Jan 2017 – Artist residency at Vanha Paukku kulttuuri- ja yrityskeskus, Lapua, Finland
I took part in a two week residency in Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku, Lapua in Finland. Vanha Paukku is an arts complex with galleries, a museum, artist residency building with studios, visitors centre, library, artisan shops, cafeteria and a movie theatre. During the two weeks I had a studio in the main residency building.
The Vanha Paukku building was previously The State Cartridge Factory established in 1923, a significant employer and important part of Finnish history. In 1976 an explosion in the loading department took the lives of 40 factory employees, a significant national tragedy for Finland.
Their museum in the complex focused on local histories, their famous tragedy and traditions including wartime Finland. I was able to learn of its communist connections and saw artefacts and interesting imagery and logos associated with it. There was also a shooting range in Vanha Paukku where a local marksman Arvi (who worked in the new Nammo Lapua Ammunition factory) practices. He showed me the Lapua bullets and memorabilia he collected and even taught me to shoot a riffle. He gave me a few bullet shell mementos that have Lapua impressed on them. I want to use the documentation I took of his office, memorabilia and the Lapua bullets to make some new prints. I have a collection I started in America of old gun prints which I can now develop more with the Lapua bullet collection and imagery. The town’s crest also has very striking imagery of a man with a club riding a polar bear. I will develop the work back at Seacourt to create new prints.