Highlighting Handmade

Anyone interested in the Arctic Arts Summit held earlier this year may be interested in Maria Huhmarniemi's Debriefing article in Art North No. 3, titled 'Highlighting Handmade'. Among the many forward looking aspects to contemporary art in the Arctic region today, Maria writes about two artist collectives from Finland; the first being Elina Härkönen, Miia Mäkinen, Jari Rinne, and Maria herself. In their work they examine a shared cultural heritage of the Arctic through traditional knitting patterns. The work, titled 'Shared Woollen Patterns' (see example below), is based on their collaboration with knitters around the Arctic region who have shared their knowledge of regional knitting traditions.

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Another collective mentioned comprises Antti Stöckell, Antti Jokinen and Tapani Saraste, who at Arctic Arts Summit worked on the theme of shelter in a site-specific participatory art project. As Maria sums up, “Cultural sustainability means appreciation of the richness of different cultures and cultural identities, and in national level discussions and strategies, this is often limited to noting the importance of indigenous cultures. While indigenous cultures are important, it is necessary to keep in mind, that the Arctic region is multi-ethnic. There are many minority groups and cultures and only some of them are indigenous.”