Maria Huhmarniemi | Lecturer in Art Education
In my work as a visual artist, I engage with questions concerning the North, multiculturalism and communality as well as environmental issues such as the relationship between people and nature and environmental responsibility. I make use of old objects and textiles in my work, as well as recycled and natural materials and audiovisual recordings such as interviews and videos. I knit and crochet, collect and assemble, chat with people and document these chats. My works are installations. They are tied to space or place, whether in galleries or in the outdoors.
Research and art are intertwined in my work. Background research is a prerequisite for my art and making it requires collecting materials. I am working on a doctorate with an artistic component. The topic of my research is bio art and I work in collaboration with a researcher in the natural sciences. My aim is to discover how art is experienced from the perspective of natural science.
Art and teaching are also connected. The boundaries between one's individual art practice, communal environmental art, community art and teaching a workshop are fluid. Projects and related workshops on snow, ice and fire sculpture involve the teacher also in the capacity and role of an artist.
Art is, for me, a personal way of understanding the world. Working long-term on a project enables one to stop and think, while working with different materials provides opportunities for multisensory embodiment. On the other hand, the purpose of art is to have some sort of impact, and my works also intersects with the field of activist art.