We are coming up for air after two weeks of winter action in Norway and Finland! Five new Eyes as Big as Plates works have been created with the power of our Horten dreamteam, the extended North Karelia Biosphere Reserve and the Ikonen Moomin family of Jokiniemi – tusen takk and kiitos paljon to everyone involved!
The two-week jamboree kicked off with a photoshoot with Norway’s arguably most potent brain, Arne Johan Vetlesen, and his portrait and accompanying text will join the Preus Norwegian Museum of Photography’s collection in Horten along with Ragnhild’s conk camouflage shot from last November. At the sold out exhibition seminar at the same museum two days later, Arne Johan headlined a series of talks on the climate emergency, and the crowd’s brains were buzzing with future bending facts about translucent frogs, arctic gender studies, bombing pipelines, owls that hoot no more and why this duo might start photographing the ‘indoor society’ in the future.
The only thing that could clear our mental palette after that was a good ice swimming hole, or ‘avanto’. We headed to eastern Finland to the UNESCO North Karelia Biosphere Reserve to see how people there navigate life in their surroundings, could they even have found some ways of being that could be called sustainable and could those solutions work for us, elsewhere in the world too?
Our local coordinators Vilma and Niko took us to Vuonislahti village association’s ‘Jäätie tutuksi’ – event, loosely translated as ‘get to know your ice road’ and we kidnapped the village chief for the Vuonislahti tower photoshoot.
After driving the 7km stretch of official road across lake Pielinen, we chitchatted with wetland restoration pioneer Janne in Kontiolahti (photos will be produced in September!) and defrosted in the Kelvä sauna once back home.
We raised against the blue hour with Paivi from the Mäkikylat village association and stepped onto the frozen banks of Finland’s oldest river Ala-Koitajoki near Pamilonkoski, with waterways champion Niilo.
Timo who ran the the biosphere operation for thirty years before Vilma took the reigns wanted to have his story wound amongst the forests of Kontiovaara and took us to Erä-Eeron wildlife photography camp, where we for the first time ever got to photograph in snow crisscrossed with wolverine, fox and wolf tracks. It was Fat Tuesday, or Sledging Tuesday as the Finns call it, so many many many fatty buns were devoured by all!
Stay tuned, we shall return to you and Pohjois-Karjala in September for more!
We are on a lookout for collaborators for September. If you know someone or would like to get in touch yourself, do email or call us! firstname.lastname@example.org