My aim with the project Järvenjää/Lakeice was to explore interrelations between people and their immediate environment; allowing the viewer to reflect on diverse uses of natural landscapes within the city. To achieve this work I spent every day walking and travelling by local bus around Jyväskylä to the many lakes in and around the city. Initially, I’m working like a street photographer – nothing is predetermined; the series is built up by spending time out there experiencing changes in the weather and responding to what I see and the people I meet. Later I spent time with the groups of ice swimmers who meet several times a week to relax, take a sauna and swim in a hole in the ice.
Sometimes in blizzard conditions and always in temperatures of between -5 and -20, this often meant wading knee deep in snow across frozen lakes to reach my chosen destination. I was fascinated with how the frozen lakes had transformed the city and they had become a temporary urban park with its specially constructed ice skating track with other more random paths carved out by ski-ers, dog walkers and pedestrians making short cuts from the houses on the otherside of the city. The division between the land and water had disappeared.
Järvenjää/Lakeice is part of the Connections North international residency exchange programme and is supported by Arts Council England.
This work is currently on show at The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate as part of the Innostaa / Inspire exhibition and wll be touring to Finland in 2013. An artist's book of the work is available on my publications page.
Uimaranta / Swimming place