A visiting programme for visual art curators and researchers

The EXPLORING THE NORTH programme aims at providing a unique curatorial experience by an intensive excursion and research period in Northern part of Finland. The participants are given the opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and create contacts for future projects with art professionals in the North.

The programme will include visits to art museums and encounters with local curators and visual artists as well as introductions of leading art institutions and self-organized art spaces.

Our tailor-made programme allows the ETN curators to expand their professional practice by conducting in-depth investigations and networking with the representatives of a Northern contemporary art community.


Arctic nature is the basis of the Northern mythology, identity and culture. Artists living and working in the North have over time concentrated on observing and understanding this deep relationship and heritage. Nowadays, even though urbanisation and globalisation are causing dramatic changes, the Northern way of life is still closely connected to nature and natural environment is flowing through art, resulting in fresh and surprising combinations. Artists in the North are inspired by the characteristics of living at the edge, the life affected by strong changes in seasons as well as silence and solitude of peripheral areas.

The North is also the home of the Sámi people, the only indigenous people of the European Union. During the past few decades, visual art has played a pivotal role in forming Sámi national identity. Today young Sámi artists create provocative and political art in order to draw attention to the rights of the Sámi people and the injustices they face.

The organizer of the ETN visiting programme is Waria, an independent cooperative founded in 2004 by visual artists and professionals of creative industries. The base camp for visiting curators is in the Oulu area.


An excursion of up to 5 days in the Oulu area and Finnish Lapland will be tailored individually with each curator. As a basis for planning the excursion there are 3 alternative thematic contents to choose from:
- Environmental and site-specific art
- Architecture and design in the North
-Sami culture and northern contemporary art
During their visit the curators are given a chance to give a presentation about their projects in a talk session with local art professionals.
Open call, applications are accepted around the year.


DAY 1:
Arrival at Oulu airport
Visiting exhibitions in Oulu and local artists’ studios
DAY 2:
Meeting with the curators at the Oulu Museum of Art and Art Centre KulttuuriKauppila
Drive to Rovaniemi, visiting Aine Art Museum or Kemi Art Museum on the way
DAY 3-4:
Introduction to the University of Lapland Faculty of Art and Design
Visits to Rovaniemi Art Museum Korundi, local Artist Association, galleries and studios.
Negotiations and/or talk session with art professionals


Travel costs, accommodation, tour guide, food.
The organiser together with partners will help in finding financial support for the visit.


Kaisa Kerätär,
Art manager & producer
kaisa (at)waria.fi
+ 358 45 124 2050

More information is also available from our project partners:
- Finnish Institute in Japan


Photos: Antti Ylönen: Time returning – burning (2014).
Helena Kaikkonen: Already forgotten (2015).


Antti Ylönen, Aika palaaHelena Kaikkonen, Jo unohtunut