maanantai 7. marraskuuta 2016

Back home

Now I have returned home and went back to my work at my grey cube. I am still little bit head in the clouds. I didn’t write about three last days so much.

Tuesday 1.11. Laurent and boys went to science museum at morning to free me to work in the while. I draw a lot and after took some pinhole photos. After lunch Nicola came to take us (me an Aarni as Laurent and Etienne didn’t want) to school in other side of the road. There were little workshops for the decoration of Breaking Bread happening. Workshops seemed very funny as they included splattering paints little bit everywhere. My Aarni anyway didn’t want to participate. He was interested oh playground outside where was climbing tree, little kitchen and wooden car. Inside he preferred plastic sea animals, puzzles and kitchen again. Just in the time we were leaving he might have tried some painting. At school I spoke with one mother, who song me Finnish song: Sympaatti that I had never heard before, but it was totally sympathetic!

Wednesday was the actual Bread Breaking. The happening was in gallery and it had big decorated table with many kinds of bread, around it was again little workshops and paper bags that children have decorated day before for taking bread also to home. Our boys liked the happening but they were too shy to play with other children. Same evening we had our artist talk with Nicola. She came to prepare it with me, and I used every free moment for writing and making my presentation ready. At evening we went to Pot Luck at 1st floor Common Room. I came with my whole family. And there was Nicola, Traë, Elyssa and some other people to share food and listen Nicola’s talk and mine. My talk went well I guess, Laurent said a bit in spontaneous, and Nicola read her writing ” A Woman’s Work is Never Done.” and did joggling with a plate at the same time! There were not much people but it was cosy and I felt good with these people and a bit melancholic as the moment for leave get closer. At night I still worked in dark room.

Thursday we went to museum MOSI again, and its museum shop. And I learned that Bob The Builder (the real on not the horrifying new one) is also from Manchester! What a great city indeed! It was raining in afternoon. I took some pinhole photos and went to museum of Salford. We couldn’t find a post office so our postcards will be send in Finland or given directly to hand. At evening we packed and I went to darkroom for the last time.

torstai 3. marraskuuta 2016

Artist Talk about residency

My process of this residency started over one year ago, as we heard that we have been chosen and as we we wrote to each other with Nicola. I anyway couldn't imagine how it would be to be actually in residency here. I have tried to handle with the subject of being a mother and being artist. I have made my blog about it. I got also new point of view on these questions as I met Helen Sargeant in Tampere, when she was We Are Resident artist there and made an article about her in Tampere art association magazine Täydellinen ympyrä.

Now when I have came her, I have found Islington Mill and We Are Residence -residency very stimulating and hospitable. I feel in this atmosphere that everything could be possible. I have found passion for work again. And there is so much I would like to do. I have met many talented and inspiriting artist and friend too I hope. There is still a lot of thing of the neighborhood what I would like to discover.

But I have also found very difficult to work with children around – which is a kind of good thing I guess because in home it will be more easy I just need to learn to realize it. Here boys depend so much on me. At home they feel cozy and safe and have their own routines and habits but here they are bit lost and they need us parents all of the time. I have tired to use every moment of evening after they sleep and Laurent have tired to take them somewhere to give me some space and also Nicola have helped very much. I have had chance to work a bit, but I keep on wondering, what if I would do this alone, I could skip correct meals and just work all of the time and in the evenings I could be social. Well, it is not the situation now and after all I feel very lucky and privileged to have this chance here now to myself and my family!

I didn't had much preconceptions about place and residency but I have to say that I have many times surprise positively by the beauty of place, friendliness of the people and even by the weather. This experience really is a top! I wish I could stay more long but at same time my son counts days to our coming home. 

Before coming here my plan for the residency was to involve all family to my art project as thinking that we are a group of explorers and we come to unknown world and collect some samples to explain how it is here. That have succeeded more or less, I had one dictation machine for collecting sound samples, that I have not use at all, same with one camera. Laurent have took excellent photos, children have collect some treasures from the sides of the road like I planned but they were not so interested about it. I have been drawing and took photos mainly here are some drawings and some pinhole photos.

My idea is to be present to catch something here the spirit of the place widely. I think if I could continue it at home, as I would like to have exhibition of this experience. It don't feel right, at least not now. These work are important because I have made them here.

Anyway, this residency was an opportunity that I am very thankful and that I will remember for long time. I wish I could come back here some day.

maanantai 31. lokakuuta 2016

I am resident, art-bread and familyday

Yesterday was the day of We Are Resident -happening. We were sleeping at Nicolas home as in Islington Mill was a big Halloween happening. So when we came back I was in hurry to prepare my part. Helen was there and Nicola and I did my own corner and felt shame as my part was not so well prepared and because I haven't made much art at all. And then I prepared bread and all that colors it. Etienne was supposed to come to make breads with me. And we started, we made all kind of nice sandwiches and Etienne was not too shy and neither was I. Lot of people came. A lot of children too. I  didn't catch who was who but I think I made at least one friend. Nicola's performance was hilarious and insightful and Helen's touching, even if the text was familiar to me. Nice happening. At evening I draw a little.

Today we had "family-day". We went to Manchester museum again, as Etienne wanted something from the museum shop and as they wanted to show me the place. We where clever and looked buses before and lucky as it was double-decker bus. After we tried to go to Salford museum, as I forgot it was Monday and it was closed.

 Back at b&b we made some test of cyanotype, but it didn't work and I made some photos with pinhole-camera. They succeeded and I will try more tomorrow. Now I will stop writing and go to draw a little more before I go to sleep. 

lauantai 29. lokakuuta 2016


Crestfallen is a new word for me. That is the mood of today and yesterday. Already at Hedben Bridge boys, and specially older, started to misbehave. He have not wanted leave b&b and when we are there they both have been wild and trying to irritate us parents all of the time. Not all of the time but lot of anyway. 

Yesterday morning came Traë to play with children. She really have skill with them and they really enjoy that. I went to draw and started to make tries of pinhole camera with Elyssa. I really just started but it takes time so I was late for lunch. Laurent have tried to take care of the boys, after Traë have left, and cook same time. Boys have do their best of fiddling and everyone was angry mood when I arrived. We went to buy materials for Sunday's art-bread-workshop and I felt totally power off. At evening I succeed to print some things, so something progress.

Aarni sleeps badly, and wakes up early. Today we cleaned our stuff from rooms and played little outside. After lunch Nicola came to take us to her home. At morning was some good moments when Etienne practiced to write and when we played outside. In the beginning at Nicolas home it went well too and our walk by canals. Walking was so great as everything was so surprising beautiful again. That was a best moment today, and yesterday was the time I had chance to work.
Also I was sad when I looked the plan for rest of the time here, how little time there is left.

Tomorrow we have We Are Resident -happening, I have not much to show. We will anyway do our art-bread-thing. Etienne is waiting for that too.

Here are the models for the art-bread-workshop. Orginally made by three Finnish artist Helinä Hukkataival, Heli Tiainen and Maisa Heiskanen. Pctures on breads based on the works the famous artist like Miró.

Here is mine and Etienne's tries. Based purely on our imagination only.

perjantai 28. lokakuuta 2016

4. and 5. day

Yesterday on Wednesday in the morning boys was playing in the sheds.

I started to do my drawings and get to concentrate seriously on my own work as Nicola was so kind that she took Laurent and boys to look T-Rex bones in museum and I got time just for myself. It is funny how the time is so precious I hardly wanted to eat as I could have draw all that time too. 

Anyway I got to work like I wanted and I could have continued forever, if it could be possible, it was so great. Afternoon Elyssa came to show me some Studios here in Islington Mill if I understood right, ones of Rachel and Maurice, and her own darkroom too. I will try to make some photos, if I have time.

Today we went to Hedben Bridge, where Helen have her studio. 

Boys didn't had their best day they were kind of wild, but after all I think we had a nice day. Aarni had a little accident on our way to railway station. He felt directly in one water place that was in a playground, and of course we didn't had other clothes with us. At evening Nicola came to take me to one exhibition opening.

What I have been thinking:

- How great it is to work!

- If I would be young and without family I would like to stay here! It is so stimulating environment and everything seems to be possible, people are very gentle and hospitable!

- How I like about everything I see.

tiistai 25. lokakuuta 2016

Islington Mill

So here we are in residency finally. It is already day 3, if we count the day we arrived. The place is just sooo great. I can't imagine I am really here!

Back to day one- travelling day. What I can say, It took about all day (including train from Tampere to Helsinki) but everything went well, our boys were great little travelers. Etienne took photos with my phone. He have nice point of view and I like to borrow camera to him for this. Nicola was taking us from the airport. That was a great help after a long day. Out of the window of the car we looked all things that aren't the same that we know. Autumn have just begging here, when in Finland i is the beginning of the winter already. We were like biggest tourists as we were screaming look at this, look as that! And I was happy for the boys and happy for Laurent as I saw them so exited.

Second day: night with many wake ups, thanks to Aarni, and very early wake up at five as boys are still in Finnish time. 

After breakfast we looked the neighborhood. We found playground near and walked little bit around. 

At afternoon came Traë to play with boys. I didn't wait too much of that, as usually my boys are too shy to really participate anything, specially with people they don't know and who speak language they don't understand. But it looks like to be the best idea for my Etienne specially! Traë have took some great photos of making that, I unfortunately didn't but it is a kind of project that continues. It is the first thing Etienne speaks in the morning, And he wait Friday, when Traë and Xander are coming back. What hey actually did was decorating sheds, that are just there, almost just outside of the door. Nicola and Traë have collect all kind of material for boys to build with and Traë seems to have very good touch with children. Etienne was grazy about it! We play about three hours non stop and today Etienne would like to go there all of the time. Aarni had a nap time, so he didn't participate at first session, but he have been interested of it today. We went to food shop with another helpful woman Elyssa and at evening we were doing some planning with Nicola.

Today we have hang around here at Islington Mill in the morning. Boys wanted to play at sheds and I was making some warming up drawings at my studio. It is not easy with boys. 

At the afternoon we went to see Manchester. We walked a lot and saw many places and when we wanted to come back our bus didn't go where we wanted, so we walked more. I was tired.

What I am thinking now:

- It is still not easy to make art when boys are around. I am that kind of person that likes to work alone and if my children see me, they want to be with me. And even if I take them with me in studio, they don't draw their own stuff but they want to participate or ask my help all the time. Etienne prefer to stay at ”home” so can't always send them somewhere too.

- I am bit jealous also to boys and Laurent as they seems to create so easily.

-This place is really dreamy. I have a great studio and atmosphere of the place is so inspiring.

- I feel thankful also of the fact that I have already met so many great people here!

more thinking tomorrow.

lauantai 22. lokakuuta 2016

Travelling day

Themes for travel, two first inspired by Helen Sargeant last insipered by Salford, of course:

Letter in November

Love, the world
Suddenly turns, turns colour. The streetlight
Splits through the rat's-tail
Pods of the laburum at nine in the morning.
It is the Arctic

This little black
Circle, with its tawn silk grasses – babies's hair.
There is a green in the air,
Soft, delectable.
It cushion me lovingly.

I am flushed and warm.
I think I may be enourmous,
I am so stupidly happy,
My Wellingtons
Squelching and squelching through the beautiful red.

This is my property.
Two times a day
I pace it, sniffing
The barbarous holly with its viridian
Scallops, pure iron,

And the wall of old corpes.
I love them.
I love them like history.
The apples are golden, Imagine it -

My seventy trees
Holding their gold- rubby balls
In a thick grey death-soup,
Their million
Gold leaves metal and breathless.

O love, O celibate.
Nobody but me
Walks the waist-hight wet.
The irreplaceable
Golds bleed and deepen, the mouths of Thermopylae.

- Sylvia Plath-

”The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. Its time for protecting and securinng things and for making sure you've got so many supplies as you can. It's nice to gather together everything you posses as close to you as possible, to store up warmth and your thought and burrow yourself into deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and very own.”

-Tove Jansson-

Dirty Old Town

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
Kissed a girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Clouds a drifting across the moon
Cats a prowling on their beat
Spring's a girl in the street at night
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

Heard a siren from the docks
Saw a train set the night on fire
Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I'm going to make me a good sharp axe
Shining steel tempered in the fire
Will chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

I met my love by the gas works wall
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
Kissed a girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town
Dirty old town

-Ewan Maccoll-