Jellyfish and rendering

Seili Island
Text and fotos: Laura Lehtinen
28. August, in the morning. Second year art students start to pack the buss while anxiously waiting for the adventure to Seili island. Hot topics are for example tics and the dark history of the island as a leprosy- and mental hospital. But the students are also thinking so much more etc. the starting of school with the moving image course. After hundreds of kilometers and couple of ferries we got a chance to step on to this interesting island which Swedish name means seal island. Unfortunately we didn’t see seals but the diversity of nature was captured with eyes and also in the videos made. Everyone’s favourite seemed to be jellyfish who were captured in front of the lense night ’n’ day plus the cows who were running freely in the fields keeping the cultural landscape open.

 In Seili, there’s an archipelago research center that friendly offered us a place to work and food and shelter so nothing wouldn’t stop us video shooting and minds would stay awake. Moreover, we got a personal tour by a guide named Hanna who offered us the historical point of view in the island. We also met director of the research center and couple of Israeli video artists popped up to the same place. Between work the students had some freetime which was mostly spent together and sauna was also in hard use.

In archipelago research center they do a variety of researches in Baltic Sea plus they, for example, have long-term monitoring what comes to the condition of the sea. In the island’s nature you can see the work of a forest institute as they’ve planted variety of trees and flora which you don’t find so easily on mainland.

Second year art students watching
the work of their student friends.

After hours session of video shooting and editing the videos are ready to be shown. So the Seili week ended with a spectacular event called Seili Baltic Sea Festival where the work of students were shown. Along with the TAMK students there were the staff of the research center and other visitors and as the grande finale we saw one of the staff member’s video and the technic section gave a price for the best video they liked. As an add-on we saw f.ex. two of the music students from TAMK, Panu Siik and Heli Lahti, performing some music, a performance showing Bruce Nauman work, rewarding the executive group (teachers) with titles and butter statue plus a picture was given to the center with names and recognitions. Fest continued and a bright night sky with thousands of stars above us made the mood to our one of a kind festival.

Jouni Hirvonen and Juha Suonpää giving
the picture to center director Ilppo Vuorinen.

2.9. we said goodbye to Seili and it’s staff and the quiet fell in the buss showing the hard work done. Line crossings were made in many different forms: going to an island in the middle of the sea from mainland and the coming together of different lines together brought a unique working environment.

In the end we want to thank everyone who made this awesome school starting and helped us to work in different ways. Waiting for a new Seili trip to share!

More information about Seili and the archipelago research center: