art projects - CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU
The project CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU has started in summer 2009. This project is
supported by different organizations. Artists will be invited to participate in
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
The main purpose of the collaboration project CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU is to create a platform to investigate and exchange, collaborate and produce international multidisciplinary dialogue. This dialogue will be realized with migrant artists living in NORDIC countries. The leading participants of the collaboration and workshops will exchange and collaborate with native artists and others and possibly interact with cultural workers, teachers, craftsmen, policymakers and youth of the multicultural community of Haukivuori (who are another target group of this project). As a part of the project the artists intend to cooperate and produce together with local craftsmen and people in the educative field whom they deem valuable for the artistic exchange. Through this, also local youth can develop their artistic skills and increase consciousness about their specific roots and relationship with northern Europe.
The physical place Saksalanharju will be viewed through the eyes of professional observers with the specific goal of shaping a concrete impression. By borrowing the eyes of an outsider, members of the community in Haukivuori can see their history, culture and landscape in a new light and from a different angle.
Through intense dialogue the arts professionals will communicate verbally and visually. The dialogue will take place in different sessions from 4 to 6 weeks creating one or more art works, (this can include drawings, paintings, installations, site specific art, sculptures, video and/ or mixed media). The finished result should be art work created by a minimum two artists. The selected artists will have to collaborate with each other aimed at challenging them to cross the boundaries of their own work and attain new influences.
In order to get acquainted and involved with the location, the artists will need to explore the environment, the nature and the Finnish rural culture of the area (forestry and agriculture). The impact of place is different for every artist. With the different backgrounds and all the different influences of this specific place, the outcome of the project will show the uniqueness of the location in which it was created. The project will contribute to cultural exchange and increase awareness of historical and cultural knowledge, as well as the emergence of new traditions and contemporary cultural heritage.
In the pilot-project CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU, migrant and native artists from Nordic countries and Europe will exchange and collaborate with each other. This will challenge them to cross the familiar boundaries in their work and experience new influences. It is this crossing that identifies the impact of place in an artist’s practice. New forms of expression and communication are anticipated to produce intense dialogue that the professional artists will communicate verbally and visually. The atmosphere in landscape and climate, and the mood and attitude of the people living more or less isolated in the country side in the Nordic countries will offer the specific impressions to the artists.
In this project, it is interesting that the physical place of SAKSALANHARJU, a
nature heritage, will be viewed through the eyes of professional observers of different origin with the specific goal of shaping a concrete impression. By borrowing the eyes of an outsider, members of the community in the small village of Haukivuori can see their culture and landscape in a new light and from a different angle. It is especially interesting that Finnish artists living abroad in Nordic countries will contribute having cultural experiences both inside and outside of Finland.
The location of this pilot-project is the nature heritage SAKSALANHARJU-KIRKONKYLÄ. The large monolith was already for hundreds of years a significant mark in the landscape where travelers crossed from different directions. The project initiates through art production of collaborating migrant and native artists the attention to the unique exploring of the NORDIC region.
This project will stimulate Nordic cultural exchange and increase awareness of historical and cultural knowledge in a Nordic context. It will develop democratic access to cultural participation, also for rural areas. With the contribution from Nordic Culture Fund,
Nordic Culture Point, Arts Council Finland, Etelä-Savon Maakuntaliitto, and
other funding the exchange and collaboration of migrant Nordic artists will create new forms of expression and communication. It is this migration what is important to develop the specific historic and culture value of the Nordic rural areas.
The geographical location of Haukivuori includes SAKSALANHARJU. The population of Haukivuori has an
unusually high percentage of international inhabitants; 4% of the 2300 inhabitants are foreigners, while the national average for the
whole Finland is 2%.
One can find Bosnians, Burmese, Afghans, Dutch, Russians and Estonians among others, who have settled down in rural Haukivuori and are integrating into the local culture. Artists, cultural workers and teachers of these groups will be invited to exchange knowledge by participating in the planned lectures, workshops and artists presentations at Saksalanharju.
Participating, communicating and producing together with local and other interested culture workers will influence and improve the local craftsmanship and is valuable for the artistic exchange.
Saksalanharju, an ancient settlement site, is situated in South East rural
Finland between the small cities Mikkeli and Pieksämäki. Currently art center
Saksala ArtRadius is founded on the ridge of Saksalanharju. The profile of the
art center is based on cooperative art projects, art education and international
cultural exchange. Modernized artists residences are available for 6 artists
visiting at the same time. There are also work spaces, studios, exhibition
spaces and good working space possibilities outdoors.
The tranquil landscape, with fields and forests around Saksalanharju, creates good possibilities for maximum concentration on art work and contribute to genuine understanding far from commercialized and hierarchical art societies in the cities.
The intensive collaboration between migrant NORDIC artists and native artists from Nordic countries and Europe, will give the participants the possibility to adopt a deeper understanding about forthcoming art at a personal level. They will acquire cultural influences that they are partially integrated in and from the people they work with. This will stimulate development in the participant’s ways of thinking and working and indeed positively affect all involved. This in turn has the positive effect of insuring a continued movement and development of local culture by way involvement and embracing them.
Exchange of skills and ideas is an absolute necessity to keep all cultures vital and ever developing. In CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU artists can stay and work together in an exchange and create something that furthers Finnish and foreign culture in innovative forms. It is also important for the development of the art field in entire Europe that there is a vital alternative, like this project, to the commercialized world.
The project CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU will be carried out in art centre Saksala
ArtRadius - Finland.
There is a slide show about the project plan
CROSSROADS SAKSALANHARJU on Slide Share.
SELECTED AND PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:
Ilse van den Berk - visual artist - painter - the Netherlands
Tiina Suhonen - visual artist - sculptor - photographer - painter -
Pål Gusdal Jomås - visual artist - media - Norway
Anna-Lea Kopperi - visual artist - sculptor - environmental art - interactive
art - installations - Finland
Tiina Mielonen - visual artist - painter - Finland
Alexander Nikitin - visual artist - painter - Russia/Finland
Marja de Jong - visual artist - painter Netherlands/Finland
Siard - visual artist - media - the Netherlands/Finland
Matiass Jansons - visual artist - sculptor - Latvia
Ian Newbery - visual artist - sculptor - UK/Sweden
Lucien den Arend - visual artist - sculptor - painter - Netherlands/Finland
Arts Council Finland