Tuesday 6/26/18 time 6:10 PM
How did you end up choosing your media?
I am a circus artist and a visual artist. For visual arts (which was my focus at Haihatus), I generally use small, delicate, and whimsical media, with social commentary hidden somewhere within. I work mostly with paper and found natural materials. At Haihatus I experimented with new media: I worked with preserving, sewing, and cutting leaves and with creating hanging mobiles of various forms and materials. I managed to find an old sauna ladle at a flea market and incorporated that as well! I often involve my own family history into my work, but I also take inspiration from the beautiful landscapes and cultures in which I am a tiny visitor.
What do you find as the best and worst sides of being an artist?
The worst side is that, at the moment, I have no idea what I’m doing.
And the best side is also that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Is this your first time in Finland?
No, I was in Lapland in December of 2014. However, although it was absolutely gorgeous, that trip was very touristy (through the Erasmus Student Union). So this was my first time getting a true introduction to Finnish culture, as well as the beautiful nature of southern Finland.
What kind of expectations did you have about Finland/ Joutsa?
Before arriving in Finland, I had heard countless warnings about how strange, shy, and unfriendly Finnish people are, so I braced myself in preparation. But thankfully, my expectation was overturned literally as soon as I stepped off the bus in Joutsa! The people I met there were so friendly and generous. So do not trust the word of those who claim that Finns are unfriendly-- go see for yourself!
What are the best sides / opportunities in having an art residency?
A residency provides you with most of the things you need to be creative that you don’t have in your everyday life: primarily TIME (an immense amount to do whatever you want!), studio space, an exhibition opportunity, a creative community/absolute solitude (whichever you’d prefer), and a push out of your everyday routine. I was able to think outside my usual creative thought process and begin to reconsider my artistic practice(s) and future(s). I was also able to observe what it takes for me to just settle down and create-- which at times was quite difficult! So, in the end, I learned a lot about myself.
What are your plans after Haihatus?
I am currently in Kemijärvi, Lapland, participating in another artist residency and enjoying the midnight sun and cold weather. After this I plan to travel, perhaps live and work in Germany for a while, and participate in another artist residency in Leipzig in early 2019. Thanks to my experience at Haihatus, I am considering starting an MFA in 2019 as well.
How does Haihatus meet your expectations?
I cannot remember the expectations I had before arriving at Haihatus. Evidently, whatever expectations I did have were so far surpassed by the peace, nature, and warm culture of Joutsa and Haihatus that I soon forgot them! Kiitos paljon to Haihatus and Joutsa for a beautiful time of residency.
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