Photos Taru Elfving

Photography students from Aalto University


CAA co-hosted a group of students from the Master’s Degree Programme in Photography at Aalto University on a field course in Seili led by artist Maija Savolainen.

Jari Hänninen and Jasmin Inkinen introduced the work of the Archipelago Research Institute and guided the group in taking water samples and analysing the diverse forms of life found in them. Lotta Petronella’s film Själö – Island of Souls added further depth and nuance to the discussions tracing the fault lines of the visible on the island.

The field course focused on different forms of knowledge production in the arts and in natural sciences. Following the introductions into basic research methods of environmental sciences as well as into the complex history of Seili, the students were encouraged to experiment with how to apply these multiple perspectives and modes of knowledge into their own practices as they explored the island.

The group presented the works they had developed during the field course in an exhibition at Aalto University in November 2020. The title of the exhibition Free Walkers was borrowed from a series of photographs by one of the participants Jasmine Färling. This refers to the period when women deemed mentally ill were sent to the island (from 1889 to 1962) and “free walking” was a reward for the hospitalised women for good behaviour.

Weather diary: Thursday at 2.30pm.
Crow by Terhi Nieminen.
Professor Emeritus Ilppo Vuorinen in action. All photos Taru Elfving.



Is art like plankton, floating free in the currents?

This is just one of the many intriguing questions that came up during a three-day retreat in Seili in collaboration with The Academy of Fine Arts, Uniarts Helsinki. Thank you to the participants of Saari field course and professor Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger for the walks and talks focused on the ecological changes, grief, activism and much more amidst the shifting tones of grey and magical glimpses of late autumn light. Thank you Ilppo Vuorinen, Jari Hänninen, Katja Mäkinen and Jasmin Inkinen at the Archipelago Research Institute for sharing your knowledge again with such generosity!

This field course was part of the project Spectres in Change.