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Open-air / Korpo, 2019

It was early spring when we landed on Korpo Island in Finland’s Archipelago Sea. At that time, ice was retreating from its shores and the snows were melting away, laying bare the island’s granite terrain, softened by rich mosses and lush forests. As residents of AARK (Archipelago Art Residency in Korpo), we spent much of our time watching passing ships and exploring our surroundings, searching for evidence of ‘islandness’. We found it, by surprise, in a dense forest, which seemed to us a gallery without borders – inspiring us with an abundance of diverse ideas: insularity and connectedness, constancy and movement, self-sufficiency and dependence.

Lucky chance brought us to work in a small, forested area alongside the harbour; a sort of ‘no man’s garden’. We imbued this with the sense of a gallery in which objects emanate from the background but emerge into the foreground, distinguishing themselves here and there. After clearing an area, we piled up a bunch of materials to work with: cut trees and twigs, coal, soil, and some clay. Intimate tactile experiences with this environment exposed the indistinct boundary between nature and culture. The objects we installed in the area were intended as a guide to their environment.

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