“What is begun is already half-completed”

Who are you?

Pirre Naukkarinen, residency coordinator of the Saari Residence.

How did you end up working for Kone Foundation?

I attended a course at the Business Academy at Turku School of Economics and my former supervisor Maria Merikanto, the Head Secretary of the The Regional Art Council of Southwest Finland at the time, recommended me to Hanna Nurminen. Hanna called me after hearing that the course involves an apprenticeship period and suggested that I take up an apprenticeship position at the Saari Residence. The apprenticeship turned into a permanent position. This spring, I will have spent eight years as part of Kone Foundation and the Saari Residence.

What do you do at the Foundation?

As the activities at the Saari Residence have developed, my work tasks have changed over the years. I am currently responsible for practicalities concerning the call for the Saari Residence residency applications, as well as tasks related to its operation, communications and administration.

What’s the best part of your work?

The Saari Residence is an incredibly beautiful environment to work in and has something new to offer every day. The best part of my work is its versatility, as well as meeting incredibly lovely and interesting, intelligent and creative people from across the world. No day at work, or visiting group, is like another. One day I may be writing up information material or attending meetings, and on the next I might be involved in organising an interesting art-related event. On one occasion, I even left in the middle of a meeting to herd some sheep that had escaped, while other staff members were taking a day off. (Luckily, the sheep were glad to collaborate and could be returned to their pasture with little effort.)

And what’s the most challenging thing?

The flip side to this versatility involves having to combine different tasks into a single, well-functioning whole, which includes challenges of its own.

If you could be given one super power, what would it be and why?

Teleportation, and I’d prefer it to be of the kind where it’s possible to co-exist in two locations simultaneously. Sometimes, it would just be useful if I could be in at least two places at the same time.


Pirre Naukkarinen, 44, is the residency coordinator of the Saari Residence’s artist and researcher residency programme. In terms of education, Pirre holds a Master’s degree in philosophy (art research).

Pirre’s family includes her husband and their six-year-old son, Ilmari. The pack also includes Kapu and Tenho, two (supposedly) elderly male dogs, both of which are Pumis by breed. Additionally, five landrace chickens from Tyrnävä live in the courtyard, led by Iivari the rooster.

Pirre’s hobbies include maintaining and renovating their 87-year-old house, outdoor activities with their dogs, and looking after the chickens and garden. Her current plans include building a new raised-bed garden, in order to salvage their old vegetable garden. Pirre also does her best to attend Pilates sessions and visit the gym, when her schedule permits.

Motto: What’s begun is already half-finished.