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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland


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    As a contemplative artist I am keen on and interested in specific marks of civilization in different areas. Since I live in Finland (2003) I am extremely involved with the marks of civilization in the rural environment of the place where I live now.
    I aware that my roots are from a different place, the urban area of Rotterdam, and in a way I am an outsider, but not excluded in this community.

    Moving to an unknown place, unknown population and an unknown language has given me an intensive connection with this specific place – Saksalanharju. It has influenced my vision on reality, my relation with culture and history, and the reflection on my own artist work.

    Since 2003 I stay permanently in the isolated place Saksala – now Saksala ArtRadius – which was prepared for fall into disrepair. Through my personal effort and private investments in the last years the place has changed into a remarkable art and cultural center with an interesting international network. Now the former old people’s home on the natural heritage Saksalanharju has become a crossing point and meeting place for local and regional people, artists and youth with visitors from around the world in reality and virtual.

    The unwritten history of the place has attracted me from the beginning and it is an important part of the careful development of new plans. Together with the community the future history has started. This place is interwoven with the people of this region and I am happy and lucky that I can participate.

    My artistic vision is inextricably bound up with my life in Saksala. The view, the omnipresent space, the light, the silence and the subtle connection with the past are components of a great experience for me. The perspective in both directions from my roots to the present vice versa is a source of ongoing discoveries in my artistic work.

    In my art production I constantly work on my vision on Finnish landscape and Finnish light related to my personal background. In the years I am living in Finland my connection with the Nordic color, contrast and atmosphere is developing. Through experiences with forms, color and composition the organic structure gets clearer. I frequently experience with the same forms in different arrangements and colors to undergo the unseen layers of my contemporary environment.

    In series like ‘Finnish Landscape’ and ‘Saksala on the Rock’ I analyze the components of the visual information and rearrange these elements to new compositions in form and color.
    This work will continue in unknown directions and results, and is the reflection of my exploration and to bring these paintings together in a publication.

    Through my attention and effort and in co-operation with the local society it is possible to develop and realize the rural art community Saksalanharju into an example of a sustainable rural society.
    The history, nature, art, culture, agriculture and forestry are sources for innovative development.
    The art and cultural projects are important means to revitalize the rural area as a source for the entire society and for the participation of the youth in the sustainable development of their own future.

    The art center is a significant ambassador for Finnish art and culture, and the attention of international organizations and persons to the rural area of Finland.
    Strengthening the international network has been and is important for the reputation. This has already leaded to a great number of artists and visitors from over 30 countries from all 5 continents. The exchange with Finnish society and artists has showed to be of an incredible meaning for both parties.


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

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

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