Every margin tells a story

New year has started with a blast. Our research group is still processing the most busy December with two workshops, seminar and an exhibition at Katve galleries in Arktikum. Artists from the edges of the world met, discussed and worked together in Rovaniemi from the 5th until the 9th of December, 2016. We had an international group of artists from Moldova, Estonia, Russia, Finland, UK, the Netherlands discussing how the marginalities are produced and the politics of the margins? One of the big discussions during the workshop was about who is defining the margin and how the position of the person reflects on it.

The nature of artistic research is about long term processing, coming up and discovering the research questions during the process rather than having all the questions in the beginning of the process. The workshop ended in a one day seminar where artistic research process was reflected and discussed. The seminar themes were around materiality of the making, construction of expertise knowledge, research methodologies and about constructing a artistic research process around these themes.

The above pictures are from the initial session that started the process in Rovaniemi. Artists were collaboratively working with felting. The felted piece was constructed around the arch of live. Each participant formed a symbol or shape that described a meaningful aspect of their lives and placed in the the arch of life. This formed a processes of sharing and learning to know each others. After this the piece was felted during the first days into an art piece in smaller groups with hand and feet rolling technique. During the Rovaniemi process artists were also working with their individual artwork that was exhibited in joint exhibition called “Every Margin Tells a Story”.

Today we were dismantling the exhibition. I’m still reflecting on the themes discussed during the workshop, seminar and exhibition. In my artistic work this process has set me up to work more with socially-engaged work, personal histories and collaborative processes. It is very inspirational to process, both collaboratively and individually, the themes and material contents of this research process. The start of the year is pushing me into more analytical process of thinking about the value and content of the joint process, a journey and figuring out if I could use an artistic medium for this reflection.

By Satu Miettinen

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