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August grant application round results in 45 mobility grants
Kuvataiteilija Tarmo Thorström tekee nypläyksen lisäksi myös myös valoteoksia, installaatioita, graffitimaalauksia ja videotaidetta. Kuvassa Thorström ja teos Silmäpako. Kuva: Essi Miettinen
Visual artist Tarmo Thorström incorporates lacemaking into his works. Photo: Essi Miettinen
In August 2021, the Finnish Cultural Foundation received 262 applications for mobility grants from artists and organisations in various fields. Grants were awarded to 45 applicants.

Acceptable uses of mobility grants include foreign residency costs, performance tours, exhibition projects and travel related to international collaborations.

This round’s largest grant, totalling EUR 10,000, went to the Finnish Artistic Dance Association, which intends to present director Carl Knif’s contemporary dance work “Sessions” for the first time in Hong Kong. The work’s themes are encounters and misses, and their impacts, and it considers whether a performance could be as confidential as the relationship between a patient and doctor.

Support for everything from lacemaking to metalwork

Kuvataiteilija Tarmo Thorstöm. Kuva: Hans Lehtinen
Visual artist Tarmo Thorström. Photo: Hans Lehtinen

Visual artist Tarmo Thorström, who incorporates lacemaking into his works, will use the mobility grant to take part in a lace festival in Girona, Spain. A local association organising the festival has commissioned a work from Thorström that will be created by the association’s lacemakers. It will then be left on permanent display in the lobby of the city’s main cinema.

Seppä ja metallitaiteilija Arttu Halkosaari
Blacksmith and metal artist Arttu Halkosaari.

My works draw inspiration from the cultural heritage of Rauma (Finland), conducting a dialogue with its long history. Despite its handcrafted form, lacemaking was so significant in Rauma that it was classed as an industry as early as the eighteenth century. In today’s technology-oriented, hectic society, lacemaking can be seen as a counterpoint to continuous economic growth and excessive, boastful consumption, Thorström says. 

Blacksmith and metal artist Arttu Halkosaari will use the grant to travel to countries including Scotland, Ireland and France to work as an apprentice blacksmith.

I want to gain experiences that I can use to teach future generations about the opportunities of this craft. Travelling from smithy to smithy as an apprentice is an old custom I want to uphold, Halkosaari explains. His eighteen-month journey will include forging, work experience and artistic work, and he will carry it out in a van-cum-mobile-home.

Mobility grant facilitates presentation of works abroad

Käsikirjoittaja Essi Aittamaa.
Sciptwriter Essi Aittamaa.

Scriptwriter/producer Essi Aittamaa’s work “Sauna”, which concerns human vulnerability and the courage to lay oneself bare before others, will be performed in Denmark. The play has an unusual setting: a gay sauna.

Valokuvaaja Heli Sorjonen.
Photographer Heli Sorjonen.

I felt that this was an excellent setting for the work, because laying oneself bare is at the heart of its message. If it can feel difficult for us to approach others and reveal ourselves even in our daily lives, within the safety of clothes and other protective layers, how might it feel in a sauna?

Photographer Heli Sorjonen, in turn, will travel to Denmark, Germany and Turkey to document the work of female imams. She will work there in late 2021 to gather a large amount of photographic and video material for the Danish-Turkish sound artist/director Nevin Tuna Erönde’s international collaborative work “Female Prayers”. The work will premiere in Malmö in May 2022.

Applications for the Cultural Foundation’s mobility grants are accepted twice a year, in March and August. All the mobility grants awarded in 2021 are found (in Finnish) here.