Timo Jokela (art and design)


WINTER ART: Winter Art Development as a part of Art Education

I use action research approach to study development opportunities of winter art from a point of view of environmental art and community art. My research is connected to development of art education that emphasizes regional and local aspects in a socio-cultural context, making it noticeable and connecting it to the discipline’s national and international debate.

By winter art I mean activities that are based on the use of elements of winter, such as snow, ice, coldness and darkness, as a part of the field of art. Winter art includes, in my opinion, snow and ice sculpture, snow and ice construction and various performing art forms, such as fire art or winter theaters and happenings. Besides physical material and environmental aesthetic expressions, winter art is founded on winter’s particular culture. The culture of winter is manifested in the art’s traditions of interpretation of winter and in its use as a metaphor in artistic narration. On the other hand, especially in the North, winter’s culture is based on methods and meanings that have emerged from regional traditions. Central aim of action research is to build productive interaction between these two cultures.

Research objectives emerge from art education’s interests to activate people and communities to discover their own strengths thorough art. The purpose of the research is to strengthen regional and local identity of the North, but also to advance locally active and regionally conscious art education theory and its appliance in the international sector. Winter art plays a central role in the development work and concepts, implications and ideologies projected to it open new perspectives of place-specific art and art education in general.

My research consists of winter art related artistic activities and a series of articles dealing with them and the theoretical study connected to it. Artistic activities are built up from reflective cultivation of my personal art work (environmental and community art projects and exhibitions) and alike from wide-ranging art projects that demand co-operation various sectors of society, and in which artistic activities are integrated into multidisciplinary based regional development work. Within these extensive projects artistic activity and art educational activity, the work of art institutions and art curators and also economic life are all connected. Besides contentual development work, the objective is thereby also to develop, by using action research methods, ways of action and organisations that implement winter art.

I present the progress of my research by publishing related articles both in national and in international forums. In the summarizing theoretical part of the research, I intend to define what winter art /means in relation to contemporary study of art education, and I also will define the phenomenon in proportion to multidisciplinary discourse. My aim is to develop regionally active theory and methods of art education and test the models suitability also beyond of its northern origins.

Central concepts : Environmental art, community art, winter art, place specific art, socio-cultural empowerment, community based art education