Photo: Anni Anttonen

An Island of Art

In the summer of 2020, Uniarts Helsinki will be arranging art programme at Kuninkaansaari island at the same time as the Helsinki Biennial takes place on neighbouring Vallisaari. With the aid of art and science, Saari 2020 will be introducing new perspectives on our current ecological issues. 

The new contemporary art biennial, to be arranged just off central Helsinki on Vallisaari island in the summer of 2020, will receive a sidekick in the form of Uniarts Helsinki’s Saari 2020 project on Kuninkaansaari. Vallisaari and Kuninkaansaari are joined by an isthmus that can be crossed on foot, making it easy to visit both events at the same time. 

Saari 2020 is characterized by its respectful approach to the unique qualities, ecosystem and silent history of Kuninkaansaari island. The programme will feature intimate, multi-artistic performances, installations, workshops and discussions by Uniarts Helsinki students, educators, artists and researchers on Kuninkaansaari. 

The starting point forSaari 2020 is not the people but the island itself. Audiences will be welcomed in small groups in order to safeguard the sensitive environment of the island. Planning for Saari 2020 began in the spring of 2019 when a multi-artistic work group was formed at Uniarts Helsinki, and students have spent time on the island gathering material and inspiration for their upcoming art projects. The project also cooperates with students of atmospheric sciences at the University of Helsinki.  

Uniarts Helsinki will have two campuses in Helsinki in the future, located in Töölö and Sörnäinen. Starting with Saari 2020, the presence of art and art students will increasingly be felt also outside the walls of the university, as part of the nature and urban environment of the Helsinki region. Saari 2020 is the latest initiative in a cooperation project between Uniarts Helsinki and Metsähallitus that began in 2017.