I'm getting started on a new piece, which will be the final part of my body of work on my time in Finland. I've really enjoyed making this body of work, and I'm proud of what I've done, but I feel like it's time to move on. When I started this work the experience was really fresh for me, but now six months have passed and other concerns have come up for me which I'd like to work with.
Recently my work has become concerned with human experience, not just relationships, and I think the new piece is more reflective of this. I'm very interested in language, and whilst I was away I was very keen to learn and speak as much Finnish as possible. Even now I still try to keep practising with it. In London it's very normal to hear foreign languages around you, so I didn't find it too daunting to be surrounded by the Finnish language. Finnish is such a minority language that few people are familiar with it, so I thought it would be really interesting to confront my audience with it, allowing them to share my experience of being surrounded by it. I think it will be easy for an audience to relate to this piece, as viewers have likely had the same experience whilst on holiday abroad, or may have lived abroad themselves.
I've chosen to embroider a variety of stereotypical English phrases and concepts, translated into Finnish. The image is of a trial piece I did yesterday, reading "cup of tea". I'll provide a handwritten board with translations, otherwise no one will get the joke of the two cultures being mashed together, unless a Finnish speaker happens to see the work.
For this piece I'm using a style more reflective of handwriting than the block capitals I used previously. This adds to the human element.
I think my exhibition will provide a strong feel of my Finnish experience, and I'm very glad that I'm able to share this with others.
Additionally, I'm currently applying for an artist's residency in Turku for Autumn 2013. I might be back sooner than I think!