Saturday July 10 2016
This afternoon we arrived in Hauho, Finland, more precisely at Hovinkartano Taidekeskus (Court Estate’s Arts Center), 6 km away from Hauho.
This is the place where I will be an ‘Artist in Residence’ for the coming three weeks.
At arrival we meet the owner of the estate Riitta Tarvainen who makes us a warm welcome and guides us through the area of buildings and through the history of the manor which goes back into the 1400’s.
The current main building was completed in 1830 and has been inhabited ever since, its layout and interior have been preserved almost completely original.
In the period 1890-1910 strong refurbishment of buildings was done and more facilities were added, a brick factory, a dairy, a mill, still in use livestock buildings and granary, a total of 27 buildings.
In 1914 a brick art nouveau castle (nowadays Art Hovi) was built. It formed the – that time owner – judge Jansson’s silver wedding anniversary gift to his wife. The castle was considered to be a banquet and guest space. The property has never been inhabited permanently.
Riitta grew up at the manor and she told us about her parents and grandparents, about life at the manor in that time, about the ingeniously heated greenhouse where her grandmother grew cucumbers and other vegetables and sold them to the neighborhood. Everything she tells reflects her love for the estate.
In 1984 Riitta and her husband Risto inherited the manor and they moved in for living.
Art Hovi Oy is founded in 1988 and presents the first national arts exhibition. Since 27 years several exhibitions and arts workshops have been organized in the manor buildings.
Theme of the current exhibition is ‘Country Life’ and Pirjo Heino, well know Finnish artist is the curator.
The manor also facilitates an ‘artist in residence’ program and for the coming weeks will I be one of them, an ‘Ateljee’ (Finnish term for my studio) has already been made available for me.
I am going to unpack all the supplies and materials I took with me, find them a proper place and I am excited to see what this adventure will bring!