Timo Jokela | Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design, Professor of
Interests in research and artistic practice:
The field of art education from an international perspective:
- Environmental and community-based art education
- Environmental art, site-specific art and environmental ethics in the empowerment and identity formation of communities
- Project-based art practice and development of art education: art and action research
From the perspective of northern art and regional development:
- Winter art, snow and ice construction
- Visual representations of Lapland, the northern and Arctic region
I was born and have lived most of my life in Northern Finland. The northern landscape and ways of life have had a powerful impact on my art. Nature and the landscape are also present in my international artistic work. This is why I am an environmental artist.
As an artist and art educator I am the creator and initiator of processes. In order to understand the processes that emerge through my art and their effects I am also a researcher. My aim is for art and research, influence and understanding to become intertwined in my work and fuse into a seamless whole. It is important to remember how art is born, the process of its birth. Even more important however, is that we understand the effects of art and how the positive effects of art can be nurtured and supported. That is why I am an action researcher.
Action must have a goal. My goal changed in the end of the 1970s. The breakdown in traditional ways of making a living meant that it was no longer just trees and natural resources that were being exported from Northern Finland but also people, in the form of migration. The self-esteem of people my age was at low ebb. I found my own way of working through these circumstances by uniting my experiences of modern art and my interest in landscape and in the relationships of cultures to nature. I was fortunate and did not lose my northern identity. That is why I work at the University of Lapland and still want to develop art that is ecologically, socially and culturally sustainable. I believe that this is how art education can have an empowering effect on people and societies all over the world.