The Famous Five at the Villa
The Pro Artibus residency program Snäcksund Villa, offers its long term (3-year) residency scholarship holders the possibility to invite other professional artists or experts for collaborative and interdisciplinary working – a residency in residence.
In May 2022, four artists joined long-term Pro Artibus resident Lukas Malte Hoffmann to work on their collective, on-going project, Big Wet.
Big Wet began in Espoo at the Haukilahti Water Tower in 2020, when Jessie Bullivant, Jani Anders Purhonen, Emelie Luostarinen and Kristina Sedlerova Villanen initiated a one-day exhibition of site-responsive works. The artists, who first crossed paths during their studies at Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, work across a range of materials from painting, to textiles, installation and sound.
The next iteration of the project will take place at the Karjaa Water Tower, launching on 18 June, and open to the public on five days during the summer.
During the residency, the five artists shared various activities, including watching John Smith’s 1987 film, The Black Tower, where the protagonist describes being followed by a mysterious tower. “It was from here that I first saw it, its crest protruding from over the roofs on the other side of the road…” (John Smith, 1987, The Black Tower).
Why water towers? Each artist comes to the project with their own interest: exiting the established/conventional exhibition and gallery system in search of independence; working on a scale that isn’t possible in many galleries; thinking about the role and status of these municipal, functioning towers; and as sites of rich metaphorical potential.
Designed by Hilding Ekelund in 1951 and restored in 2019, the functioning Karjaa water tower is also home to astronomical society Sällskapet Natura – Natura Seura.
During their residency, the artists visited the Karjaa Tower, to make and install their work, as well as doing other site visits to nearby water towers for potential future collaborations, and visiting Dagmar’s spring, a natural ground water source between Tammisaari and Hanko, where Jessie collected some water for their Big Wet 2.0 watercolour painting.
Big Wet 2.0
Karjaa Water Tower
Töyrymäenkatu 3, 10300 Karjaa, Finland
Saturday 18 June, 2022: 13:00–18:00
Saturday 16 July, 2022: 13:00–16:00
Sunday 31 July, 2022: 13:00–16:00
Monday 8 August, 2022: 13:00–16:00
Sunday 28 August, 2022: 13:00–16:00
The artists would like to thank Raaseporin Vesi, Natura-seura, Pro Artibus and Svenska Kulturfonden for supporting Big Wet 2.0.
Jani Anders Purhonen (b. 1982, Ekenäs) is an artist based in Helsinki and whose practice revolves around issues of simulation, energy and collectivity. Purhonen is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts’ master’s program, department of Time and Space. In addition to his individual artistic work, he is active with the art initiative Bebetton and the Bread Omens project. Purhonen is currently supported by Taike.
Jessie Bullivant (b. 1986, Albury) is a Helsinki-based artist, writer and cultural worker originally from so-called Australia. They draw on the intersecting histories of institutional critique, affect theory, queer feminism and crip discourse to examine the various ways that institutional systems and practices are embodied. They completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Finnish Academy of Fine Art in 2020, and were recently a long-term artist in residence at Helsinki International Artists Programme (June 2020 – December 2021). They have recently produced new works for ‘Reciprocities’ exhibition at Vantaa Art Museum Artsi (2021), ‘A Bad Sign’ a durational project at Titanik gallery (March – December 2021), ‘Fantasy 1&2’ exhibition at SIC space (2020), and ‘Rehearsing Hospitalities’ annual programme by Frame Contemporary Art Finland (2021).
Emelie Luostarinen (b. 1987, Stockholm) lives and works between Helsinki and Stockholm. Her artistic internship is project-based and includes painting, sculpture and performance. The works are often autobiographical with a traceable narrative. Most recently, her work has been shown at Gallery LOW in Riga 2021, Sinne gallery in Helsinki 2020 and before that Ilmiö 2019 in Turku. She has a master’s degree in visual arts from the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki. In addition to her individual work, she participates in the artist duo P.I.L.E.
Kristina Sedlerova Villanen (b. 1987, Kohtla-Järve) generates transitions in raw materials and the information history they are loaded with, incorporating them into varied forms and sizes. Recently Kristina has been working on the large-scale sculptures involving shapes of zeros as well as traces of chocolate and lipstick on the walls of the institutions. At the moment Kristina is involved in the self-initiated artistic research on water manipulation systems. Sedlerova-Villanen is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts Master’s degree program in Sculpture and Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture degree program in Scenography.
Lukas Malte Hoffmann (b. 1984) is a Finland-based artist originally from Germany, currently living with his partner Corinna Helenelund at Pro Artibus’ residency in Ekenäs. Learning from intersectional feminism and affect theory, his recent work explores the various ways that technological systems and practices are embodied.
Lukas received a Master of Fine Arts from the Dutch Art Institute in 2020, and recently produced new work for ‘Hi, Who Are You?’ at Galleri Gamla Kaplansgården, Porvoo (2022), ’Baitball 2’ exhibition at Palazzo San Giuseppe, Italy (2021) ‘Oasis’ summer exhibition, Tammisaari (2021), and ‘Midsummer Rose’ installation at Outo Olo, Helsinki (2021).
Lukas would like to thank Taiteen edistämiskeskus, Hélène och Walter Grönqvists Stiftelse and Pro Artibus for their support.