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Image of Lake Saana in Kilpisjärvi, Lapland/Sápmi Finland by Björn Kröger

We’re very happy to announce that two artists have been selected through an open call to undertake a new and innovative residency programme set up by North AiR, a research network of six organisations spanning Scotland and Finland, supported by the Finnish Institute in London. The artists will participate in the network’s pilot residency, North AiR: Expanding Entanglements , which aims to reconsider conventional artist exchange models and question the role of artists’ residency in this time of climate breakdown.

Scotland-based artist George Ridgway and Finland-based artist Maija Annikki Savolainen will travel by land and sea to the partner organisations in the respective countries – Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW), Taigh Chearsabhagh and Timespan in Scotland; Mustarinda , Bioart Society and KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre in Finland. The artists willresearch within local ecosystems and landscapes for one month at each location, for a sustained period of three months in 2019.

On being selected George Ridgway said “I’m extremely honoured and excited to be invited into this programme. My practice is deeply intertwined with how we relate to expanded notions of place and their ecological webs. This international opportunity will encourage intimate conversation and the exchange of knowledges and ways of understanding across many different fields.”

On being selected Maija Annikki Savolainen said “The system of artists working in residencies can create economical and psychological precarity in which long-term planning becomes impossible. This residency supports artists’ work economically and spiritually; it’s a unique opportunity and I am very much looking forward to working in the Scottish landscape”

This significant residency pilot does not seek final outcomes or artworks, rather applied and expansive research by the artists. Utilising innovative, embodied methodologies and situated research/process-based enquiries, as demonstrated in Maija and George’s practices to date, the programme is unprecedented in its direct response and action around urgent issues within an international context.

The partners are located within distinctive ecosystems in Scotland and Finland. In Scotland, Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW) in the foothills of the Grampian Mountains and close to the Cairngorms National Park, Taigh Chearsabhagh with the University of the Highlands and Islands on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides and Timespan in Helmsdale, a coastal village in East Sutherland at the mouth of River Helmsdale and the North Sea. In Finland, Ars Bioartica organised by the Bioart Society Helsinki in subarctic Lapland/ Sápmi, KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre at the confluence of the River li and the Gulf of Bothnia, and Mustarinda , surrounded by old-growth forest extending from the borders of the Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve.

All partners foster long term enquiries into their role and response-ability within the ecological crisis and together this network and pilot residency programme looks towards a post-fossil future with a trans disciplinary approach. North AiR: Expanding Entanglements is supported by the network partners and the Finnish Institute in London . Following the residency period, George Ridgway and Maija Savolainen will present their research and experiences alongside network partners as part of a public event in November 2019 at the Finnish Institute in London.