• Finland
  • +358 (0)50 4625 675

ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland

artist-in-residence 2010-2011


  • artist-in-residence index
  • artist-in-residence 2010-2011

  • As a recent graduate artist who specialises in sculpture and with a deep ethnographic interest in vernacular dwellings and social geography, Saksala seems the ideal place to push my practice, challenge its philosophy and develop practical skills in different mediums. After a childhood trip to Oslo, Norway, the Scandinavian way of life has always fascinated me as much as the geography of the northern most regions, in Finland especially, where the vast unknown provokes romantic visions and the urge to explore seemingly unmapped territories.

    I have chosen Saksala because of this fascination with Finland. The cultural heritage of each community, the mysterious wilderness of uninhabited terrain, the swamplands and marshes, the Scandinavian architecture and the breathtaking spectacle of the northern lights. I would expect to learn about the Haukivuori community, research local traditions and costume, pick up skills and practice handicrafts of the Finnish craftsmen. My time at the centre would allow for development within my practice and produce work at a professional level. I will be compiling a portfolio of strong pieces for an MA application so will be fully focused on realising my project.

    With regards to my project plan at Saksala, I would approach work at the art centre with an open mind, a plan in place but one that is flexible to change depending on my experiences. I would have recently completed a residency at the Babayan Culture House, Turkey, where the history of the land, valued tradition in Turkish crafts and dwelling styles would have driven my practice to imagine narratives or stories, told through the creation of objects of make-believe ethnography; combining the political and the mythical values of that place.

    I would do the same during my residency at Saksala, creating a story through research of the local heritage and landscape, trips to Finnish ethnographic museums and landmarks such as the Arctic circle. I will produce a body of drawings and paintings as visual records of my experience which will translate into imaginary narratives. These imaginary landscapes created from experience and memory of Cappadocia and Haukivuori, will conclude in crafted objects and sculpture. I would hope to exhibit these as a story in the art centre at the end of my stay.

    As previously mentioned, I would like to meet local crafts people or be educated on traditional Finnish craft techniques. I am keen to explore the landscape around Haukivuori, with excursions to Helsinki ( for research on contemporary Finnish art) and the Northern parts of Finland, the Arctic Circle.

    The art centre at Saksala will act as an important harness to cultivate the essential roles in my practice of culture, politics and the environment which I have struggled to achieve after finishing at my previous art institution back in my home country. My practice thrives off a sense of adventure and having the curiosity for knowledge of other cultures. I believe my time here would break borders within my own work and between Finland, Turkey and my homeland of England.

    Details of pieces for
    A Game of One Hundred Worries, 2010
    (Beech, Earthenware, Glaze, Resin, Varnish, Cloth, Gold leaf and a Book)
    (Chess Set)

    If Noah was a Somali fisherman this would be his Herd, 2009

    (C-type print on Fine Art Paper)

    The Suit Case of Disastrous Objects, 2009

    (Tornado, Tsunami, Lightening Bolt, Meteorite and Iceberg) Mixed Media


    The time I played on pirate territory I met a Somali fisherman


    (Reclaimed wood, gold tin and oil drum)


    Play a xylophone skirt, dress as a black hole, dance like a sufi ghost, 2009

    (xylophone keys, felt, linen, wood and braces)


    Visit also the website of Louise Emily Thomas.

    Copyright images Louise Emily Thomas

    Arts Council Finland
    AllaprimA foundation the Netherlands
    AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry

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

    art links
    also visit
    AllaprimA | AREFS | 14square | Marja de Jong | ArtRadius | Lucien den Arend | St Ives Net / Selected Art

    ©2004-2011 Saksala ArtRadius
    art works©artists concerned
    site design by DutchDeltaDesign
    in cooperation with Lucien den Arend