The 2018 Harvest Party got off to a magnificent start with the publication of the book Saari näkyvissä! 10 Years of the Saari Residence’s Artist and Researcher Residence. Saari näkyvissä! (or in English, Saari ahoy!) consists of essays, interviews and other texts that open fascinating insights into the activities of the Saari Residence and artists’ work there. The book has been edited by Veera Schrey and Silja Pasila.
The ten-year history of the residence holds many, many stories. Veera Schrey describes the planning stages of the book as follows: “In the material collected, many of the residence guests praise the peaceful working environment surrounded by nature, the birds that congregate in the bay in the autumn, the black cows that graze by the shore, the starry sky and the deep darkness of the night. Many of them talk about the freedom to create art and research without profit responsibility or pressure. Equally, the residence guests told stories about making new friends, having new ideas and sharing their thoughts. They talked about their spontaneously created art projects and evening gatherings. And food. They reminisce about Christmas meals, Shrove Tuesday buns and salmon. There were times when it left me scratching my head, unsure of where to start. How do we fit all this inside book-covers, clearly, beautifully, logically, black on white?”
There was so much material of all kinds to use in it that creating a coherent work seemed like a challenge at first. But bit by bit, the parts began to form a picture in Schrey and Pasila’s minds and the thematic chapters of the book began to take shape: the Spirit of the Place, Peace to Work and the Well. The spirit of the place refers to the beauty, nature and history that the Saari Residence emanates, as well as its atmosphere which inspires creativity. At the same time, the residence frees you from the hustle and bustle of the everyday and gives you peace to work: it offers you time and the peace to focus. And finally the well refers to the opportunities the residence offers for artists and researchers to meet – in the same way that villagers used to gather at the well. Together the Spirit of the Place, the Peace to Work and the Well make the Saari Residence a very special place.
The book was created for the purpose of describing the activities of the Saari Residence using many voices, in words and images. The Saari ahoy! is the result of wide collaboration. The publication was implemented in cooperation with the Saari Residence’s staff, alumni, partners and friends. Hanna Nurminen, Taru Elfving, Otso Kautto, Teemu Mäki and Jonimatti Joutsijärvi wrote five essays for the book in which they consider the residence’s activities from different points of view. Hanneriina Moisseinen highlights the nature surrounding the residence and muses on the significance of the animal in her cartoon strip. The foreword is written by the Chair of the Saari Residence Advisory Board, Sirpa Pietikäinen. Adriane Wachholz, Jaakko Niemelä, Katja Syrjä, Aparna Sharma, Kristiina Drews, Kirsti Lehmusto, Visa Knuuttila, Matthew Cowan and Hodhayfa Salih were all interviewed for the book. The book also contains texts written by Gerry Loose, Laura Ukkonen, Anu-Hanna Anttila and Seita Vuorela. The graphic design of the book was done by Patrik Söderlund. Most of the photographs were taken by Otto-Ville Väätäinen. The Saari alumni also provided a huge amount of photographs for the book – thank you for these!
Unfortunately, a great deal of fascinating content had to be left out of the book. (This means that collecting material for the publication to celebrate Saari Residence’s 20th year has begun!) While waiting for the next jubilee book, you can read more about the residence’s ten years of activities on the website Saari Residence 10 years.