VOICES of 50 artists

Voices exhibition is a platform that aims to render audible the work by international and South Australian artists expressing their identities of culture, place, process and material. Nine international and three Australian artists will exhibit a variety of visual art, alongside a collaborative art installation that was produced by artist communities from South Australia, Russia, Finland and Namibia.

The exhibition will take place in the Yarta Purtli Gallery, Port Augusta, from February 22 to March 24, 2018, as a part of Desert Fringe Festival 2018.
The exhibition opening and artist talks will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at 10.00 am.

logoblack


PARTICIPATING ARTIST AND GROUPS:
1. Collaborative Installation Piece of Heaven: South Australia, Russia, Namibia, Finland  (ArtsUp, Fibrespace Inc; MASU Art and Design Students; University of Namibia Art Students; Lapland Artists)
2. Daria Akimenko: Russia
3. Satu Miettinen: Finland
4. Chakirra Claasen: Namibia
5. Taina Kontio: Finland
6. Sanna Sillgren: Finland
7. Nuno Escudeiro: Portugal
8. Kirsten Wechslberger: Germany
9. Laura Pokela: Finland
10. Attila Giersch: Namibia
11. Katrina Vivian: South Australia
12. Sherrie Jones: South Australia
13. Melanie Sarantou: South Australia

 

***

 

PIECE OF HEAVEN
Collaborative installation (Namibia, South Australia, Finnish Lapland, Russia)

About the work: Piece of Heaven is a collaborative textile installation where groups of artists visualise and discuss their own experiences of happiness. Piece of heaven describes the feeling when everything is good, in harmony, as good as it gets. For somebody, a piece of heaven might be a moment of gardening on their own on a Sunday morning, for another, it is their daughter’s smiley eyes when when they pick her up from the kindergarten.

Coordinators and artists: Satu Miettinen, Jari Rinne, Maria Keskipoikela, Heidi Pietarinen, Maria Caley, Helen Burt, Ruth Tulloch, Georgie Sharp, Tammy Colman, Pam Stringer, Jonathan Hawkins-Clarke, Chris Nayda, Melva Waterman, Catherine Summers, Jean Hucks, Melanie Sarantou, Toni Foster, Liz McTaggart, Lauren Karp, Alison Hein, Anastasia Lezina, Lyubov Kuznetsova, Anna Chernova, Daria Gorelova, Ksenia Trubnikova, Elizaveta Yarkova, Daniila Semyonova, Alexandra Sobyanina, Anastasia Dorogokuplya, Natalia Prikhodko, Yana Ilyina, Rosemaree Skelton, Tiffany Williams, Jackie Fiebig, Maria Mbereshu, Laimi Ndapunikwa Mbangula, Risto Iita, Jenni-Liisa Yliniva, Essi Kuure, Eleni Sarantou.

 

***

 

SHOP AROUND THE CORNER
Daria Akimenko (Russia)

About the work: In the Voices exhibition I present Shop around the corner, a documentary essay on a neighbourhood and site-specific art. This short film is an outcome of an art intervention with a community of place, the traders of old family-owned shops in the city of Cork, Ireland. The intervention and the film invite you for a walk through North and South Main Street, its past and its present. They narrate the memories of the traders who grew up here and have their identities intertwined with that of the street. My voice in this work sounds from the position of a listener with whom the traders graciously shared their stories and memories. I also tried to express the point of view of a community artist seeking ways to share the stories in meaningful physical spaces.

IMG_0812About the artist: Daria Akimenko (b. 1987, Sverdlovsk, USSR) is a researcher, photographer, designer, curator, manager of complexities and collaborations, film multitasker, animation amateur, nomad. She holds an MA in Spatial Design from the Ural State University of Architecture and Art in Ekaterinburg, Russia. In addition to design, she developed artistic practices in photography, videography and site-specific art. Currently, Daria is at the final stage of her Doctor of Arts degree at the University of Lapland, Finland. Her research focusses on narrative processes in art and design interventions with communities of place and practice.

 

***

 

LET A HUNDRED FLOWERS BLOOM
Satu Miettinen (Finland)

About the work: Thanks to the school children of Vaasa and Espoo, as a result of collaborative felting workshops at Vaasa Art Gallery and Helinä Rautavaara museum, I am able to exhibit this felted collaborative textile artpiece called Let a hundred flowers bloom. The children were thinking about all the possible flowers there could exist when felting these pieces. In Vaasa, textile installation was created of the felted pieces in the Gallery space. Now the installation has changed its shape and the flower field has started to bloom as the pieces are growing up from the field. Who knows what could happen next in the felted flower field? There is already a carnivorous plant, as well as the flies.
When I was was thinking about the collaborative workshops with children, I thought of tolerance and multiculturalism in our society. Creating harmony or at least interaction with different ends in a concrete form. Revisiting and revising Hundred Flowers Campaign of Mao Zedong in my thoughts into open artivist hands in action with children, rather than closed political statement. Hopefully this is an ongoing project that will be taking new forms.

Satu selfie
About the artist: Satu Miettinen is the Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Lapland where she works as Professor of Service Design. She is a Principal Investigator and co-ordinator in several national and international service design research projects funded by TEKES (Finnish Fund for Innovation and Technology, European Commision Horizon 2020 MSCA RISE etc.). Satu is an active artist and designer in the area of socially engaged art. She has a long history of artistic work with Namibian and South African local communities in crafts and design development work in numerous projects: Opuwo-Helsinki-Opuwo (2002), Kwaata-Kosketus (2004), Potentials – design in the field (2006-2007), Lost in Katutura (2010-2012) and My Dream World (2013-2015). These projects have included exhibitions at the Finnish Craft Museum, Helinä Rautavaara Museum, Museum of Cultures, Arktikum Science Centre, National Art Gallery of Namibia and Cape Town City Hall. The exhibitions Lost in Katutura, Kaupungissa vai maalla? and Itsepäinen shakaali seikkailee were part of the official program for World Design Capital Helsinki in 2012. The project My Dream World formed part of the official program for World Design Capital Cape Town in 2014. Satu coordinated an artistic research project titled Naisia maailman laidalla – Margin to Margin (2016-2017), funded by Koneen säätiö. This project included collaboration with Australian Aboriginal female artists and exhibitions in Australia and Finland.

 

***

 

IRON LADY
Chakirra Claasen (Namibia)

About the work: My voice in this work expresses my need to create fashion garments with a unique and innovative Namibian design aesthetic using unconventional and readily available natural resources like rust in our country where material availability is limited. My interest in rust was first triggered by a simple statement made by a fellow designer and friend. He stated that if a rust stain occurs on a white t-shirt from the washing line that it can never be removed. This caused me to think about it and I immediately began to explore this idea that rust could be used as a natural form of textile manipulation and dyeing These garments were created using rust as a source to manipulate common textiles and materials resulting in innovative and distinctive garments. The garments displayed are part of a collection of garments and accessories that formed part of a master’s research project that documented the creative process including the sourcing of the rust, dyeing the textiles, creating the garments and displaying the outcomes as fashion installation art.

Chakirra-2

About the artist: Chakirra Claasen is an experienced and well respected fashion designer with years of accomplishments and influence in the Namibian fashion industry. She is a lecturer at the University of Namibia and is also one of the founding members of the Fashion Council of Namibia. She has showcased her work all over the continent and abroad, including major shows like Arise Africa Fashion Week, Mozambique Fashion Week, Finland Fashion Week and The International Festival of African Fashion (FIMA) in Niger, just to mention a few. In 2016 she was recognised as one of the top 10 African designers to watch on africa.com.

 

 

***

 

MY RIVERNESS; MY MYTHO
Taina Kontio (Finland)

About the work: The series of videos titled Riverness Saga is a homage to my mom and the Kiiminki River that bears references to ancient Finnish mythology, and the story of female Creator Goddess Ilmatar. My mom created me from the river. She took me to her swims since I was 4 years old. No morning swim has ever escaped for me after that. She taught me to swim, float, dive and tackle the many currents underneath. I realised that her aim was not to ever be concerned about my safety when I am near water, because the river runs all over, filled with white water. She would take me across the river, and let me rest on her belly, as she turned around. Once a huge butterfly, an Old World Swallowtail, landed on our little human isle, on my belly, and rested too. After that I have never seen one again. By the age of 10 I already had my own boat, which I took to the river everyday. No rapid or current would stop me as I knew them all. Our playground was the river and most of the stories I knew were about the river. People lived on its banks and all the seasons were dictated by the river’s flow. Mom was buried up the hill nearby the river with the notes of a song called Peregrine Falcon. I am convinced she left for the sea long ago, washed by the rains the following spring after her passing. When me and my sister went to visit her grave, we heard the Peregrine Falcon screech above us high up in the clouds. That day the newspapers of Northern Finland wrote that there had been several sightings of a peregrine falcons migrating to Lapland in spite of being considered to be on the verge of extinction in the area.

Taina selfieAbout the artist: Taina Kontio is a Finnish media-and visual artist. She navigated her way fluently through different art media, from visual arts to film, and from live art to applied drama. Due to her long and productive arts career she is recognised as one of the most internationally exposed artists from Kuopio. She has been awarded and recognised by several film festivals around the world. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally in exhibitions in the United States, Canada and several countries in Europe and in Southern Africa. In her collaboration with designers and scholars Kontio studies margins in society and cultural identities often with indigenous people.

 

***

 

THE PERSON I WANT TO MEET IS JANE GOODALL
Sanna Sillgren (Finland)

About the work:  In Voices I present an installation consisting of three works titled The person I want to meet is Jane Goodall, inspired by her seminal work on animal behaviour, which informs the nature of humanity itself and our relationship to other life on Earth. My work respects not only the person, but the messages and lessons we can learn from her work. My installation reflects and celebrates human interactions with the natural world from a personal perspective. This artwork consist of the individual pieces Faith, Hope and Love. Faith, the wolf skull, represents life cycles, honouring the life of all creatures. Hope, represented by the beluga whale, is hope of human coexistence with all life forms of the earth. Love narrates my family and home life in Finland. Love is, simultaneously, hope and faith.
Hope: Photography courtesy of Bart Coessens

selfiesannasillgren-2About the artist: Sanna Sillgren was born in Finland in 1974 and graduated from the Lahti Institute of Design in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in jewellery and object design. She continued her Master of Art studies at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, graduating in 2006. Sillgren worked as a freelance jewellery designer, artist and entrepreneur since 2004. She participated in and conducted several design workshops in Namibia between 2002 and 2006 teaching craft, design and manufacturing skills to Finnish and Namibian art students. Sillgren started work in a Finnish elementary school in 2016 and currently works as a special education and art teacher with learners aged between the ages of 13 and 16. Her artwork varies from installations to wearable art, reflecting on topics related to human interactions and dialogues with nature.

 

***

 

SILK ROAD
Nuno Escudeiro (Portugal)

About the work: In the Voices exhibition I present Silk Road, a short documentary about the neighbourhood of Leith Walk in Edinburgh, Scotland. This film’s objective was to explore the ethnic diversity of this neighbourhood, visiting different kinds of local shops and inquiring them how they fit and serve their community. As documentary filmmakers we often articulate the questions: Does our mission reside in expressing a personal idea through the voices of others? Or must we make our art tools available for others to express themselves? I think what makes documentary filmmakers relevant in the world today is the search for the right measure between both. I bring these voices to this exhibition for they offer different perspectives on things we take for granted and it inscribes them in a discussion that concerns basilar topics such as identity and urban space.

IMG_3515About the artist: Nuno Escudeiro (1986, Tomar, Portugal) studied Media Studies in the University of Aveiro and Documentary Film Directing in Zelig, School for Documentary in Bolzano, Italy. He works on different fields of the moving image, exhibiting both in Gallery and Film Festivals. His experimental dance short films Pass by (2011), A dance Dictionary (2012) and White Nights (2013) have been screened in several national and international film festivals, such as Directors Lounge 2013 in Berlin, CineDans 2013 in Amsterdam, and Cinerail 2013, in Paris. His feature Moon Europa (2016) was screened in dok.fest (Munich) 2017 and indielisboa (Lisbon) 2017.

 

***

 

BACK AND FORTH
Kirsten Wechslberger (Germany)

Kirsten WechslbergerAbout the work: Back and Forth is a multimedia installation exhibited for the first time in a duo exhibition with Meghann Wilson at Nexus Arts Gallery, Adelaide, Australia in 2015. This work consists of a swing suspended in forward movement, different size shoes, the outlines of a hopscotch game and two digital projections of myself and a sound projection of playground swings. My work expresses the physical, emotional and mental processes of growing up, already being an adult. It speaks of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar, to the cocoon, to the butterfly, a spiritual process of living through moments of intense hurt, utter darkness, joy, bliss and normality. My voice in this work expresses my personal jump/leap from deep rooted childhood traumas that gripped my adult relationships to a balanced and consciously aware person. Back and Forth has been part of my healing process in its conception and execution.

Kirsten Selfie-2

About the artist: Kirsten Wechslberger, an established Namibian artist, graduated at the end of 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring with a single major in two-dimensional studies from the University of Namibia. In her career, Wechslberger seeks holistic experiences through the arts and her oeuvre has become expansive without boundaries between art, craft, design and performance, multimedia and multi-sensory art. She explores and juxtaposes themes such as emotions, connectedness, pain, spirituality, feelings, introspection and consciousness and embraces the ‘other’ (her audiences) and the ‘other’ within herself.

 

 

 

***

 

ISLANDS OF COMFORT, SOLITUDE AND SILENCE
Laura Pokela (Finland)

About the work: Since childhood, I was drawn to the islands of the Finnish archipelago. Their rugged gestalt build a mindscape, representing clarity and tranquillity. The artwork addresses my relation to a physical place and pictures an inner landscape. The woollen islands represent tactile associations of my memories and feeling of place. I think islands are like the minds of people. The sea that surrounds us is a way to come closer to each other, or creator of distance. We can seek for physical solitude, or find ourselves lonely and unable to reach others.As I live in a low-populated area on the globe, wilderness and pure nature are present. My home is a few steps away from the sea, close to islands and tiny islets. These smooth shaped mounds of rock –the feeling of time and timelessness is simultaneously there. The topography of millions of years old granite was shaped by the few-kilometres-thick moving icecap that covered the region during the ice ages. Now I watch the continuous waves slowly forming these shores, thinking how climate change will affect this resilient but fragile ecosystem, water levels and all our lives. Even we would lose a loved physical place, does it prevail as part of an inner landscape and our identity?Today the ocean and islands also represent a getaway or a place of captivity, depending on who you are. People fleeing in despair end up on the same Mediterranean islands as the ones that can afford the luxury to buy a moment of getaway from their everyday and have a home to return to.The islands of my artwork are made of woollen yarn, the terrain building up of loops and layers. I chose wool and crocheting because they represent warmth, care and tradition. People of the north most likely have haptic perceptions of both wearing and working on them. Millions of (mostly) women spent hours of their lives knitting different wearables, keeping us warm, creating protection and shelter to endure the changing seasons. Most of the yarns of my artwork are discarded materials of today ́s over-consuming society where people throw good things away. Some yarns I was given by friends, who inherited materials from elders.

laura selfie-2About the artist: Laura Pokela
(b. 1979, Frankfurt am Main, Germany) is a Helsinki-based designer, who studied ceramics and applied arts, with an emphasis on product design. After graduation (2008) she found an interest to develop a design practice in social and pedagogic contexts. Pokela works as a freelancer for different clients: non-profit organisations, art- and culture houses, libraries, schools and event producers. She designs educational and recreational contents, facilitates workshops and projects and runs multi-material design groups for children and youth. Pokela is interested in creating situations for creativity, play, learning by doing, social interaction and wellbeing. She likes to work with different communities and in changing environments. She is interested in cultural phenomena through local and global perspectives, human-nature relation and sustainable thinking.

 

***

 

TAMEKA
Attila Giersch (Namibia)

About the work: Tameka designed and handmade jewellery and accessories are inspired by ‘truly Namibian’ elements. These exclusively made pieces result from unique ideas and organic materials that are sourced from the Namibian environment and blended with metals such as aluminium, copper and stainless steel, while Tameka’s making processes are all executed by Namibian artisans. Creatively crafted Tameka pieces exude Namibian flair. They are not specifically tourist, gift or souvenir oriented, but appeal to a wide range of consumer tastes due to their distinctive appearance. The extensive collection of accessories is made according to the highest quality standards and clever concepts. A holistic approach to management and acute awareness of customer satisfaction assures that each Tameka piece supports the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Namibian community. This is the Tameka promise – that our employment policies assure the ongoing training of our artisans and the sustainment of creative, flexible, clean and friendly work environments while our environmental policies assure that the organic materials used in our pieces are carefully selected, sustainably and ethically harvested.

Attila-2

About the artist: Attila Giersch and Tameka Design Jewellery have come a long way since their first collection in 2005. At that time the main focus was to produce something uniquely Namibian but yet with an international flair. Even though it was a small production it has been showcased on many international platforms. I am proud to say Tameka has stood the test of time and is now becoming a renowned fashion jewellery collection in Namibia. We have costumers who have become collectors of our different pieces over the years. With all this success it is vital to continue to grow. Our focus has shifted from the individual design and inspiration of surroundings to a more business-orientated view. Therefore, Tameka has to become a well-organised producer that simultaneously creates more workplaces for creative Namibians. It is vital to look at trends and what the costumer, locally or visitor, wants. We are proud to incorporate all this together with our unique style that has remained true to its origins. Tameka still counts as a handmade fashion jewellery range manufactured from affordable materials with an exclusive look – keeping the creativity and art at heart but taking the practicality and demand in to consideration.

 

***

 

THE COLOUR OF LANGUAGE
Katrina Vivian (South Australia)

About the work: I present here The Colour of Language, an ongoing investigation into the discussion of languages through the use of colour and art. We all express ourselves in many different ways, tones, accents and language itself. It is through these varying degrees of linguistics together with semiotics that produces this work and brings forth thought into a physical and visual world to activate the subconscious decoding of the work, and the language, into a content of understanding; meaning of an expression. Rene Margritte claimed: “͞What one must paint is the image of resemblance-if thought is to become visible in the world.” And it is through this “translation” from linguistic, to semiotic, to visual expression that we may begin to come closer to decoding language through the use of colour and art.

Katrina Vivian profile picture-2About the artist: Having graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Derby University in the United Kingdom, and moving on to gain her Masters in Fine Art, Katrina Vivian has built a strong history of exhibition, including arts and cultural workshops and projects, throughout England, Namibia and Australia; including her recent investigation into cultural languages through art, The Colour of Language, during the 2015 Namibian Tulipamwe workshops and exhibition at the Namibian National Art Gallery, then exploring this work further, through the 2016-2017 international Margin to Margin project managed by Professor Satu Miettinen from the University of Lapland in Finland.

 

 

***

 

MY VISION OF RECONCILIATION
Sherrie Jones (South Australia)

About the work: In Voices Exhibition I show my Tree for Reconciliation. The pods represent all the colours of Australia and its people, how we live together in one country. We are different, but like the tree we all grow and exist together. My painting titled ‘Colour of the desert in time’ reflects the time in the desert and how the colours change in the morning, noon and the night. But like time, the desert never stays still.


About the artist: Sherrie Jones was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1978. Born and raised as part of both the Wirangu and Mirning language groups, Sherrie lived in Carnarvon, Western Australia, until she was ten years old. Thereafter she moved with her father to Coober Pedy in South Australia where she did her early years of schooling, while finishing high school in Port Lincoln. Sherrie remained connected to Western Australia and the desert where her mother was born.Sherrie Jones was born in Perth, Western Australia in 1978. Born and raised as part of both the Wirangu and Mirning language groups, Sherrie lived in Carnarvon, Western Australia, until she was ten years old. Thereafter she moved with her father to Coober Pedy in South Australia where she did her early years of schooling, while finishing high school in Port Lincoln. Sherrie remained connected to Western Australia and the desert where her mother was born.Sherrie has been painting for the past seventeen years and started hobby painting while she was in Port Lincoln attending high school. She is inspired by her grandfather and also her father, Winston Hubert, who is a renowned artist from the Pilbara currently living in Port Augusta. She uses acrylic on canvas to paint themes related to memories from her childhood and passed down stories from her family. Sherrie says: “My family has had a big influence on my artwork and I still predominantly  paint their stories. My father was an art teacher at Carnarvon High School  in WA.”
When she was young Sherrie’s father remarried and moved with her to Coober Pedy where she learned about her stepmother’s family and culture who originate from far north Queensland and the Torres Straight Island. With an intense interest in and respect for different cultures, Sherrie lives as a proud Aboriginal woman and believes she has much to give to and learn from ‘others’. Sherrie: “I have learnt we have different ways in culture to South Australia, different rules and customs. I am a very proud mother of four children and I hope my art influence their lives as my stories will be passed down to them.”
Experimenting with the use of colour, techniques, themes and perspective remains Sherrie’s artistic strength. Her mark making on canvas includes techniques such as Aboriginal dot painting, playful brush strokes and contour lines. Sherrie’s colours are boldly juxtaposed, illustrating her fearless approach to contrasts while accomplishing harmony. Sherrie’s dream is to become internationally renowned fine artist, following in the footsteps of her father who is a landscape artist. Painting is her life, she states, and telling her stories through her paintings adds meaning to her life. In 2014 Sherrie had a kidney transplant that for two years impacted on her artistic practice as she was unable to paint full time. Since 2016 she is painting full time, continuously working an exhibitions next to being actively involved as an Arts Worker at Arts Ceduna.

 

***

 

NEST
Melanie Sarantou (South Australia)

About the work: Nest gives me a ‘voice’ to deal with notions of ‘home’ and making (art, identities and a home). After experiences of immigration and moving away from my beloved Namibia, themes around seeking a new groundedness and identities have much dominated my creative practices. Nest is one of the expressions that deal with these themes, especially now that I travel, work and live between extreme margins from Outback Australia to the Arctic North.
I have most of my career moved away from design towards artistic and improvisatory processes due to fears of the planned and restricted. I have become addicted to the making in the moment and the possibilities it offers. Yet, I cannot remove myself from planning and conceptualisation either. It is always there, sneaking in, finding and creating order, maybe not always simultaneously, but it comes back, the analytical to sort out the anarchical mess, working in tandem, but also not. I get obsessed in ‘worlds’ of analysis or impulsive/intuitive making. Then, sometimes, to make it come together I find peace between these two ‘sides’ and find harmony, perhaps a conclusion, a way forward or backward.
Nests are such a process. Thoughts slowly process as we dream and live. We create rhizomes that come together in something else that is made one day. When I over-plan I tend to dislike the process as it will stall my journey and instil fear. The process was a kind of soul searching about the meaning of my ‘nest’ (home, love, belonging, life, work, place), my environment, my future and past. The felts I thought ‘just happened’, but the nests happened through many rhizomes that started to grow through thoughts, actions and events. Then, somehow they started to grow and knot together, like a nest in itself, to make Nest.
There is another story entangled in the history of Nest. In 2014 a nine year old boy who saw me weave seaweed one day brought me a bird’s nest. He told me that he saw me make nests (the weaving I was working on) and that is why he wants to give me the bird’s nest (not that I thought of my weaving as nests at that stage, but subconsciously I was processing thoughts about home and what constitutes home for me for several years). I was quite surprised that when I looked closer, the nest was woven with trash, literally trash that the poor birds found from the environment we humans trash. Plastic, plastic rope and fibre, trashy bits of everything, seaweed and natural stuff, all was in there!
The nest occupied my mind as the beauty I see in Australia, my new home, is trashed  (similar to Namibia, my ‘home for always and never again’). The nest that the boy gave me inspired the purpose of my felts. I felted them with natural fibres and environmentally friendly soap. The idea is to take them back to the environment for the birds to use them as materials to build their nests. This idea stems from observing in my patio studio at home two birds who unravelled some of my experimental weaves to harvest materials for their nest weaving. While making some rather awesome acrobatic moves to access the weaves through the trellises, they frayed the weaves, pulling fibres from it for their own nests.
In the near future I will produce a follow-up blog about Nest installed in the environment of the Far West Coast of South Australia where they will serve as nest materials for birds.

melanie selfie-2 About the artist: Dr Melanie Sarantou is a post-doctorate researcher in the Funding Profiling 2 Project for the University of Lapland. She designed and exhibited 50 fashion collections during her design career, implementing the ethos that fashion is art. Her collections were exhibited internationally in an array of prestige events, galleries and fashion showcases in Africa, the USA, Europe and Australia. Next to managing a fashion atelier and business for sixteen years, Sarantou also initiated the Fashion course as part of a BA Degree at the University of Namibia, complimented with a decade of fashion design lecturing. The co-founding and directing of a Namibian not for profit craft and design association in 2006, Pambili, that was funded by the Finnish Foreign Ministry for three years, provided a platform to work with more than 750 crafts women and artists across 34 craft communities in regional Namibia. Young urban-based Namibian designers who were empowered through this initiative established SMEs in various design fields, continuing their practices. Sarantou’s PhD in Visual Arts at the University of South Australia mapped Namibian craft and design worlds trough a postcolonial lens. In Australia she managed a 5-year (2013-2017) artist exchange program between Namibia and South Australia, known as Art South-South. Additional large scale Australian art projects include Artists from the Edges of the World (2016) and Wai – This is us! (2017). Sarantou’s post-doctorate research (2016-2017) at the University of Lapland focused on the artistic research project Women living on the edges of the world: Margin to Margin, funded by Koneen Säätiö. Fashion, textile, environmental and community art currently shape Sarantou’s creative practices, addressing marginality and feminist perspectives.