“What a pleasure to meet Team WARIA in Oulu!
Together we spent a hugely productive day listening to each other’s experience and talking through ideas.
It started with myself giving a presentation on artofcreativeconnections and the collaborative work with Taidepaussi. It outlined the various workshops we’ve delivered and their results, since 2010. This and the proposal I had drafted for Creative Training projects towards WARIAOulu2026, formed the basis for our discussions.
Pirjo Lempeä, Riikka Kontio and Antti Ylönen also gave presentations of their work which were fascinating and stimulating. It gave a real insight to their art practice and how it is closely linked to their work with the community.
Together we brain stormed and identified areas of need in relation to generating community creative engagement for the City of Culture Bid. This includes working with the environment re: Cultural Climate Change and the three themes mapped out on the Oulu2026 website.
We recognise the importance of nurturing and developing the wider participation of everyone in Oulu, regardless of background. Bringing together groups of people who otherwise might not connect with each other. This is crucial if Oulu2026 is going to reach out to all of Oulu and not just the few. It needs an active audience that feels like they have ‘ownership’ of the City of Culture, that it belongs to them.
This takes careful long term planning with preparatory creative workshops to lay the groundwork, for the development of such an audience.
WARIAOulu2026 has formulated a draft plan with proposals for a range of projects and events, that we believe can set the creative ball rolling for a unique and special City of Culture year, with an audience participation like no other!”
Presentation and workshop 18th April 2019
Veronica Slater, visual artist and art educator