Residency artists and researchers

Painting, drawing, printmaking

Harriina Räinä

Visual artist

Kuva: Jussi Virkkumaa

At Saari Residence, I will work on my artistic research project “The Other as Matter” using woodblock printing, sculpture and text. Through the medium of woodblock printing, my project examines the ethics of making art and human beings’ connection with non-human animals on a larger scale.

“The Other as Matter” reflects on the role matter of animal origin plays in the process and end result of woodblock printing from the point of view of animal studies, ecocriticism and ethics. Developed in Japan, woodblock printing is a non-toxic and ecological method of graphic arts that has recently grown in popularity in western countries. The technique contains an exceptional amount of matter of animal origin: brushes made from horse, goat and deer hair, pigment ground from oyster shells and glue boiled from deer bones and cow skin, etc.

At the residence, I will immerse myself in the essence of the materials used in woodblock printing, make wooden printing blocks and explore the possibility of reducing matter of animal origin. In addition, I will read literature on animal ethics and research relating to it and prepare an academic paper that I will present at the International Mokuhanga Sumi-Fusion Conference in Nara, Japan, in December 2021.


I am a visual artist based in Helsinki. My interests lie in physicality, the event of observation and the animal issue, i.e. humans’ relationship with and attitudes towards non-human animals. My work typically focuses on combining various media, such as moving images, printed art and sculpture, into a spatial whole. I studied in the graphic arts programme and graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts (2019) and a bachelor degree in fine arts (2017) from the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki.