THE ARTIST RESIDENCY
The Residence will be closed until the end of June as a result of Covid-19. There are communal social areas and a shared bathroom block at the apartment so it is not possible to maintain strict social distancing.
The Norpas Artist Residency began in 2018. The residence apartment is situated in a wooden, two storey barrack block of a style very particular to Taalintehdas which was first built as workers' accommodation in the late 1800s.
The specific objectives of the Residency are to:
1 ) facilitate a productive and rewarding working period for artists and to provide an authentic residency experience in the Finnish archipelago 2 ) increase the significance of arts and culture in Taalintehdas, on Kimito island and more broadly in South West Finland 3 ) lead the production of public and environmental works of art for the community of Taalintehdas.
The Residency is directly related to the Norpas Artpark project which will add to the amount of art and artworks available to the public in Taalintehdas. Our aim is to add at least one significant exhibit per year to the area surrounding the village, these will gradually form a collection of pieces, the "Artpark" outdoor public gallery. The initiative is supported by the Association for Rural Culture and Education in Finland and there will be compensation for work completed and any materials used.
The Residency periods are occasionally also managed on an invitational basis.
Norpas ry will cover the cost of accommodation at the residence apartment and provide organisational support when activity during a given residency period is associated with the local community and environment and is considered participatory and constructive.
If a residency period is used solely to develop personal projects the accommodation will be charged at 10 Euros per night.
the residency experience
A Norpas residency period will prove an invaluable inspiration to working artists from all over the world. The abundance of character, nature and history in Taalintehdas often make it seem very far removed from the cares and concerns of life elsewhere. Actively participating in village and community life is a central part of the Norpas residency experience for visiting artists. The distinctive and welcoming Finland-Swedish culture, a long tradition and heritage of industry and craftsmanship and a rural locality nestled amongst the islands of the archipelago all add to the charms of the little town of Taalintehdas.
We will meet every resident artist in person and will always provide help and local support. Norpas ry's networks in the fields of arts and culture will broadly benefit the development of residency projects, provide material assistance and offer wider perspective. We aim to help by reinforcing the significance of an individual artist's participation and contribution. This enhances personal and professional bonds with work, with the residency itself and with the village.
The significance of the arts in taalintehdas
Taalintehdas is one of the first ironworks villages in Finland and is unusual in the sense that the steel industry remained the largest local employer until as late as 2012. This has influenced the character of the village and the surrounding area in a variety of ways. There are buildings dating from the 1700s, a strong industrial and working identity among local people and a built environment that blends in well with nature.
Taalintehdas is still undergoing a transformation which began in 2012 when 350 years of steel industry and factory employment abruptly ended in the village. The municipality was then immediately re-classified as one undergoing significant structural change. The first Festival Norpas was also organised in that same year and the demand for artists along with opportunities, local interest and working space made available to arts and culture has been growing ever since. With the Norpas Residency our aim is to make Taalintehdas increasingly attractive to artists and those working in creative professions. There's plenty of economical working space available in the village. The current owners of the former steel factory are very encouraging and supportive of the arts and are willing to rent out space on the former factory estate at an attractively low cost.
Taalintehdas has always been a community where different languages, groups, nationalities and tradespeople have interacted. Prejudice is absent and the locals have a strong sense of working together in a common cause. Both the Finnish and Swedish languages are universally spoken and understood in the village.
Activity at the Artist Residency is designed to ensure that art becomes permanently established in Taalintehdas, our particular areas of focus are environmental works of art and art which is accessible to the public. Our vision is that in ten years’ time Taalintehdas will have a reputation as a home to a multitude of diverse and independent arts and culture. The Residency is a means to initiate this agenda and to move it forward.
Our intention is that all our public artwork and our wider activities convey a clear sense that these are not items which have simply been purchased with money, instead they are the result of careful consideration, they suit the history and traditions of the village and are environmentally and socially sustainable in the long term.
We act with care and attention throughout and consider the merits of each work of art individually. This is a collective and consultative process and we always seek to respect the wishes of the wider village community, local residents, business owners and the local council.