The Merita award by the Art Foundation Merita promotes diversity in artistic research and puts acknowledged artist-researchers in the spotlight. The recipient of the grant will be announced in May 2021.
The grant is awarded annually, and it is particularly intended as a recognition for long-term artistic research and its social relevance. This year’s nominees are all doctoral students at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki.
Henna Laininen is a visual artist and a teacher of creative writing, whose artistic research investigates questions pertaining to a sustainable future and the ways in which bodily feelings related to climate change are processed. Laininen received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2016, and she also has a Master of Arts degree in comparative literature from the University of Tampere, completed in 2008.
Laininen is currently working on “My climate skills”, a radio documentary series where experts from different fields teach her new skills that help her live in a more sustainable way, while she documents the learning process. Laininen’s working methods include experimentation, discussions, recordings, and collaborative writing with different kinds of audiences in different weather conditions. The accumulated material is edited and transformed into installations, audio works, and texts.
Please follow the links below to learn more about Henna Laininen’s work:
Sulamisvesissä II (audio work) and text translations in English
Feeling the Climate – A Musical Discussion (discussion)
Sulamisvesissä (radio essay) and text translation in English
Stephanie Misa is known for her decolonizing practices and thoughts as well as her multimedia installations. Her artistic practice connects multicultural collaboration, curating, and feminist criticism.
Misa, who was born in the Philippines, graduated as Master of Sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2012. She also holds a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, completed in 2002.
In her doctoral research, Misa uses artistic means to examine phenomena pertaining to the oral tradition and the richness of multilingualism, topics that have not received much attention in previous artistic research. Misa’s research approaches the audience in a gentle, dialogical manner.
Please follow the links below to learn more about Stephanie Misa’s work:
Writing on the Inedible (article)
Archipelago Mountain, Exhibition Laboratory Helsinki (an exhibition curated by Ana de Almeida & Stephanie Misa)
Archipelago Mountain: Topographies of alternative imaginaries (presentation given at the KuvA Research Days)
Mia Seppälä is a visual artist whose artistic practice is based on established forms of activity that define our everyday lives. These activities can sometimes be identified, but they may also remain concealed. Seppälä completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki in 2017.
Seppälä’s doctoral research project in the fine arts “Spatiality of the digital image during deconstruction and reconstruction” examines the peculiar role of the image at the crossroads of material observations and impressions. In her research, Seppälä makes use of a method she has developed herself called off-painting,where colour pigments are removed from the digital image under the gaze of people passing by. Seppälä may paint off birds standing on the lawn in public places or entire seascapes, for example.
The members of the jury are Lecturer Riikka Haapalainen from the Aalto University, Assistant Professor Kalle Lampela from the University of Lapland, and Tutta Palin from the Art Foundation Merita. The recipient of the grant will be selected by the Board of the Art Foundation Merita.
The recipient will be announced on 24 May 2021.
Interview with the recipient of the 2020 Merita Young Artist Grant Miklos Gaál (FI)
Interview with the recipient of the 2019 Merita Young Artist Grant Ilya Orlov (FI)
Website of the Art Foundation Merita
Reeta Holma, Communications Specialist, Academy of Fine Arts of the University of the Arts Helsinki, 045 657 9347, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anu Kehusmaa, Director of the Art Foundation Merita, 041 4377566, email@example.com