Open Call: Warjakka Artists Residency – Site-Specific Collaborative Practice. An opportunity to spend two weeks in Northern Finland with two other artists exploring multi-artform collaboration.

Where: Varjakka Island, Varjakka, Oulu, Finland

When: 15th – 26th July 2019

Deadline for applications: 31st May 2019

TaikaBox, in partnership with Ervastinkylä Village Association and funded by Oulu City, is offering a two-week long residency for three artists from different art forms – one artist from the Oulu area, one from elsewhere in Finland and one from overseas. This residency will be for collaborative experimentation and is not suitable for artists wanting time to develop an already-existing project.

The residency takes place in the beautiful harbour of Varjakka in Northern Finland. Varjakka is a small village in Oulunsalo in the bay of Kempele. It is located 18km south of Oulu. You can travel to the area easily by air – Oulu Airport is only 7km from Varjakka, or by train to Oulu railway station. Arrangements can be made for pick up from/to the airport or railway station.
Just off the coast of Varjakka port there are a pair of islands – Varjakka and Pyydyskari. Around the turn of the 20th century, the sawmill on Varjakka island was one of the most important in the Nordic countries, employing over 700 people from the area. A major equipment failure in 1929 led to the island being abandoned. The foundations of buildings in Varjakka forest overgrown by trees and the abandoned decorative red and white buildings on the island tell fascinating stories of the past life in the area and offer a unique and magnificent location for artistic work.
The mystery and attraction of Varjakka island is increased by its limited access. You can reach the island during the Summer either by cable ferry or by boat. During the Winter, the only way to get to the island is by walking or skiing over the ice.
Varjakka Harbour sits at the edge of a nature reserve with beautiful forest walks and a large wetland area for a wide range of migrating birds. A short walk across the swimming beach brings you to Varjakka Manor, another building of historical importance. The eventful history of the area includes stories of shipbuilding, tourism and war-time prison camps.

The Warjakka Artist Residency provides the selected artists space to develop collaborative practices with other artists from different artistic backgrounds. The artists will have the big old office building ’Konttori’ as their studio in the Varjakka island and the local village association’s small fisherman’s hut in the mainland from 15th until 26th July 2019. There is a man-powered ferry between the mainland and Varjakka island three times a day between 12pm and 5.30pm throughout July. Konttori is a large two story building which used to be the headquarters of the saw mill factory in early 20th century. The island has a ghostly feeling with beautiful wooden buildings standing solemnly empty. The aim of the residency is to breathe life back to this place. Konttori is open for visitors and artists to work from Monday to Friday at 12.30pm-5pm throughout July. There is no electricity on the island and no running water. There is a clean wooden lavatory next to Konttori. Staying overnight in the island is not permitted. The fisherman’s hut, on the other hand, is small (13.5m2) and basic, but has space to work and sleep. There is an outside toilet, but no plumbing inside the hut; water will be brought onto the site. The hut has electricity outlets, a table, coffee pot and a microwave. Bedding will be provided. Extra facilities, alternate accommodation and cooking facilities can be provided in a home 1km from the harbour. During the Summer months, there is a small cafe in the port. Warjakka bar&grill located about 2km from the port provides warm food, beer and supplies. There is also a supermarket about 5km from the harbour. Bicycles are available to borrow for the duration of the residency.

The Warjakka Artist Residency in July 2019 is the third of its kind in the area. The aim of the residency is to support creative experimentation and to bring new artistic experiences to the local community. In this year’s residency TaikaBox hopes to attract artists who have a track record of collaborative practice with other art forms.

The Warjakka Artist Residency is also site-specific: We are expecting the artists to show an interest in the area, its history and environment and use these as starting points for their collaborative investigations and to include the local community in some way.
The selected artists are provided with:
– a small fee (around 600€ – 800€, depending on final available funds)
– some material expenses
– a contribution towards travel expenses (up to 350€ for international participants)
– per diems
– accommodation
– practical and artistic support throughout the residency

The chosen artists are expected to lead at least one workshop or engage in other community-based work during the residency. The artists can choose to do this individually or as a group. The artists are also expected to participate in an evening picnic meal event arranged by the local village association at the end of the residency and introduce or show their work to a larger community.

How to apply: Although TaikaBox is primarily a dance organisation, artists from any artistic background are welcome to apply.

Send your CV and a letter of application (no more than one side of A4) which contains the following:
– a brief introduction to inter-disciplinary projects in which you have previously participated
– an explanation of your collaborative working methods
– how you take site-specificity and developing collaboration into account in your creative practice
– how you intend to integrate the local community in your artistic practice during the residency

Applications should be sent to TaikaBox via email to: by 31st May 2019.

All applicants will be informed of the decision by the mid-June.

Participants will be paid a small fee and expenses.

For further information, please visit

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