Artist in residence: Elina Lajunen (Finland)
I have wanted to go to Iceland since I was very small. Last summer I met Marta Jóhannesdóttir in my garden in Finland. Marta lives in Vogar in Iceland with her family and has there Artist residency called Menningarverkefnid Hladan. Our meeting was short but magical. It was those moments when you notice that you are in the right place at the right time. Marta liked my work and invited me to Iceland.
I came to Iceland in the beginning of March. It was rainy and grey weather. First moments were difficult. I asked myself why I came so far alone. Changements of places and countries are never easy for me. But, I got an apartment in the home for the elderly and I had the ocean on my backyard! That felt so good and exciting.
When I came I had an idea to work something with Puppets and something with silence. I had title ”Movement of silence” in my mind. For me silence means many things. First it seems to be full of different voices and very noisy. Then some moments you really feel silence just as a huge empty space. But well, Iceland is huge experience, you can’t miss nature and weather. Sometimes I felt that my moods were together with the Iceland weather. I had a feeling of earth shakes in me, I couldn’t do what I thought. Old things and old ways were not working.
It’s interesting that when you are far away alone in foreign land you think some moments that you are far away of everything. Nothing touch you. But that’s not true. Abroad you really face yourself. For me living in the home for the elderly was huge and important. I get to know the grandmother of Vogar, Lovisa. She brought pancakes in front of my door and presented photos of her family. She has twelve children and over 60 grandchildren and she is 90 years old. She smiled and said: I am rich. I was touched. I haven’t lived so near of people to who I create my work. I loved them all, so beautiful and wonderful people. It really made me think what and how I create my art. What I can and what I want to give for them.
Photographs belong to Elina Lajunen
Elina Lajunen is a Finnish artist. She is a performer, director, visual artist and musician. She has studied music and Puppet Theatre in Finland and Physical theatre in Paris in The International Theatre School of Jacques Lecoq.
From 2nd of March until 18th of April 2012 Elina stayed in Vogar, Iceland. She has been writing diary notes which she has been kind enough to share with us. This post is the first letter of two.