In 2017-2018 we are working with a range of artists on a variety of touring and place-based commissions across the UK; we’re also working with several artists to scale-up projects via R&D and through ongoing creative mentoring and learning.
Henna Asikainen is a mixed-media artist born in Joensuu, Finland. She uses different mediums to explore issues concerned with nature and the environment. Her work contributes to debates around ecology, exploring the poetics of our relationship with the world around us. Henna examines the aesthetic value of nature and the experiences evoking value. Focusing on the concept of beauty and notions of trauma, she is committed to socially and politically engaged art practices.
Henna has been commissioned to produce a site-specific piece, Forage, for the forthcoming Platforma Festival in Newcastle – October 2017.
For newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers confined to the city, there are few means to access the rich environment of the region. Getting to know the landscape and broadening one’s experiential context engenders feelings of attachment, pride and love. Henna’s new project Forage seeks to address this by bringing forth the voices of marginalised groups around issues such as the ownership of, and access to, natural landscape and cultural institutions.
Most importantly, the project will offer participants wonderful days in countryside and the opportunity to experience some of the magical National Trust properties in the area. The National Trust is kindly supporting the project by providing free entry to Seaton Delaval Hall, Gibside, and Cherryburn. The participants will be bused back and forth, will be provided lunch, and will engage in print-making workshops at Northern Print. An interaction with the Red Rope community of walkers will provide the chance for participants to form relationships with local residents, and to develop understanding through the locals’ experiences and knowledge of their community.
The final piece will be an amalgamation of these activities as an installation made of foraged matter, which will be displayed at Nunsmoor Park, Fenham during the Platforma Festival in late October.
Forage is supported by Arts Council England, Isis Arts, and Counterpoints Arts.