Residency guests 2009

Maija Hirvanen

Maija Hirvanen
BA in interdisciplinary arts
Follow-up work for a choreography series and writing of presentation texts

Artist, dancer and performance producer Maija Hirvanen has been active in the art world since the late 1990s.

In her work the body is always treated as an entity created through the amalgamation of differing perspectives. Humans are simultaneously social, aesthetic, experiential, political and linguistic, among other things.

Maija used her stay at the Saari Residence to produce her latest solo choreographed piece On Ice, and also worked on presentation texts. On Ice premiered in the Zodiak Centre for modern dance in Helsinki on 2 June 2009.

For more information on On Ice and other work by Maija Hirvanen, see

Maija Hirvanen worked at the Saari Residence during January 2009.

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Henni Alftan

Henni Alftan_kuva_Nina Rantala

Artist and sculptor
Production of a sculpture series

Henni Alftan (born 1979) is a Finnish artist based in Paris. She has lived in France since 1998 and done all of the art studies there.

The stay at the Saari Residence gave Alftan her first-ever opportunity to work in Finland. During her stay she created a multi-piece sculpture installation.

The pieces, plaster casts all created from the same mass, mould together through associations created in the eyes of the viewer.

Henni Alftan worked at the Saari Recidence from January to March 2009.

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Elina Lajunen

Elina Lajunen

Preparation of a solo piece

Elina Lajunen (born 1980) is a performer, director, scriptwriter, musician and visual designer who graduated from the Art Academy of Turku in 2004, having specialized in puppet theatre. Her productions include Punahilkka (Little Red Riding Hood) for Dance Theatre Hurjaruuth in 2006, Onnellisin mies maailmassa (The Happiest Man in the World) for Kulttuuritalo’s Alppisali in 2005, and Puupoika (Wooden Boy) for Seurasaari open air museum, 2006–2008.

Elina went to Paris in 2006 to study at the Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq, and graduated from there in 2008.

Achieving a unified effect in her works is particularly important to Lajunen. Every component of the pieces – the music, the images and the movements – contributes to the creation and reinforcement of a singular idea.

During her time at the Saari Residence in the spring of 2009, Elina produced a solo work entitled Fly! You are an angel for heaven’s sake, which received its premiere at the Helsinki modern circus festival on 7 May 2009.

The guiding themes for the piece were jumping, flying, life and death. The piece was inspired by the Wim Wenders film Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987), and by the life and performances of circus artist Lillian Leitzel.

In the Helsinki area, her solo work was presented at the Stoa Cultural Centre in Itäkeskus and at the Forum Box gallery in Ruoholahti, where the presentations took place alongside artist Eeva-Liisa Isomaa’s exhibition Tyttö rannalla (The Girl on the Beach).

Elina Lajunen worked at the Saari Residence from January to March 2009.

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Tiina Lehikoinen

Tiina Lehikoinen Photo: Nina Rantala

MA, Literary art instructor
he writing and illustration of a book of aphorisms entitled Isoympyräkatu

Tiina Lehikoinen (born 1982) has worked as a literary art and writing instructor since 2005.

Her book of aphorisms Sitruunalumilyhtyjä (Lemonsnow Lanterns, ntamo) won the award for the best book of aphorisms published in 2008. She has also published academic writings on spoken word performance, and poems in various journals.

Lehikoinen also wrote and illustrated Käyttölaulelmia paperiveneille ja muille pääjalkaisille (Ditties for a Paper Boat and Other Cephalopods, Miun Kroko 2008) with Maija Lehikoinen.

Tiina worked at the Saari Residence in February and March of 2009.

During her stay she wrote and illustrated her forthcoming book of aphorisms, Iso ympyräkatu (The Big Circular Street). The book concerns themes related to space and landscape.

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Tommi Musturi

Cartoonist Tommi Musturi

Cartoonist, BA in interdisciplinary arts
Completion of a comic book

‘At the Saari Residence I completed the third Toivon kirjat album, called Uni Toivosta (A Dream of Hope), and did some preliminary work for the fourth book in the series.

I also collected and photographed material for the second instalment in my Samuel book series, to be called Pikku-Samuel (Little Samuel). This is a picture book for children and adults, about Samuel’s day trip into microscopic worlds. The microworlds offer a glimpse of the natural environment around the Saari Residence’.

Tommi Musturi worked at the Saari Residence from February to March 2009.

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Lars Wingård

Lars Wingård

BA of performing arts
Screenplay for a children’s play, to be called “Goodbye Engineers”

Lars Wingård (b. 1975) graduated from Turku Arts Academy in 2003. Since then he has been working as a scriptwriter, director, producer and puppet theatre actor in 14 different theatre projects, as well as touring to 10 European countries.

Wingård is also educated as a subject teacher, and has been teaching on every level; from kindergarden level to university level.

“In the Saari Residence I had time and peace to really go deep into my new children´s theatre script. I did not finish it, but the peaceful atmosphere at the residency gave me a clearer emotional contact to the material.
The people at the Saari Residency also organized a Finnish premiere for my new solo show; Doktor Heartless.”

Lars Wingård worked at the Saari Residence from February to March 2009.

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Eeva-Kaarina Aronen

Eeva-Kaarina Aronen Photo: Heini Lehväslaiho

Writing of a novel

Eeva-Kaarina Aronen (born 1948) worked as a journalist on the monthly supplement of the largest-selling national newspaper the Helsingin Sanomat until 2008.

She has published two books. Her first novel was Maria Renforsin totuus (The Truth of Maria Renfors, Teos 2005) was published in German in 2007 as Die Lachsfischerin (The Salmon Fisher). Aronen’s second novel, Hän joka näkee (He who Sees, Teos 2007) was also published by Lübbe in German in 2008 as Die Sommer vor meinem Hause (Summertime in Front of my House).

Her third novel is due out in autumn 2010.

‘While at the Saari Residence I did preparatory writing and research for my next book, and sketched out some of its events and characters’.

Eeva-Kaarina Aronen worked at the Saari Residence from April to May 2009.

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Jeanne Hoffman

Jeanne Hoffman

MA Visual Arts
Drawing near: exploring lived landscapes through an expanded view of drawing to develop constellations of objects from local materials

“What will happen if I go to stay in the Finnish countryside and take only a crochet needle, circular knitting needles, a blue marker, paper and one chisel?

I draw, walk, knit, eat lingonberries and smoked salmon with hard dark rye bread that exercises the jaw muscles. Make sauna; draw; crochet. I learn to use kiitos, hyvaa and no nii in every conversation; I practice counting and naming the days of the week in Finnish. It becomes a mantra. Maanantai, Lauantai, Keskivikko… and so the weeks pass. I read the Kalevala because it is the anniversary of this epic creation myth. I use what is as hand – the language, myth and wood from the sauna´s store. It is birch. It smells wonderful when I cut into it. I draw every day, with the blue marker and the chisel. The drawn lines become a narrative. The drawings become a stages – they enact moments from my time here.” (

Jeanne Hoffman (b.1978) is a Cape Town based artist who works mostly in the media of drawing, lithography and installation. Her work fuses the conceptual and formal concerns of drawing with found materials in three-dimensional constructions.

The theme of her work centers around drawing’s capacity as a cultural repository, which assert the individual’s presence in contemporary urban spaces. The interplay between the personal and the social, in her installations underscores her interest in collaborative arts projects in the fields of education and interdisciplinary research.

Hoffman has worked in the field of arts education, in various capacities, for the last eight years. These include teaching at secondary and tertiary level, as well as co-ordinating and facilitating various environmental education community projects. Hoffman has recently completed a MA degree in Visual Arts (Drawing near: inscribing urban spaces) at the University of Stellenbosch, near Cape Town, where she was employed as lecturer from 2006 until 2008.

Hoffman has participated in a number of two-person and group exhibitions in South Africa and internationally. She has had two solo exhibitions in Cape Town. To date, she has attended three artists’ residencies in Belgium and two in Finland (Raumars and the Saari Residence). She is currently a full-time artist.

Jeanne Hoffman worked at the Saari Residence from April to May 2009.

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Julija Potrč

Julija Potrč Photo: Nina Rantala

Translation of Pirkko Saisio’s novel “Punainen erokirja” (The Red Divorce Book) into Slovenian

Julija Potrč (born 1979) completed her Slovenian-language translation of Pirkko Saisio’s Punainen erokirja (The Red Divorce Book) at the Saari Residence. The book will be published in Slovenia during 2009.

During her stay she also wrote a sizeable part of her licentiate thesis, the theme of which is the novels of William Faulkner in Slovenian translation.

Julija’s next translation project is Petri Tamminen’s short story collections Piiloutujan maa (The Hider’s Country) and Miehen ikävä (A Man’s Longing).

Julija Potrč worked at the Saari Residence from April to May 2009.

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Hanne Romppanen

Hanne Romppainen

Preparation of an art exhibition and an art book

During her residence stay Hannele Romppanen worked on her exhibition BEING BESIDE and put the finishing touches to an art book to be titled 51 hetkeä, 29 omakuvaa.

‘During my month-long stay at the Saari Residence I photographed the elderly people in the nearby Häävuori ja Koivulehto residential homes for my next exhibition. The theme of the exhibition is the shared life of elderly people and others in sheltered accommodation. The exhibition opens at Hippolyte Photographic Gallery in Helsinki on 13 August 2009. On the same day my book 51 hetkeä, 29 omakuvaa (51 Moments, 29 Self-portraits) will be published also. It’s a collection of my camera obscura photos and drawings by my sister Maritta Romppanen, who passed away recently.

The pictures and drawings are from the period when Maritta was succumbing to cancer. We spent our days together at home, in various hospital units and finally at the hospice. Over that period of nine months, my sister never stopped doing portraits of herself and the people around her. I documented that time with my veiled chamber camera.

In addition to the exhibition and the book I began work on a new project, Tapettitanssi (Wallpaper Dance) while at the Saari Residence. It is a series of self-portraits done on the beautiful wallpapers I found at the Saari Residence, and it is my entry for the South-West Finland Hospital District’s Art in the Hospital competition.

Hanne Romppanen worked at the Saari Residence in the spring of 2009.

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Maija Hoisko and the workgroup

Maija Hoisko ja tyoryhma

Production and rehearsal of a dance work.

Choreographer Maija Hoisko (born 1975) is a versatile dancer from Salo who he presented her first works, Ansa (Trap) and Soolo Ursula O:lle (A Solo for Ursula O) in 1999. Her work combines a strong presence with clearly expressed ideas and a demanding physicality. They often constitute exchanges between various traditions in dance, while also drawing in diverse elements from popular culture. Her most recent work is a solo piece for dancer Satu Tuittila entitled Lulla (Singing Lullabies).

Hoisko and her workgroup spent two weeks in June 2009 at the Saari Residence, working on a piece called Ei puolikasta (No Halves) to be premiered in 2010. During their stay they developed movements and imagery for the piece. Along with Maija Hoisko herself, the workgroup staying at the Saari Residence included dancer Kalle Suominen, director Tarja Saikkonen and artist Kalle Hoisko.

Maija Hoisko and the workgroup worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Dialogue Cities workgroup

Dialogue Cities Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Collaboration between members of Dialogue Cities workgroup

Dialogue Cities is an urban art project that brings together artists from Cologne and Turku.

During their time at the Saari Residence, the workgroup planned their exchange exhibition to be held in the two cities in 2011–2012. They compiled an action plan, met prospective partners for the project and introduced their German members to the Turku region.

Dialogue Cities workgroup worked at the Saari Recidence in the summer of 2009.

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Maria Nurmela and Pauliina Silvennoinen

Maria Nurmela and Pauliina Silvennoinen Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Preparation of a contemporary dance work called “Life and Death”

Maria Nurmela, dance artist

Maria graduated as a professional dancer from the ballet school of the Finnish National Ballet in 1997 and the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen in 2002, and also completed a Master’s degree in dance teaching from the Department of Dance and Pedagogy of the Theatre Academy Helsinki in 2007.

Since 2002 she has worked freelance for many dance companies, including the Tero Saarinen and Hanna Brotherus companies in Finland, and various projects with Alan Danielsson, Piet Rogie, Malou Airaudo and others in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States.

The most recent independent work by Nurmela was an audio and modern dance performance called Hotel New York, which premiered in 2007. Maria is especially drawn to collective and cross-disciplinary working methods, and also to the possibilities for performers and audience alike presented by out-of-the-ordinary presentation spaces.

Pauliina Silvennoinen, dance artist

Pauliina believes strongly in the potential of art to contribute to achieving more holistic human experiences. Her objective in her work is to produce enriching experiences for both the performers and the audience.

Among those with whom Pauliina has worked are Petri Kekko, Carl Knif, Marianne Rouhiainen and New Yorkers Philippa Kaye, Airelise and David Appel. She has performed with several dancers and musicians in collaborative works, and has curated cross-disciplinary evening performances in New York and the Nordic countries. Her work in New York was supported by a stipend from the American Scandinavian Society.

Pauliina studied dance at the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences, graduating from there in 2005. She has also studied at the Dance Academy of Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and has taken dance classes at various dance studios in New York.

The dance piece Elämää ja kuolemaa (Life and Death) presents two consecutive stories about two different characters. The stories then intertwine to form a dialogical whole from the two separate monologues. During their stay at the Saari Residence, the dancers became immersed in each other’s stories and engaged in each other’s movements. The two weeks produces a truly creative improvisational experience for all involved.

Pauliina Silvennoinen and Maria Nurmela worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.


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Niina Airaksinen and the workgroup

Niina Airaksinen and workgroup Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

A dance piece for three female dancers, entitled SOJIKU

During their stay at the Saari Residence SOJIKU workgroup, comprising choreographer Niina Airaksinen and dancers Jonna Aaltonen, Maria Nurmela and Elsa Heikkilä, created the second part of their Japan-themed dance series. The piece, entitled simply (II) Group work, for three dancers, will be premiered in Turku in spring 2010. The first part of the series, (I) Solo, receives its premiere at the Tanssin Aika (Dance Time) festival in Jyväskylä on 26 September 2009. The third and final part, a video presentation and photo series entitled (III) Tanssia kameralle (Dances for the Camera), will also be premiered in 2010.

Taken together, the three parts of the work will explore the strong contrasts within Japanese culture. Movement is the feature that unifies the harsh beauty of deep-rooted samurais, the sensual delicacy of the geishas, and the precise, geometric mimes of today’s Japanese electronica. In addition to the contrasts, the work explores the high level of significance attached to details in Japanese culture, and the piety of activity.

‘We developed moves, worked on our timing and expression, and added sub-themes to further enrich the continuity of the overall piece.

It was fantastic to leave the rush of the city behind and immerse ourselves in our art in such beautifully tranquil surroundings!’

SOJIKU-workgroup worked at the Saari Residence in summer 2009.

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Quo Vadis

Quo Vadis Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Theatre group
Theatre production

Formed in 1985, Quo Vadis theatre group has earned fame for its original, professional and steadfastly distinctive productions. Quo Vadis was judged to be the leading Finnish cultural export of 2009.

The group tours Finland and the wider world with its very own performing arena, a modern yurt designed and built by poet-carpenter Markku Hoikkala. This synthesis of Asian tradition and Finnish woodworking skill is a piece of art in its own right. As a theatre space, it is focused and does away with the standard spatial divisions of established theatrical traditions.

Quo Vadis’ yurt arrived at the Saari Residence straight from a tour that took in Rostock and Moscow. From the Saari Residence the journey continues on to Madrid, via the Helsinki Festival and Espoo.

The portable and spartan structure of the yurt leaves the group free to concentrate on the content of their productions.

At the Saari Residence, Quo Vadis erected its yurt in a machinery hall. The setting fulfilled the group’s requirements perfectly, as it was roomy enough to accommodate the Quo Vadis Band’s rehearsal area and the tribe’s communal living room as well.

While at the Saari Residence Quo Vadis worked on their programme for the upcoming Helsinki Festival:

Their dance piece Hamlet was refined further, based on the experiences gained in staging it in Rostock.

-Poetics, a piece combining words, music, movement and flesh, was created in its entirety.

-The finishing touches were put to a Swedish-language version of a piece originally titled Pelastetaan Äiti (Save Mother), and the group also rehearsed English and Russian versions of the piece.

The group also did maintenance work on the yurt and planned for the future:

-Preliminary work was started on a play for under-2 year-olds.

-A horse felt craftwork course was organized under the instruction of felt artist Tuula Nikulainen, during which two large horsehair felts were produced for the ceiling of the yurt.

-A recording studio was set up in the yurt and recordings were made of the poetry music rehearsed over the course of the summer.

-Repairs were done to the canvas of the yurt, which was damaged in Moscow.

-Quo Vadis became acquainted with fellow Saari residents the Visual Poetry group, and together the two groups held a poetry evening in Turku. The Quo Vadis Poetry Band presented a half-hour set of its new material.

-Outtakes of Quo Vadis’ production were presented to the Vispo poetry group.

Quo Vadis worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Visual Poetry Workshop Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Visual Poetry Workshop


Visual poetry workgroup

Twenty-four visual poets and other interested parties participated in the visual poetry workshop held at the Saari Residence from 13–26 July 2009. The guest of honour at the workshop was Geof Huth from the United States, indisputably one of the leaders in the field. Other international artists in attendance were Christian Bök from Canada, Eirikur Örn Norðdahl from Iceland, and Nancy Frye Huth from the US.

Finns who took part included the poets Teemu Manninen, Jouni Tossavainen, Henriikka Tavi, Marko Niemi, Mikael Brygger, Kristian Blomberg, J. K. Ihalainen, Satu Kaikkonen, J. P. Sipilä, Outi-Illuusia Parviainen, Jonimatti Joutsijärvi, Olli-Pekka Tennilä, Mari Koski, Leevi Lehto, and Karri Kokko.

The workshop comprised various practical training sessions, and presentations (prepared in advance) on methods and techniques in visual poetry.

Geof Huth’s substantial closing presentation was a detailed examination of the history and expressive possibilities of visual poetry. The personal contacts made during the workshop will also prove very valuable for the future.

Outsiders were not forgotten either. The poets performed at Turku University Theatre on 17 July, and an exhibition of stills from the performance will be on display in Pasila library in Helsinki from 21 August. Visual poetry is also the topic of discussion at international poetics conference to be held at the Kiasma Theatre in Helsinki on 23 August.
In addition, English poet and curator Tony Trehy’s visit also points to the likelihood that the workshop participants can expect even greater international visibility in the future.

PS. Geof Huth’s daily blogs on the proceedings of the workshop can be read from here.

Vispo worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Pauliina Hulkko and the workgroup

Pauliina Hulkko and workgroup

Preparation of a dance performance entitled “Pavlova’s Experiment”

At the Saari Residence, director Pauliina Hulkko and her workgroup – dancer Veli Lehtovaara, musician Jone Takamäki, sound designer Mia Erlin, and lighting designer Liisa Kyrönseppä – rehearsed a dance piece provisionally titled Pavlovan koe (Pavlova’s Experiment).

The workgroup explores different ways to articulate and embody what music and motion produces in the observations and perceptions of each individual person. The starting points for the piece are the concept of choreophony, the artful design and balance of sound; Anna Pavolva’s historical dance persona; and deeply meditative music played on the Japanese hochiku and shakuhachi flutes.

Pauliina Hulkko and the workgroup worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Rosetta translators' group

Rosetta Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Translators’ workshop

The nine members of the Rosetta translators’ group share a common ambition for improving the quality of literary translation into Finnish. The group has been meeting since 2003 to discuss its members’’translations, and the workshop at the Saari Residence made it possible to concentrate on this for a full week. The participants at the Residence were Rosetta leader, Artist Professor Kersti Juva, Professor Emerita of Finnish Auli Hakulinen, translators Helene Bützow, Kristiina Drews, Kristiina Rikman, Kaijamari Sivill and Anna-Maija Viitanen, as well as translators and editors Alice Martin and Vappu Orlov.

Books influenced by Rosetta discussions since 2003 include the already published Finnish translations of Ursula Le Guin’s Lavinia (Rikman), Albert Cohen’s Belle du seigneur(Viitanen), Ann-Marie MacDonald’s The Way the Crow Flies (Sivill), and Juva’s translations of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor and Much Ado about Nothing. At the Saari workshop, focus was on work in progress, each translation with a named opponent to lead the discussion.

Rosetta translators’ group worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Kissansulka workgroup

Kissansulka workgroup Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Russian children’s literature translation workshop

During our time at the Saari Residence we organized discussion sessions about Finnish and Russian children’s literature and about children’s literature in general.

The writers and translators worked together in the workshop on translations of prose and poetry by the writers present.

The translations we produced are intended for the Kissansulka (Cat’s Plume) festival to be held in Mynämäki in 2010, at which the Russian writers in the group will be holding workshops for children. The Russian translators translated Finnish-language children’s comic books for the upcoming Boomfest comic book festival to be held in St. Petersburg.”


Mihail Jasnov, children’s poet, translator
Sergei Mahotin, children’s author, journalist
Stas Vostokov, children’s author, illustrator
Reetta Niemelä, children’s author
Anna Sidorova, translator
Silvia Parsadanjan, translator
Teemu Kaskinen, author, translator
Anneli Ahonen, translator, journalist
Jenniliisa Salminen, researcher, translator
Miro Turunen, translator

Kissansulka workgroup worked at the Saari Residence in the summer of 2009.

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Minna Heikinaho

Minna Heikinaho Saa Sanoa

Visual artist
Artistic work and research

My artistic career in 1994 with Ilmainen aamiainen (A Free Breakfast), in Hakaniemi in Helsinki. The work consisted of an open space with a table, around which various encounters developed. In that work I wanted to get close to people, to examine some of the intricacies of everyday life, to see them as being equals despite disparities in social origins and age.

I followed that with Push firma beige, an “action space” in Kallio that was active from 1996-2001. This was an experimental combination of teaching, exhibition and working space in an urban milieu. My own roles there included ranged from participant to chief organizer, taking in everything inbetween. The Push firma beige project brought a whole new sort of co-operative to the Kallio area: it was simultaneously a school, a kindergarten, a forum for various minorities and for individual and group artists. It brought people together in Helsinki, and demonstrated different ways of doing things, different ways of being part of and working with the surrounding community in constructive dialogue.

At the Saari Residence I will be continuing my artistic research by examining the unfinished and open-ended nature of the Push firma beige project. I want to explore how and in what ways I can convey pictorially the fluid meanings and significances of other persons, places, and roles in a changing urban environment.

During my stay I will also finish work on Saatan sanoa (I may say), the last in a trilogy of plays. This final play deals with old age, with life that has been lived. Taken together, the trilogy forms a chronological depiction of different phases of life. The works form part of my postgraduate studies at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, which I began in 2008”.

Minna Heikinaho worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Annika Idström

Author Annika Idström Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Work on a novel

Annika Idström (1947–2011), from Helsinki, wrote five novels. Three of these – Isäni rakkaani, Veljeni Sebastian, and Kirjeitä Trinidadiin – have already been translated into several languages.

“Many years ago I studied cinema at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The intention was to become a screenwriter, but that plans changed on completion of my first novel in 1981. I’ve been working as a freelance writer ever since. It has already been some time since the publication of my first novel. I haven’t stopped writing though. I have a number of novels in progress, and it is one of these that I worked on while at Saari Residence.

During these “silent years” I’ve been doing many other things too. I’ve supervised other writers, worked as a dramaturge, and translated Marguerite Duras’ slim, but otherwise very substantial book on writing.

Perhaps I should mention also that I have been nominated twice for the Finlandia Prize, if that’s any indicator of literary merit!”

Annika’s obituary in Helsingin Sanomat Sept 20th 2011.

Annika Idström worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Jonimatti Joutsijärvi

Jonimatti Joutsijärvi Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Work on a poetry collection

I live in Turku, and study cultural studies and work as a poet and critic. My debut collection Tule on minun nimeni was published in November 2007, and I have also published literary criticism in the Finnish periodicals Parnasso and Tuli&Savu.

I’m currently working on two projects, one of which will be a poetry collection, and the other a collection of essays on art and other themes that are just too difficult to resist tackling.

It’s very likely that during my forthcoming stay at Saari Residence some texts will also see the light of day which will not fit within either of those projects”.

Jonimatti Joutsijärvi worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Karri Kokko

Karri Kokko Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Poet, journalist
Completion of a poetry collection

Karri Kokko (born 1955) has published 11 books, the most recent being Sillat voitetaan kulkemalla (2009) and Töllötin (2009).

In addition to writing his own poetry, Kokko is also the poetry for the Finnish-language literature journal Parnasso.

During his time at the Saari Residence he plans to concentrate on his next poetry collection, and in the process discover the poetic potential of writing with an old-fashioned typewriter.

Karri Kokko worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Tea Mäkipää

Tea Mäkipää Link

MA Visual Arts
Artistic work

Tea Mäkipää, originally from Lahti, received a BA at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1997, and a MA from the Royal College of Art in London in 2003. She has had shared and individual exhibitions in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the Middle East.

“People as a part of nature, against nature, dependent on nature, observing themselves, and observing other animals. Man as a changeable and as a world-changing animal. Humanity defined through technology.

In my new work Link I explore these themes and search for limits by which we define our position of privilege amongst the species.

Where is the borderline between human and animal nature? Will evolution also bring us back to the “state of nature”, or will our nostalgia for our lost animality remain unfulfilled?”

Tea Mäkipää worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Tommi Parkko

Poet Tommi Parkko Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Author, poet
Completion of a poetry collection

Tommi Parkko (born 1969) is a poet and cultural activist from Turku. He has published two poetry collections as sole author, and has co-authored one collection. The latter of these, entitled Vanhat laulut Nimettömät eläimet, was written with Markus Jääskeläinen and published in 1994. Parkko’s first collection Lyhyt muisti, meri was published by Tammi in 1997. The follow-up, Sileäksi puhuttu, was published in 2004, also by Tammi. At the moment Parkko is working on his third collection.

In addition to his own writing, Parkko has long been active in establishing writer’s associations and in organizing literary events. Most notable amongst the organizations which Parkko has been involved in founding is the Nihil Interit poet’s community in 1993, and the main events he has to his credit are South-West Finland Poetry Week in 2001, and Paimio National Aphorism Days in 2004. Parkko acted as literary advisor to the council of South-West Finland’s standing committee on the arts from 2001-2004. Since 2005 he has been a member of Turku council’s standing committee on culture.

“The poetry collection which I have underway at the moment is concentrated fare, and will be about 35 pages long. It will be a rather eclectic amalgamation of Finno-Ugric mythology, mathematics, ornithology, theology, history and depictions of local places. Of course, earlier poetry and old and modern classics have also made their mark on this collection in one way or another”.

Tommi Parkko worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Satu Rekola

Satu Rekola and Ulla Koivisto Photo: Nina Rantala

MA Dance
Preparation of a solo dance performance entitled “In the Room Helsinki” with Ulla Koivisto

Ulla Koivisto trained under John Cage, Merce Cunninghamin and Robert Rauchenberg at the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in New York, 1974–1978.

“After my studies I returned to Finland and have worked as a freelance choreographer for over three decades. I still use the Alexander technique I learned in New York, and at the Saari Residence we gathered together in the dance studio a couple of times a week to relax and become accustomed to the energy produced by our own bodies. The artists named themselves my secret dance group. Jonimatti Joutsijärvi, Satu and I developed an extremely fruitful cross-disciplinary working relationship at Saari Residence.

Satu Rekola has worked as a dancer with various choreographers, and has steadily worked her way to her present position at the forefront of modern dance, both nationally and internationally.

Satu is always ready to experiment, and so our collaboration in the dance studio was very productive. Satu would dance for an hour or so while Jonimatti wrote up the script. They also danced and rehearsed various moves in different areas throughout the Residence, including with Mineo Kuroda’s Wa stone statue and elsewhere in the yard.

In the dance studio we worked on Australian choreographer Russell Dumas’ material. In the room, from Dumas’ international project Dance for the Time Being, is a solo dance piece that has offered a challenge to dancers in Australia, the United States, and now to us in Finland.

It feels wonderful to look back on how energizing our collaboration was. We keep in touch still and continue to inspire each other. Overall the cross-disciplinary experience has been enormously invigorating”.

Satu Rekola worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Miia Toivio

Miia Toivio Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Working on a poetry collection

Miia Toivio (born 1974) is a Helsinki-based poet and literary art director. Her debut poetry collection Loistaen olet (Glowing, you are), published in 2007, was nominated for the Helsingin Sanomat’s literature prize.

Toivio has been part of the Nihil Interit poet’s collective, amongst other activities organizing poetry events and working as editor-in-chief for Tuli&Savua (Fire&Smoke) poetry journal. She presently works as one of the voluntary copy editors for the poEsia poetry series.

During her Saari Residence stay Miia will work on her second collection, do some exploring of the seabed and forests, collect blueberries and seek local guidance in mushroom picking.

“During my stay at Saari I wrote poetry for my next collection, and I got a rough outline of a manuscript sketched out. It was a pleasure to work in such a peaceful and inspiring environment.”

Miia Toivio worked at the Saari Residence in September and October of 2009.

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Petri Anttonen

Petri Anttonen

Doctor of Arts
Artistic work and research

Petri Anttonen (born 1961) is a Helsinki-based photographer and visual culture researcher whose writings have been published in various professional journals. He has combined writing and photography in his extensive studies of the temporality of photography, including in his doctoral dissertation (2005) Ajan kosketus (The Caress of Time). He has also explored three-dimensional images, for example in his 2007 book Stereovalokuvan taika (The Magic of Stereo Photography).

“The union of words and images has always been central to my art research. The visual material and text together produce a cohesive whole. The serenity of the Saari Residence provides the ideal conditions for writing. The pleasant surroundings also provide inspiration for photography. Also, participating as an artist in discussions on photography emphasizes the significance of a work in progress. In previous work I’ve explored the relations between images and the ideas and circumstances underlying them. Now my focus has broadened to take account also of how those underlying elements themselves can be evaluated.

During my stay at the Saari Residence I wrote the background texts for a series of pictures. The starting motivation behind that work was to participate in an ongoing discussion about photography from an artistic perspective. Previously I’ve examined the relations between pictures and their contexts, now I intend to examine also the background influences on art.”

Petri Anttonen worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Jaakko Niemelä

Jaakko Niemelä

Preparation of a solo exhibition

I’m a 50-year-old artist from Helsinki. I create installations using lighting, videos and constructions. At the moment I’m planning three broad exhibitions for 2010, in Århus Artbuilding in Denmark, Jyväskylä Art Museum, and possibly Taidehalliin Helsinki. The latter two exhibitions will partly be joint projects with my wife Helena Hietanen.

All three exhibitions are large-scale, and as always with my work they are planned with the specific location in mind. I have already done quite a lot of work towards them. First in line is the Arhus exhibition, which opens on 2 February 2010. During my stay at the Saari Residence I will put the finishing touches to the pieces for exhibition. At the Residence I will construct a space in the studio for testing and developing the computer animations for the exhibition, which will be projected through the ceiling of the gallery in Arhus.

The central elements of my most recent works include walls, barriers and ceiling constructions, all of which are erected at the exhibition site. I addition to large constructions, my works also employ video projection, lights, sound, fog machines, computer animations and computer-controlled toys and motors.

My works are displayed only once, in the venue they were specifically designed for, after which they’re destroyed. The large size and structural characteristics of the pieces make them very labour-intensive to produce, and they require a great deal of raw materials and specialized equipment’.

The spatial and acoustic characteristics of the pieces comes across best through film. There are videos and photos of many of my works on my website, at

As planned I worked on my exhibition for Århus Artbuilding, held in February 2010. I experimented with video animations in my workroom and prepared miniature models for a forthcoming exhibition. During my the Saari Residence stay I also worked out the general layout of the exhibition, what installations would be going in which space and so on. At Århus three largish rooms are used for the exhibition.

In addition to the above work, I also experimented with illuminating the barn at the Saari Residence from within. I wanted to see how light would come through the roofing structure and affect the surrounding nature. This was an educational experience, and provided inspiration for my net light installation. Myself and photographer Petri Anttonen will document my light experiments, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the pictures will turn out.

Jaakko Niemelä worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Sari Palmgren

Sari Palmgren Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

MA Dance
Artistic work

I am a choreographer and dancer. My most recent solo work was Connective patterns at the Zodiak Center for New Dance in 2008.

Currently I’m working on a solo project to be called Animal motion, which will premiere at the Zodiak Center in April of 2010. I am also working on the script for a dance film entitled Connective patterns. For the project we have been filming the everyday lives of dancers in the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Greece, Estonia and here in Finland. I’m now going through the material we’ve got and we’re about to commence editing with the workgroup.

At Saari I began work on my solo project Animal Motion. I worked daily on the movements and with the source material. During my stay the piece went through many rehearsals, also with the other Saari residents as spectators. Consequently the layout is now good for continuing the development of the project with a workgroup.

In addition I continued work on the manuscript for a dance film to be called Connective Patterns and went through various materials for the piece. I also put to the finishing touches to a previously filmed work called U.N.I. (You and I)”.

Sari Palmgren worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Emma Puikkonen

Author Emma Puikkonen

Author, director
Writing of a novel

‘Nowadays I live in Helsinki, but I also work in Turku. Professionally I have a foot in both cities – I’m a writer in theatre director in one, a playwright and theatre director in the other. I am presently doing planning work for a communal writing medium, which is a joint project between Helsinki City theatre and Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. My earlier works are the novels Turkulainen näytelmä (A Turku Play), published in 2002, and Näköala (Perspective), from 2004.

I currently have two writing projects underway, a novel, which has been in the works for a long while, and a libretto for a children’s opera. Work on the novel now seems to be gaining a new lease of life thanks to the peaceful working environment of Saari Residence. Work on the libretto has been interesting. I have held writing workshops for children in Turku on the theme of the future, and I will incorporate parts of their output into the libretto. The composer of the opera is Markku Klami, and it will be performed in schools in Turku in 2011, as part of the events to mark the city’s status as a European capital of culture that year.

At Saari I produced the first and second drafts of a novel, and held writing workshops in Turku for children, as part of my work on a libretto. From these materials I got the first, rough draft of the libretto worked out during my stay also”.

Emma Puikkonen worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Henriikka Tavi

Henriikka Tavi Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Work on a poetry collection

“Currently I’m working on poetry, and am also writing prose for children. During my stay at the Saari Residence I plan to concentrate mainly on poetry.

In addition to my writing work I’m co-editor of the poetry publication Tuli&Savu. I also work as a professional translator and edit lyric translations. I’m an active member of the Nihil Interit poetry collective. Sometimes it feels like my life is just one big literary circle.

During my two-month stay at the Saari Residence I will have the luxury of being able to concentrate fully on reading and on my writing. While at the Saari Residence I got a large proportion of a poetry collection completed. Thanks to the stay the overall structure of the work has now clarified considerably, and has also grown handsomely in size. The prospects for completing the work are now very promising”.

Henriikka Tavi worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Juhana Vähänen

Juhana Vähänen

Completion of a novel “Säveltäjät”, writing a dialogue “Nilkka”

‘Originally from Jyväskylä, I’m a writer and poet based in Helsinki. I have two poetry collections and a novella to my credit so far. My debut collection Cantorin pölyä was published in 2005, and my second poetry collection Avaa tule was published in 2008. A novella called Kakadu came out in 2007. Since 2003 I have been putting works online, mainly poetry and short prose pieces.

During my stay at the Saari Residence I will finish the manuscript of a novel, and I hope to write some poetry also. In addition to writing I draw and paint practically every day, and I expect my stay at Saari will be no exception’.

Juhana Vähänen worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Stanislav Vostokov

Stas Vostokov

Writer, zoologist, animalist artist
Writing the book with working title “Tales of the Junior naturalist”

“I am Stas Vostokov. I live in Russia in the small village not far from Moscow. I am a children writer and a poet. In Saari I plan to write a book about animals and to make illustrations for it. Also I would like to finish here the musical for the children.”

Stanislav Vostokov worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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Kari Yli-Annala

Kari Yli-Annala Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen

Artist / researcher
Making the videoessay “OLIOIDEN PARLAMENTTI”

‘I’m Kari Yli-Annala (b. 1965), a Helsinki-based artist, researcher, coordinator and instructor/lecturer in experimental moving images.

During my stay at the Saari Residence I will write an English-language article on Finnish avant-garde cinema. I’ll also work on two video projects, a collection of audiovisual aphorisms and a video work entitled Circadian clock (Sirkadinen kello). One of my main projects at the moment is the Nomadic Academy for Experimental Arts (Kokeellisten taiteiden nomadinen akatemia), a teacher’s and artists’ group that will get together for the first time early in 2010’.

Kari Yli-Annala worked at the Saari Residence during November and December 2009.

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