Residency artists and researchers

Multidisciplinary art

Miia Kettunen

Visual artist

Photo: Jussi Virkkumaa

At the Saari Residence, I will be working on my project Keskusteluja veden kanssa (Conversations with Water). My communal work combines art and research, and I have carried it out in interaction with the environment of the eutrophicating Lake Kalkiaisjärvi in Eastern Lapland, while encouraging the small community living there to get involved in my project. During my residency, I will work on the structure of a video made from the project’s material. This video is guided by the dialogue between the voices and actions of the community and the images of the water system and the lake environment, documented through the test prints of the water installation. This dialogue is supported by expert opinions. However, rather than focusing on goal-orientation, I consider it more important to be able to tune in to the atmosphere of a way of working that respects incompleteness and natural progression. This kind of an atmosphere is a prerequisite for sensing the dialogic nature of the material. The surface of the water installation, which has been transformed in the lake water, and the lakebed samples that have erupted into brightly coloured images, remind me of the change that has arisen independently and without force, as well as of the autonomy I want to make space for.

I will also delve into literature on environmental concern and related emotions, because the eutrophicating lake is deeply connected to the locals’ personal experiences, and the plummeting state of the lake, resulting from forest drainage, involves emotions from sadness to anxiety. I am interested in asking how I can highlight the way the lake and the inhabitants influence each other. I will reflect on the local significance of this work as an act of activism and, at the same time, as an opportunity to become a participant in the universal dialogue about the environment.


Miia Kettunen is a multidisciplinary visual artist (Master of Arts) whose work is fuelled by perspectives on ecology, a desire to explore the less known or the invisible, and the creation of paths of dialogue with the communities that her work involves. Through her work, she often explores new openings, interrelations and connections – as a result of which her artistic instruments live, develop and transform. Her latest works are built on elements of environmental and bio art, alternative photography methods and media art.

Kettunen is a member of the Artists’ Association MUU, the Cross-art Collective Piste and the Artists’ Association of Lapland.