In June 2012, printmaker Peter McLean and I undertook a month-long residency as part of the Fiskars Village Artist In Residence Program in Finland.
A series of Chiné Colle portraits I made derived from some of the characters I saw during the residency.
Home to around 600 people, Fiskars is a village about 100 km west of Helsinki in southern Finland. It has a thriving arts community given its size and was originally developed around the ironworks. Fiskars the company, which was formed in the village in 1649, produces the iconic orange-handled scissors that we’ve all come to know and love.
Two artists, four feet
In the lead-up to our trip, we began to research the village, its surroundings and the country at large as research for Four Feet, the Tumblr we would work on collaboratively throughout the residency. We decided on Four Feet as our title as our individual practices rely heavily on walking: me mostly in city and urban areas, and Pete more at home in the wild.
Once in Fiskars, we got to work observing, drawing and photographing our experiences. Over the course of the residency, Peter and I posted regularly about the things we were seeing and doing, and the intriguing Finnish words we were attempting to learn.
The Floating Gardens festival was on during our stay. It seemed as if the whole village was there to enjoy an ongoing slew of performances as the summer solstice approached.