FIDA Residency in Retrospect: Anna Niskanen

21. oktober 2021

FABRIKKEN for Kunst og Design had the pleasure of hosting Finnish artist Anna Niskanen as part of the FIDA Residency 2021, in collaboration with The Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark. In retrospect we asked Anna to reflect on her Copenhagen experience and the projects she worked on during her two months of residency, which ended early October.

Creating Connections & New Work

We pass the word to Anna:

In addition to making new work, my focus during my time in Copenhagen was getting to know people and spending time with friends and colleagues. I wanted to organize a group exhibition with a few close friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. I met local artists Josefine, Ida and Cecilie in different exchange and residency programs abroad in the past seven years. A collaborative artistic endeavor that would bring us all together seemed a natural way of working while in residence at FIDA. We put together an exhibition called Nothing New Under the Sun in the main hall of FABRIKKEN with new works from all of us.

In my own practice I mainly work with photo-based printmaking. Lately I have been making large cyanotype works that take on motifs from my childhood memories. Photographs of places, objects and landscape act as vessels and catalysts to hold these memories. I then make digital collages and negatives to prepare for printing by hand in sunlight.

I was able to continue with a cyanotype project and finish prints at the Danish Arts Workshops. This body of work is currently on show at my solo exhibition A Dune is a Wave in Vasa City Art Gallery in Finland.

I was impressed by how the program was organized by FABRIKKEN and the Finnish Cultural Institute. The premise was to acquaint me with the Danish art scene and all events proved, that this program can achieve that. I met many fellow artists and people who work within the visual arts scene. Two months is a short amount of time, but I learned heaps and will keep on building on what I was introduced to. It was dreamy to have introductions, assistance, conversations, and collaborations catered to my preference and need. Inspired by how this residency took initiative, I’m sure that I will be better primed to reach out to others and get to know new people and art going forward – hopefully back in Copenhagen at some point as well.

An Exhibition in Retrospect

The Exhibition Nothing New Under the Sun presented works from four friends, brought together by Anna Niskanen. The exhibition was centered around a common theme of memory – of recalling childhood, collective memory, routine, ritual and how nature reminds us of the past. Nothing New Under the Sun was accompanied by a text by Sabrina Tamar, who writes “To remember is to seek sense and purpose in what unfolds and unravels before and after us. It renders us small but renders us here.”

Get a glimpse of the exhibition and find Tamar’s full text below:

About Anna Niskanen

Anna Niskanen (b. 1990) is a visual artist from Helsinki, Finland. She graduated from Aalto University’s Photography programme in 2017. Her works are prints and sculptures based in photography. She collects images of nature and her photographic practice mixing digital and analogue processes recalls memories of visited places. Anna Niskanen participated in the FIDA Residency in August-Spetember 2021.

About the FIDA Residency Programme

FIDA is a residency program for Finnish or Finland-based visual artists hosted by FABRIKKEN for Kunst og Design and the Finnish Cultural Institute in Denmark. The purpose of the residency program is to build networks between professional artists on the contemporary Finnish and Danish art scenes, and to introduce artists from Finland to a Danish art market. Read more about our residency programmes and how to apply here.