Saari Residence


Saari Residence welcomed NAARCA for 2024 Saari Well 

Saari Residence hosted members of the Nordic Alliance of Artists’ Residencies on Climate Action (NAARCA) network for a week-long symposium involving internal programme evaluation, planning, and a presentation of the Alliance’s activities to the Finnish Artist Residency Network (FAIRE) and the Nordic-Baltic Residency Forum.

“The NAARCA network meeting with other residency networks highlighted the importance of sharing, learning and supporting each other in these times of change and uncertainty. We need collegial networks to be wise and express care and solidarity. I am so glad that we had the opportunity to host our NAARCA colleagues in Saari and had enough time to delve deeper into important issues around the climate crisis.” said Leena Kela, residency director, Saari Residence.

In addition to representatives from each of the residencies, those who took part include NAARCA commissioned artists Nikhil Vettukattil and Rikke Luther, Pedagogy Toolkit designer Maraid Mcewan, eco-coordinator Jaana Eskola and Testing Grounds podcast producer Katie Revell.

Where possible some of the attendees travelled to Finland by land and sea. This provided a reflective start to our meetings – the second physical meeting in the three-year collaboration. During the Saari Well we shared and evaluated the outcomes of the collaboration (such as writing commissions, podcast, toolkits) and launched the online exhibition of art commissions, which had been led by colleagues from Art Hub Copenhagen and Baltic Arts Centre. We agreed that there are many areas of our work as a collective that require more time and support. The next phase for NAARCA will focus on distributing the commissions and toolkits within our networks and looking at ways of supporting our residency programmes to continue to collaborate on research, institutional change and public education around climate action.

“The week at Saari has been a fantastic experience, finally coming together in person to share experiences, thoughts, concerns, ideas, outcomes and discuss how we see the next phase. For Artica Svalbard the NAARCA project has helped to place climate conversations and practical actions at the forefront of our work. The community we have built together has been one of support during the difficult conversations about residencies and sustainability. I feel very proud of the work we have done and excited for the future.” said Charlotte Hetherington, director Artica Svalbard.

A bonus episode of Testing Grounds was recorded during the Saari Well with podcast producer Katie Revell. Further details about this will be available soon.