română/ bucurești/ cluj/ iași/ sibiu/

Residency and artistic intervention – Jaana Kokko

24 June – 3 July 2024

The Experimental Station for Research on Art and Life
Siliștea Snagovului village

After a Gregorian calendar year, Helsinki-based artist Jaana Kokko returns to the village of Siliștea Snagovului. She is interested in gathering with the plants that are growing on the sides, taking the position of being not in the center. She asks: What are they revealing us with their hidden pigments and forms? And even more: What does it need from a garden to become a place/ space for emancipation, a place for political enlightenment?

Her search in the fields around the Station is inspired by dear places of her past, and the emotional connection to Maitohorsma, Fireweed (Ebilobium angustifolium).
The plant is very common in Finland, and it appears especially when the forests are cut clear, which is unfortunately still very common practice. One hundred years Fireweed was still rare in Central Europe, but the burning ruins of both world wars gave space for it and it started to blossom on the lands emptied by fire. The leaves of Fireweed unveil a yellow light pigment. The color gives pleasure, when it appears, it feels like a small, uncovered secret.

After her research residency at the Station last year, Jaana focuses this time on a precise task, albeit one that shows the ephemerality of being in this world. Collecting flowers and seeds from the area, while paying attention these are plentiful, she extracts the pigments from them, using the organic colours afterwards for woodcut printing. At the same time, this offers the team of the Station an occasion to learn the skill of working with plants pigments in order to further challenge the community of artists around (as well as the children in the village) on the importance of materials used in art, and of accepting the limited time an art work may exist in the world.


Jaana Kokko is an artist, film maker and teacher based in Helsinki. She has been lately working with the places/ spaces far from the centers. In 2024 her works will be seen in Estonia at Tallinn Art Hall in the exhibition Difficult pasts. Connected Worlds and in Finland at Gallery Anhava. She has been lecturing lately at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki and at Arts Academy Turku, Finland.

Jaana Kokko’s intervention takes place in the frame of the project ABC.
Architecture, Biodiversity, Culture [ABC]. Building ecological institutions for culture is an European cooperation project situated at the intersection between cultural practices, eco-architecture and ecosystems preservation. Initiated by a consortium of organisations active in the fields of culture, contemporary art, architecture, civic activism and eco-sustainable community practices, the project proposes a participatory process of building and cultural contextualising of ecological prototypes to be used by cultural institutions. ABC operates on four sites in Romania, Bulgaria and France: Silistea Snagovului, a village in the proximity of Bucharest, near a protected area of lake and forest; Brezoi, a small town in the South-Western part of Romania, in a mountaneous area and close to an important river; Dren, a village outside of Sofia, in a hilly area; and Bagneux, in the peripheral neighourhoods of Paris.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.