In the meadow, the slow evolution of the distinctive local ecosystem meets the accelerating planetary changes in all their unpredictability. The time of the meadow is not solely that of the past. Rather, the meadow intertwines the diverse rhythms of change: the geological deep time, the acute decrease in biodiversity, the myriad naturalcultural histories of symbiotic relations between humans and other animals, plants, microbes, and minerals.
The meadow insists on the necessity of taking time to care, even in the face of the escalating emergency of the climate crisis. Meadows stand as a living testament of the age-old coexistence of people, small-scale farming, and wildlife. These uncultivated fields once lay at the heart of the commons. Today, conservation efforts have saved many meadow ecosystems from extinction in Finland. The meadow may attune our senses thus to the entanglement of the life and death of different species with the transformations of human cultures and technologies.
The ecosystems in and around the village of Fiskars have been significantly impacted by the developments of agriculture, forestry, mining and related industries already for centuries. Conversely, specific ways of life have been flourishing there thanks to the natural resources, such as iron ore and copper deposits, rich soil, vast forests and labyrinthine waterways. The local culture has also been shaped by close connections to the wider Baltic Sea region and beyond through migration and trade.
Starting from these local coordinates, the exhibition Meadow brought into dialogue contemporary art, craft, design, and environmental sciences. The exhibition took place both in the Copper Smithy exhibition venue and as site-specific interventions around the Fiskars village. Its production was guided by a commitment to develop ecologically and socially sustainable exhibition practices.
Meadow was curated by Taru Elfving and produced by The Cooperative of Artisans, Designers and Artists in Fiskars ONOMA. In partnership with CAA, the exhibition included a number of artists, who have been working on the island of Seili in dialogue with the Archipelago Research Institute in the CAA project Spectres in Change: FRAUD (Audrey Samson and Francisco Gallardo), Saara Ekström, Matterlurgy (Helena Hunter and Mark Peter Wright), and Kati Roover. The exhibition also presented ongoing research by artists collaborating with CAA on future programming: Luis Berrios-Negron, Antye Greie, Leena Kela, mirko nikolic, Arja Renell, Vidha Saumya & Ali Akbar Mehta, and Åsa Sonjesdotter.