Finally left the hectic pace of Helsinki to travel 370 km to our rural retreat, Varistaipale. En route we visited the old town of Porvoo, making a quick dash into a lovely local gallery. We have had warm sunshine, rain, light snow and a cold,cold breeze in one day. Sounds like a normal northern summer! We will be visiting Valamo to organise final details for the workshop and exhibition. In between we managed a walk along the canal in front of the house. The canal has 3 locks which enable local boats to be raised or lowered 14.5 m to travel to the next lake. But we have seen no activity yet as it is early in the season. Thank you to all the lovely folk who have responded to the blog – it is great to hear from you!
The pic is Villa Sillanpaa, our lovely artist accommodation. We have the full top floor which is really well furnished and have access to a studio space if needed. We are indeed spoiled!
After a day and a half in Helsinki, we are exhausted, exhilarated and energised all at once. The 10 hours stopover in Singapore was tiring. It seems that once you have seen one airport, you have probably seen them all! Finnair was a lovely airline, even down to the marimekko designer paper serviettes. We managed a few hours sleep so that we could enjoy the day ahead – and we did!
We now have accommodation in a flat about 5km by tram from the city centre. Helsinki is a city of blocks of flats, none of which is more than 7 storeys high. View of our flats.
Jaana from Finland has just visited. She brought with her a pop-up suitcase exhibition which we exhibited at Studio 38, Bruce Bradfield’s new studio in Greenough. Jaana is discussing the artworks with a very appreciative audience. The tickets have been purchased and the works for my exhibition have been chosen. We are on our way to Finland in April!
Planning is really underway for the sojourn in Finland. Also work in the studio is gaining momentum. I have almost completed my next lino print – pics very shortly.
In the meantime, this pic shows the Valamo Monastery where the exhibition and workshop will be held. The white and red ochre building is where all workshops are held. There is a lovely cover of snow, quite different from the intense heat we have been experiencing in Australia this summer. Our Finnish friend, Jaana, is visiting us next week. I think she is escaping the northern winter for a while.
Just looking? That’s not quite true. I certainly look but I also study, photograph, design, create….. A lot more happens!
Re my visit to Finland next year, I am trying to get a smattering of the language and finding out something about the country itself as well as busily being creative in the studio. No time for being lazy!
The pic above is courtesy of Jaana, Finnish friend and artist who will host my Art Residency in 2014.