Kärsämäki's Secret I

2016 Kärsämäki's Secret I, Arthouse Nahkuri, Kärsämäki Finland

2016 Kärsämäki's Secret I, Arthouse Nahkuri, Kärsämäki Finland

An Artist Residency

In March 2016, I embarked on a short trip to Finland for an artist residency program. The idea was to seek new conversations and experiences, and make something out of them.


Photo credits : Camilla Rícco
2016 Kärsämäki's Secret I, Arthouse Nahkuri, Kärsämäki Finland

The System

It was a short time frame of 4 weeks and in that period I came up with a system for me to process the observations, explorations and narratives of my life in a far-off land. This system’s input were these unassuming shapes we find in our immediate surroundings and the output took the form of strange, imaginary creatures. I went on to write a step by step manual on how to capture these “elusive beings” via illustration and conducted workshops based on that manual for people of all ages. There was an exhibition held at the Arthouse Nahkuri towards the end of my residency, showcasing works of mine alongside works of all participants of the workshop.

First explorations in shape hunting.


Workshop sessions

Imagination is an internal Q and A monologue you have with yourself as you make each decision to add to or subtract from the artwork. And so when I conducted workshops, I broke down the creation process into steps which anyone can follow. Every step posed a basic question to the participants, guiding that Q and A session.  “Where are its eyes? How many eyes? How does it move around? Where does it come from”… etc. 

This series of questions is woven into a poem, and then made into a tiny manual. It forms a framework for creating a creature from a shape. It brings participants through shape hunting, adding features, colouring and texturing. At the end, mere shapes will be brought into existence as imaginary beings, given names and dates of birth.

More images can be found here.



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