If you are an artist looking for opportunities such as residencies in the Nordic countries, NIFCA**, the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, will be of interest to you. Located in Helsinki, NIFCA is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the body responsible for co-operation between the governments of Denmark, Finland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Ă…land Islands. NIFCA creates a variety of new opportunities for artists, audiences, curators and critics to experience, enjoy and explore contemporary visual culture in the Nordic countries and internationally. It is involved in residency collaboration at numerous locations in the Nordic countries and throughout the world.

There is a lot of information here to begin a research for some exciting opportunities. I enjoyed browsing through the website and looking at the Artist Gallery, (under Residencies) where one can learn who has taken part in them, where they are from and where they did their residency. For example, under Finland, I found it interesting that a Finnish/Canadian visual artist from Canada, Suvi Johanna Kuisma went to Ivalo, Inari, Lapland in the summer of 2004. I’ve seen her name somewhere here in Canada. I really connected with her artist statement that accompanied the images of her work, quoted here in part:

I am connected by my parents past, through their stories, their memories. But in coming here now, I am building a new connection, replanting the roots, looking back while moving forward. I used the images from the kasvisto (greenhouse) as a starting point. The works I produced are an exploration of the tension between the need to have roots, a history, an origin, and the simultaneous need to transcend and let go of those anchors. Existing in the space between, in a space of continual flux, I try to find a balance.

** UPDATE: since writing this, the NIFCA organization has since changed – please check it out here

October 13, 2005 in Being an Artist, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Other artists by Marja-Leena