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ArtRadius Saksala


international artist-in-residence program in rural Finland

AllaprimA MuseuM

MELANIE FITZMAURICE - Headspace/Snowspace
TESSA ANDROUTSOPOULOS - I Still Can See an Outside World

  • opening

  • After a very cold winter with lots of snow it is a pleasure to introduce new art works in the AllaprimA MuseuM in Saksala ArtRadius. Even spring has not arrived the spirit of it has already given its footprint by the art production of two young artists, who have had an artist-in-residence period in the art center.

    The sculptures of Melanie Fitzmaurice are inspired through the environment, culture and traditional techniques which the Australian artist has experienced during her stay in Haukivuori. Local natural material like wool has been used to produce the new sculptures which are in the exhibition.

    The art production of the Finnish Greek artist Tessa Androutsopoulos are intensively related with her exchange with the location.  

    I Still Can See an Outside World

    Tessa Androutsopoulos 2011

    The work I have produced during my residency at Saksala ArtRadius contrasts the isolation I have felt during my stay in Haukivuori and the creativity and energy I feel when I am in a bigger city, close to friends I haven’t made yet, young and beautiful people with whom to talk about art, collaborations that could take place. Some of the pieces in the exhibition, like Covet the nest, for example, are directly about how weak and isolated I have felt during these past months, while others (Some people I met in P.E.C. and the Juha-series) are a result of me pining for all the good, creative times I have had in the past with people I have met during my travels. After the first initial shock caused by this voluntary isolation, I started thinking about how to use rural language to describe urban subject matter. The result, I love you more than squirrels love nuts, uses the visual language of Saksala to talk about the energy and excitement of big cities. However, even though I have been missing my life in the city (any city, not Helsinki, Glasgow, Athens, Toronto or any other specific one, even though those cities do form a reference point, of course) being in Saksala has taught me a valuable lesson; it has shown me who I am and what I need in order to mould my ideas into finished pieces, which is other creative people to bounce ideas off of, metros to leave my zines in, parks to have ex tempore parties in with people I have never met. Sometimes, to get a better view of what you need, it is necessary to step away from it and look at it from a distance.

    The hot air balloons are a metaphor for this idea, getting a better view of my life and the nature of my creativity while looking at it from far away. Also, the choice of mediums used, crochet and felting (in addition to my usual printmaking), describes my stay in Haukivuori perfectly, as I had, local techniques describing a more urban, but at the same time also more personal subject matter.

    I have always been interested in sequences, which is why the majority of the work I have produced during my stay at Saksala ArtRadius has taken the forms of zines, which I intend to leave lying around in public places once back in Helsinki. The idea that one image is not a complete work of art until it is seen in context, has always been a prevalent one in my creative practice. This time, the zines themselves form parts of a whole. The progress of my adjusting to this isolation can be seen from one zine to the next (and within each zine as well, of course, especially Week 10, which is, essentially, a diary).

    Tessa Androutsopoulos

    Visit also the web pages about the artist-in-residence of Tessa Androutsopoulos.


    Melanie Fitzmaurice, 2011

    Upon arriving in Finland I was intrigued to discover the contrast between Haukivuori’s intimate, intense and entirely white landscape, compared to the distant horizon of the dry and familiar surroundings of my home in rural Victoria, Australia.

    Having rarely seen snow settle on the ground in Australia, let alone accumulate, I was overwhelmed by the density of the white-coated surfaces. I am captivated by the way snow creates a ‘visual padding’ for the landscape, disguising forms and reflecting light, often creating a brilliant glare that can distort the way that the immediate environment is perceived.

    During my time at SAKSALA ArtRadius I have investigated new felting processes and produced crocheted, machine-felted sculptures. I am fascinated by the potential of this process when applied to these more complex, three-dimensional forms.

    Headspace/Snowspace comprises three new sculptures that are unified by a predominantly white surface, mimicking the snow-covered environment. My conceptual focus for this residency has been History/Geography/Psychology, where each of the artworks exhibited reflects on one of these words. These sculptures draw on influences taken from my life in Australia, including personal memories and family photographs, combined with influences gained in Finland such as newly discovered felting processes and the physical nature of snow.

    Melanie Fitzmaurice

    Visit also the web pages about the artist-in-residence of Melanie Fitzmaurice.

    To contact Melanie or to see more of her sculptures please visit www.melaniefitzmaurice.com 


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

    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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