30 June 2012

Glossy. Pick of the Skip.

I've been doing the rounds of the paper skips here in Fiskars to produce a Chine Collé series derived from photographs of people on the streets, many from Karjaa. It's been a treat to find all kinds of Finnish magazines to re-use, including Gloria Design on last nights jaunt around the skips on the jalopy bike. Fun design, cool stuff and fab photography made Gloria Design my pick of the skip this month. I even like the kooky use of butterflies on the cover.

29 June 2012

Pinboard. Fiskars Open Studio.

The end of the residency is approaching like a bullet train, which can only mean our open studio exhibition is on tonight. If you're in Fiskars please drop by the AIR cottage for a tipple and chat with fellow artists Ehryn Torrell and Peter McLean.

28 June 2012

Roaming. Route Diversion.

From the bus, this red whale was one of the first things I saw in Tammisaari, or Ekenäs for Swedish speakers. I shouldn't have seen it from a bus, but the affable Amper driver insisted on navigating the narrow streets of the old town instead of sending this tourist in on foot from the not so distant bus terminal. Our genial driver pointed out sights along the way, proffered a brief history of the town and suggested places to visit and things to see, for example, treehouses, which were really old wooden houses. Nevertheless, Tammisaari was a treat boosted by the friendliness of the gregarious bus driver.

First 13. Tammisaari.

On the way to the church in Tammisaari.

27 June 2012

Art Martha. Smoking Harmonica.

The second tale from the recent Floating Gardens series of performances marking the opening of the exhibition in Fiskars involved a potted man in his underwear smoking.

A small crowd gathered around Fake Finn Tomasz Szrama as he sat at a red table in someone's garden playing a cigarette-stuffed smoking harmonica. Watching him play was painful enough, and I can't imagine how distasteful it must have been to breathe in the smoke from seven lit cigarettes at once. Regardless, Tomasz played for some time withstanding his inability to breathe for what seemed an eternity. Gasping for breath, he finally stopped. Someone in the audience removed the table, revealing Tomasz in his khaki underwear, partially buried and planted in a terracotta pot. If things weren't already slightly surreal, they were now. Two nearby men picked up Tomasz, carried him to a nearby bridge and then dropped him into the river below where he again smoked, this time from a glass as he went under the cool-climate water. And that was it, performance over. What was it about? Futility, or perhaps our rather masterful ability to oppose common sense?

26 June 2012

Pinboard. Two Fellows.

I'm working on a series using Chine Collé as part of my project for the Fiskars Village Artist In Residence. This image is one of the first proofs off the press, giving some indication of my drawing skills — note missing hands and definition. These fellows were busy ogling two girls walk toward them on one of Helsinki's avenues.

25 June 2012

Popcorn. Hornswoggle.

Usually, these sample sachets gleaned from magazines would find themselves in a box in my studio waiting to be transformed into some sort of art work. As I'm roaming, I've decided to take a resourceful approach, rather than hoard the sachets I'm going to use them. I was impressed by the youth activating concentrate Génifique pictured above. I'm not sure what it did, but it made my skin feel tighter and it seemed to reduce my cavernous crow's feet. That's worth a good eight out of ten in my books.

24 June 2012

Roaming. Village Seating.

One thing I've noticed in Finland is a fondness for seating. This seated terrace is tucked away by the river in Fiskars providing a perfect spot to view some of the Floating Garden installations —though you'd do well to be covered in some form of mosquito deterrent. I spotted a much larger terrace in Billnäs and another in a secluded lakeside location in nearby forest.

22 June 2012

Glossy. Tulevaisuus.

I discovered the photographic work of Claire Aho at Helsinki's Design Museum. Hop over to This Is Ikon to see more of Claire's work, but for Tokens I thought I'd show this cover from 1957. I love the palette, the umbrellas and the odd composition.

20 June 2012

Roaming. Karjaa.

New images are on Turnstile, this time from Karjaa. Karjaa is the closest town for groceries, post and connections to Helsinki and Turku, from my current base in Fiskars. The op shop quota is high, baked goods at the market are delicious and the café is lively on warm days.

18 June 2012

First 13. Helsinki.

No aversion to the number thirteen on Helsinki's shopping strips.

17 June 2012

Art Martha. Lady Goes to Nature.

The former iron working town of Fiskars is now a bustling tourist town, particularly on summer weekends. Yesterday, ahead of next weeks Summer Solstice celebrations, the locals picnicked by the river for an afternoon of performances by invited artists, both resident and from afar. I've got a couple of posts to follow about Floating Gardens, in particular the fascinating Fake Finns works, but I'm going to start with Olga Prokhorova's Lady Goes to Nature performance involving a prim and proper Burberry frock, white shoes, multiple pairs of white pantyhose and a clothes line.

Over the course of the afternoon Olga's austere manner remained constant as she frolicked in the dandelion field, waded ankle deep into the muddy river and knelt in the dank garden bed. Between each of these activities and others, she composed herself in an almost matronly manner as she changed her stockings and hung up each newly stained pair for all to see. By the end of the day seven or eight pairs hung from the line complete with notes of her adventures.

Much performance art is about endurance, not just of the performer but of the audience too. Olga's deadpan resolve in Lady Goes To Nature was enthralling, particularly considering how little really happened with much left unsaid about social and cultural conventions.

16 June 2012

Roaming. Hot Lady.

I've added more Pohja images to Shootin' Gallery. New Fiskars Village photos are on the way, as well as Karjaa, Helsinki and Tammisaari.

Roaming. Viewpoint.

You don't want to go walking with me. I turn every stroll into a long photo gathering expedition. I stop for weeds, for senseless graffiti musings, for all manner of stains and I'm constantly on the lookout for potential Lurker covers. I spotted this statement at Karjaa station yesterday, which made me think about how many 'no photography' signs and surveillance cameras I saw in Helsinki. They seemed to be everywhere, and after seeing so many people reprimanded for snapping away in the Design Museum, I found myself keeping a watchful eye on just where the cameras were. Who's watching? And why?

13 June 2012

Roaming. Pohja.

The closest supermarket is in Pohja, the S Market. Pohja is a funny little town with very little going on, and it looks very different to the picturesque surrounds of Fiskars Village. This welcoming bear sat inside an almost deserted shopping mall, a mall with a rather soviet look to it.

12 June 2012

Pinboard. Four Feet.

The Four Feet blog is now well under way. It's a collaborative project with print maker Peter McLean taking place in Fiskars Village, Finland. Check out the words were learning and the things we're observing here.

11 June 2012

Pinboard. Glove Action.

I've been photographing found gloves where they lay for quite a while now. I'm not sure what it is that first attracted me to them, perhaps the human (dis)connection or maybe the odd places they came to be. How did they get lost? No one really cares about where work or rubber gloves end up, but there's an odd sadness when a well-knitted kid's mitten is left all alone. Here in Fiskars Village I've been collecting gloves as I find them. I inscribe a drawing into a plastic sheet in preparation for printing a drypoint in the coming couple of weeks. Stay tuned to see how they progress.

10 June 2012

First 13. Bike Ride.

A bike ride out into the nearby hills around Fiskars not only netted the first thirteen of the day, but also a stack of magazines salvaged from a paper recycling bin. I'll be persevering with my Register project from afar, gathering pages from magazines in different languages. 

09 June 2012

Roaming. Flea Market.

The Fiskars Village flea market was washed out last week, and it wasn't looking promising earlier this morning either. Thankfully the show went on, expertly coordinated by the Red Cross giving the affair a more church jumble sale feel. Held inside a dark building, formerly a knife factory, were several maze-like rooms with a focus it seemed on books and shoes. The ladies were many, and one in particular was busy demonstrating second-hand kitchen appliances.

06 June 2012

First 13. Postilla.

05 June 2012

Pinboard. Critter.

My cold is lingering, but at least today I have a bit more energy than yesterday. I've started to loiter in the studio downstairs where the temperature is surprisingly warm. I discovered this little creature down there and an overhead projector. There's also a press. Today I started to sketch the first of a series of dry points.

Roaming. Pohja.

On foot, Fiskars Village to Pohja takes about an hour and a half along a picturesque path. The two towns are like chalk and cheese. Fiskars is a hive of creativity, while in Pohja few people are about and most of the shops are empty. This image is from a peculiar little mall with just two shops open, a café and a postilla (op shop).

04 June 2012

First 13. Tree Species Walk.

The Tree Species Walk starts just around the corner from my current Fiskars base. A simple wood panel clearly shows the wood's grain and colour with numbers clearly marking the way. Thick moss and lichen provide a spongy soft carpet around the 13th species in particular.

03 June 2012

Roaming. Awaiting Summer.

Fiskars is beautiful. I'm enjoying the slower pace, short brisk walks — it's a cool 10 degrees or less outside — and the beauty of a town with a strong connection to the arts. Yesterday's treat was a freshly baked cinnamon bun and a three mint tea from the rather lovely Café Antique in the village.

02 June 2012

First 13. Fiskars Fire Station.

I've landed in Finland to start the Fiskars Village Artist In Residence program. I'm collaborating with Peter McLean on our Four Feet blog project as well as creating new work of my own. Stay tuned here for more details. The old fire station in Fiskars village is the first thirteen of the day.

01 June 2012

Roaming. In The Clouds.

I'm somewhere in the skies between Sydney and Helsinki as this post goes live. For the next few months Turnstile, Tokens and me will be based in Europe undertaking a residency in Fiskars, taking in a northern summer and making the most of Europe's cultural wonders. Stay tuned here for the usual Turnstile and Tokens stuff or make your way to Four Feet to see what Peter McLean and I are collaborating on in Fiskars.