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 :)


4/25/17 4:14 PM  Mark basford

Good luck Marian, looks good.

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