Together virtually and across sectors

From January to February 2021, the Saari Residence will be home to six artists and a researcher who represent different perspectives from different parts of the world. The people working at the Saari Residence are visual artist Elina Juopperi, soprano Meeri Pulakka, visual artist Harriina Räinä and researcher Karoliina Sjö. The artists working from home are Swedish writer, musician and artist Leif Holmstrand and Kenyan musicians BoiBlacc and KiliHippie.

During his home residency, Kenyan producer and recording artist BoiBlacc focuses on observing himself in order to develop his work. BoiBlacc and producer KiliHippie are working on new material as continuation for the debut album The Blacc Circle, which was released in 2020. In his songs, BoiBlacc uses a unique combination of English and the Kenyan creole known as Sheng to tell stories of struggle and hope.

At his home residence, the artist and producer of hip hop music, KiliHippie (Kenya), is working on The Blacc Canvas album with his work partner BoiBlacc. The Blacc Canvas is a follow-up to the album The Blacc Circle, which is available on all streaming apps. KiliHippie describes himself as an alien in his own right who makes music that fits seamlessly into our digital age and is inspired by the golden age of hip hop.

Artist, writer and musician Leif Holmstrand (Sweden) is spending his home residency writing his fourth novel, which deals with secular magic, queers and partially psychotic shamanistic rituals/games/objects. The novel also examines prostitution and stories about friendships that have come to an end, as well as alternative family structures. During his residency, he is also working on various art objects (sculptures, images, paraphernalia for rituals), text-sound compositions and short films.

Visual artist Elina Juopperi presents herself as an artist from Northern Finland and considers herself a maker of documentary work that deals with nature, culture and world news. At the Saari Residence, she works mainly by drawing and uses the flood of images provided by the Internet as her source material, especially landscapes, satellite images and map programs. Her goal is to highlight the open questions and pain points humans imprint on the landscape, nature or society.

During her residency, soprano Meeri Pulakka is working on a solo soprano concert programme consisting of contemporary compositions. She is currently particularly interested in implementing a solo performance and exploring the instrumental possibilities of sound. The concert programme she is working on will combine sound and movement into a comprehensive performance.

Visual artist Harriina Räinä is spending her residency working on her artistic research project The Other as Matter using woodblock printing, sculpture and text. Through the medium of woodblock printing, Räinä’s project examines the ethics of making art and human beings’ connection with non-human animals on a larger scale. She also 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.

During her residency in Saari, PhD student Karoliina Sjö (cultural history, University of Turku) is focusing on writing her doctoral thesis, which explores the writing of diaries and the way Kirsti Teräsvuori composed a story about herself, her life and experiences in the diaries she wrote at the beginning of the 20th century. She is working on her doctoral thesis with the help of a grant from Kone Foundation.