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personal statement - Marja de Jong


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  • This part is a personal statement about the idea of the program VIA.ARS.NATURA, the way to art and nature.

    The country side – rural area - of Finland is more or less hidden for passers-by. When you go from one place to another you go over the main roads. They are nice and foreigners are always impressed about the landscape, the sights and the little traffic. Most of them never go away from these main roads and they have the idea to know the essence of this country and also about the country side.

    I still know my first trip through the hinterland between Kangasniemi and Haukivuori; it was if there was a second country behind the black roads. The small roads guide me along the landscape structure and informed me about the way how people could have lived here in the past. Even new machines, techniques and communication are accepted, the impression gives a pure image as a passer-by. After the first time, in 2002, I have driven this route many times, also with my guest and every time I am glad to be able to be there. Every time I see new elements, changing of the seasons, the light, and the activities around the settlements. For me it is a never ending great experience.

    During the years I drove as much as possible through these old roads and every time I am exited when I am able to go there. It gives so much positive feelings about this authentic part of the country. Every time when I go in a new area it feels as a favor to discover these routes. I feel like a real discoverer when I take time to use these roads. There are so many of them everywhere and mostly you are the only driver. Coming from crowded regions this is always an unbelievable experience.

    The hinterland is so full of these roads that it gives the feeling you can get lost in a small area. It is nice that now a day TOM-TOM can help you out, but it means that it is not necessary to go from one region to another to get a lot of information. I live now for 6 years and I do not have seen all the roads in the region at all. I have still a lot to discover and that enjoys me.

    When friends and guests are visiting my place I always attend them on the possibility to get this experience of the hinterland. With a good map (or TOM-TOM) they believe it could be possible not to get lost and to come somewhere. Afterwards they are always happy and have the feeling to have a personal discovering of the rural area.

    In my vision it is a challenge to introduce this landscape as an area where you can discover, reflect, feel the nature and get involved with the people living there for over hundreds of years.
    As an artist I am very interested in the way art can contribute to the value of the landscape. People have the basic need to organize their yard and surroundings in a personal way and through that the landscape gets its typical regional elements. It is an inspiration to see how this fits in the landscape and through the artistic it gets an extra dimension.

    Through VIA.ARS.NATURA more people can be attended on the value of this hidden hinterland. They also can get the personal satisfaction of a discovery in an unknown region.
    Through VIA.ARS.NATURA passers-by are invited to take more time to stay and discover other parts. It will slow down people and their need to drive over long distances to see other sights. It can make that the eye to see nuances in the environment will develop.

    The project can be found on the website of AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry and Rhiz.eu.


    information |Marja de Jong | mobile 00358 (0)50 4625 675 | info@arefs.org |

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