What a phenomenal first month it has been here in the Finnish archipelago. I cannot express how good it feels to have dedicated time to focus only on my practice. Giving yourself head space is too often forgotten or overlooked in our usual hectic every day lives. Since arriving in Korpo I’ve been reminding myself that “doing nothing” is so important. Of course doing nothing actually means having that incredibly valuable time to think and analyse what is important in life, and particularly in art. The Finnish archipelago has proved to be the ideal space for this.
Learning the landscape has been very meditative, understanding the coastline and the every changing light quality as Summer shifts into Autumn, noticing the tiny drops and increases in wind, temperature and colour. Everything here is so fantastically mild in comparison to the much more dramatic conditions I am used to in Shetland.
The residency space in particular has allowed me entire days to just listen to my body and mind and react accordingly. I have been sleeping for as long as I need to, dreaming very vividly, eating when my body tells me it is hungry and not during the pre-concvieved “correct” times in which to do so. Most importantly though the space is allowing me to work when I want to and feel inspired to do so – day or night.

Side note – I have stopped wearing my watch.

These themes have been coming out in my work of course, I have been working in a far more minimal style than I am used to. Simple shape, subtle colour and single line are all playing a part in my studies.

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I have had the incredible fortune of being on residency with people I have instantly connected with. We very quickly formed our own community and I have so enjoyed learning from their skills and knowledge, indulging in their company to travel to the most amazing corners of this archipelago and allowing them to remind me of all the reason’s it is so important to make art.

Here’s some links to their respective website’s, all well worth checking out!

Cat Lauigan – http://catherinelauigan.com
Matt Brownell – http://mattbrownell.net
Cat + Matt Collectively – http://bodyworkbodywork.com
annah Eaton – http://www.myriadeditions.com/creator/hannah-eaton/
Patti Lean – http://pattilean.co.uk
Sif Ankergård – http://sif.nkergaard.dk

The works I make here in Korpo will sit alongside pieces I have made as a reaction to my home of Shetland. I am delighted that this collection of works will then be exhibited in a solo show opening mid January at Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland. Stay tuned for some more details closer to the time!

For now though I will leave you with a short time-lapse video from just the other morning. I awoke to a surreal fog engulfing the archipelago, quickly grabbed my camera, and rushed to the shore (still in my pyjamas). I enjoyed watching the ferry drifting in and out of sight, a surreal morning I hope to never forget.

One thought on “ Learning from the Archipelago ”

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