apartment..yes, yes, a hammock.

A hammock in my final Helsinki apartment..yes, yes, a hammock.

Loving and leaving Haihatus residency, Joutsa, Finland

Loving and leaving Haihatus residency, Joutsa, Finland

Kiitos, Finland, and all I met there…thank you, for a month full of gold stars, and golden light.

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VIKTORIA IKONEN

Wednesday 7/2/14 time 9:01 PM - Viktoria Ikonen

viktoriabear450.jpgviktoria400.jpgMy return to Haihatus is like summing up the result of the past year. It's interesting to explore, to compare how I changed for this year: residencies in Barcelona and Istanbul, exhibitions, colleagues, like-minded persons from all over the world... But it's important to notice that it couldn't happen  without Haihatus: because they were first who believed in me and I highly appreciate it. 

Also, it's important from my side, that discovering Finland: people, nature, culture, is an attempt to explore myself. I have got Finnish sound surname, my grandfather was born in Finland but left it in childhood. Then, during the soviet time, people tried to hid their roots and links with foreign countries (even if they weren't foreign for them) because it was dangerous for political reasons.

But I think it's important to know better your own roots. 

For residency time I choose one theme - landscapes and everything around: it's a research of how the natural and industrial characters are interconnected, how bionic and geometrical forms exist near by each other and in one place. The symbol of this idea is a home, Haihatus home: the superimposition of forms and times. 

In artistic way it`s my own research of new visual language for this reason I painted series 'Little things': studies about research of my identity like a painter and visual artist and experiments with composition and colors; also it's a sketchbook of my ideas for a future works.

Viktoria Ikonen, from Russia, St Petersburg, Haihatus resident June 2013 and June-July 2014

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My internship in Haihatus

Wednesday 5/28/14 time 1:30 PM - Silja

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This spring has went very quickly. Weather has been warm, cold, sunny and rainy, just like summer in Finland always. It feels like 7th of May was just yesterday and I started in my internship at Haihatus here in Joutsa. Now its already last days of April and I´m at work for last day. Outside trees are green and its almost summer.

I still remember my first day here and how nervous I were. First day at work is always exciting day for everyone. You don´t know yet, what others expect from you or what you should do. Fortunately, in few days you are on track. Its not easy for student like me to remember, that you can´t do everything perfectly or even right when you don´t have proper education or skills. You are here to learn and you should be open to do different kind of jobs. I choosed my internship at Haihatus, because I wanted to try work in culture house. I study tourism and I have been museum guide, cashier, working in café and hotel, but this was something new for me. I´m interested in all sorts of arts, but I also wanted to do some customer service and become better in that. Haihatus is great combination of them.

In these almost two months, I get acquainted with cultural residence and also helped artists to build their artwork. It was interesting and I noticed, that you don´t build whole art exhibition in one day or even in one week. It takes a lot of work hours and patience. If everything goes wrong, you simply sit down with cup of coffee and plan it again, hopely better. It not easy to relax in this busy, career-oriented world and I noticed it soon. Sometimes you just have to sit down and not worry about everything nonsensical.

This two months gave me new experiences and I meeted new people. I had various tasks, from sitting in office whole day from painting the cashier van. I also created my vocational skills demonstration of commodification and maybe it even will be my thesis in my third and final year in school. Now my school things start to look more brighter than before and

I´m confident about that I will graduate next year as travel councellor. Thought I´m not sure, if I´ll ever be clerk in travel agency or in hotel, I will at least have education. Maybe someday, I do something in wide field of cultural work. Who knows. Its inspring, that here you can use you´re own imagination.

I recommend warmly for every pupil, student or grown up people, who are still wondering their own career choice or are planning to try something new, to try work related to art or cultural in generally. You can come work here Haihatus too in July, Merja and Raimo will be glad. :)

In this summer, at least think about visiting your local art exhibitation. Its not always paintings lined at white wall, you wondering, what this should express. I have learned that, piece of art doesn´t express just one thing and one thing only. Artists have their own ideas about meaning of art work, but you do have your own and its just right as artist´s own idea. If you can´t get that mental image about white wall and paintings strictly at line out of your head, gather your family and go to summer theatre. Or if you like music, go to concert with your friends and if you rather to try something by yourself, take some dance or piano classes. Culture is all around us and its meant for all of us. In summer, you will sense it in the air. Finland, this long country, is full of summer happenings. Something are bigger (and expensive) and some may be small and free, but there´s something for everyone. Just go out free-minded and find right place for you. :)

Silja Ilmonen, second year tourism student from Joutsa

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ROSE´S VIEWS IN FALL RESIDENCY 2013

Thursday 1/23/14 time 10:21 AM - Joutsa photos by Rose Dickson, USA

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FANTASIA GETS WALLS

Thursday 7/18/13 time 8:41 PM - Merja

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Fantasia is one of the three buildings in Haihatus yard. It has been since autumn 2011 under renovation to be some day a house for year round cultular activities.

Renovation has received EU funding and it´s project name is Fantasia. Since the plans tend to mature like good wine as they get older, the name of Fantasia can still change, as the final appearance of the house and the content of the actions will be completed. It is said that the final name can not be selected before the baby is born.

The renovation has progressed rapidly this summer. The interiors are still open, pretty much in the mode where it was left off last summer's international voluntary work camp. The floors are still in their sawdust, which Baris, Canberk, Lin, Bryan, Federico, Anna, Masha, Ksenia, Hugo, Katcka, Kate and Anna them left.


The outer of the house has been built rapidly by the hands of Eikka, our hard working carpenter. The work is now in July intensified even further, because "the youth section of Haihatus" summer worker Iivari has been able to assistant Eikka. Iivari continues his youth work again in August, after the holiday seasons. Now is the time for construction.


On the other side of the yard is the summer exhibition open yet - help! not so long! - over two weeks. So you can still reach it, or can you!

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