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Hanna Nurminen

Hanna Kirsti Nurminen
Born May 18, 1955, Helsinki

Master of Arts (Finnish Language), University of Helsinki

Director 2006-, Saari Residence
Farmwife 1982–2013
Assistant officer 1981–1982 and officer 1983–2013, Kone Foundation
Freelance cultural producer 1995–2006
Cultural secretary 1989–1995, municipality of Merimasku

Posts and expert tasks
Member of the Foundation for Finnish Peasant Culture 1988–
Board member of the Kone Foundation 1988–, Vice-chairman 1989–2001, Chairman 2002–
Member of the Arts Council of Southwest Finland 1998-2003 and 2007–2012, Vice-chairman 2007–2009, Chairman May 2002–2003 and 2010–2012
Board member of the Foundation of the Finnish Institute in Athens 2000–2005
Chairman of the KULMA project’s steering group and member of the KULMA team 2003–2005
Board member of The Council of Finnish Foundations 2003–2006
Member of the Arts Council of Finland 2007–2009
Board member of the Turku 2011 Foundation, 2007–2009

Antti prize for local newspapers, Rannikkoseutu
“Meri” cultural award of the Rymättylä and Merimasku Lions 2001
The Regional Council of Southwest Finland’s Aurora medal for cultural work to the benefit of Southwest Finland 2002
Recognition for cultural work from the Arts Council of Southwest Finland 2005
Merimasku Society’s annual prize 2009

Written by Hanna Nurminen
Translated by John Calton

The Saari Residence is a Meeting Place for Artists and Researchers

In recent years I have worked as the director of the Saari residence, which is maintained by the Kone Foundation. Leading the residence for artists and researchers is wonderful work, and I’m worried how I will ever be able to give it up when I reach retirement age. The best day of the working week is Tuesday, when both artists and researchers take turns in presenting their own work and the discussion continues over brunch together.

Artists and researchers come to the Saari Residence to develop their own work, and they are often surprised by how important meeting and sharing with the other guests is as a component of their residency experience. “I feel that my time at the residence was one of the most significant events of the last ten years, both in terms of my artistic work and my personal life. The interaction and discussions with other artists in which I was involved at the residence widened my perspective and thoughts on art and also strengthened my identity as an artist,” said one guest.

In Jaakko Niemelä’s work “Kajo” (‘shimmer’), a line from a poem by Henriikka Tavi is reflected on the pond at the Saari Residence. Nimelä and Taavi worked at the Saari Residence at the same time in 2009, and Nimelä became interested in Tavi’s visual poetry. Picture: Jaakko Niemelä.

At the Saari Residence, we compare interaction based on trust and reciprocity to a well. A well assembles those who have come to draw water to share their thoughts, ideas, problems and their solutions. The Saari Well is an opportunity for artists and researchers to meet, share ideas and generally leave their own distinctive impression on each other’s thinking, work, and on the residence itself. “The Saari Residence Well gave me a special present. I got to know the Japanese composer Aki Ito; we talked a lot, became friends and became interested in each other’s work. After reading my poems, Aki grew interested in their French translations and wanted to set them to music,” said the writer Eira Stenberg. The work is now ready and will premier in September 2015.

Last year the well concept was also adopted at the Kone Foundation’s office in Helsinki.

Resident artists at the Saari Residence celebrate Shrove Tuesday at the Barbeque Lover’s Carousel Pavilion, designed by Jan-Erik Andersson. Photo: Pirre Naukkarinen.


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