Homeland

1 March–17 May 2015

The main theme for the exhibition is the concept of homeland. To originate from the Kvarken region (or anywhere else for that matter) cannot be defined through language alone. Deep cultural associations with geography, territory, natural environment and climate form a part of it. Yet, it is something more, such as a deeply-felt attitude, state of mind, or emotional connection. The 12 artists from Finland and Sweden set out to question the notion of home and belonging, its historicism, and the various interpretations and images traditionally associated with it. The exhibition also considers the need to preserve cultural heritage and values inherent to it.

Homeland is a project with a particular focus on dialogue and interaction. The two-way nature of the project, the exchange between the two regions, seeks to strengthen mutual understanding, communication and knowledge across the Kvarken. The exhibition is curated by Australian artistCatherine Bourne and Regional artist in international collaboration, Norah Nelson of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland’s Regional Office of Ostrobothnia. 

Most of the works are video works and installations, which have been developed and produced especially for this exhibition. The project started in August 2013. The artists participated in Art Camp Malakta, where they lived together and worked alongside each other for one week at Malakta Art Factory in Malax, Finland. There, plans were begun for their works for the exhibition in a programme that also included daily group discussions with the curators. The purpose of the dialogue was to develop a more critical and informed approach to their artistic work. A second workshop, Art Camp Gammlia, was organized in Umeå in August 2014 as part of the Umeå 2014 European Capital of Culture programme.

A working group was created for the project, which included visual artists Robert Back, Mia Damberg and Tiina Laasonen as well as the curators at Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art Julia Svarvar and Pamela Andersson, art consultant Marielle Nylander at Region Västerbotten and exhibitions coordinator Suzanne Steneberg at Västerbottens museum in Umeå.