We continue our regular performances and exchanges of artists together with our friends from the Savonlinna region. What is it about? Together we present one artist from us and one from them and we ask them to answer 4 same questions.
Due to pandemics, we can't meet live, but we decided to at least organize an exchange of artists online and still have a lot of fun :) Read blogposts about other Artistic Exchange in News. Today's interview is with the Finnish artist Jarkko Kaartilanmäki, Blacksmith Master and with Slovak artist Lucia Horňáková Černayová, painter and teacher.
Artwork of Lucia Horňáková Černayová
Lucia Horňáková Černayová: I am a mother, I create art and I teach to create. Since 2013, I have been devoting myself as a production organization to the symposium of contemporary visual art HALA, which we organized under the OZ HALA in former and abandoned textile factories in the city of Trenčín. Later, we moved the event to the exteriors of the city of Trenčín, and established cooperation with Rokko Juházs and his Transart Communication Festival and the Pohoda Festival. Since 2018, we have included PerformanceBox in the program. As part of these collaborations, we presented performers from Asia and South America with PerformanceBox at the Pohoda and Pohoda in the Air festivals. Since last year, we have been preparing and organizing Paľo Múdry's project "Temporary Sculptures". From 2014 to 2017, my husband Dušan and I ran a small club BARBAR, where we organized various cultural events.
Artist Lucia Horňák Černayová
Jarkko Kaartilanmäki, Blacksmith Master: I founded Tuakon Takomo in 2003. Ever since then, I've been doing blacksmith work full-time. During a couple of decades, I have developed my professionalism by actively participating in blacksmith events and exhibitions in Finland and abroad. Along with work, I also train apprentices at my smithery. I do public artworks and decoration-related tailor-made artworks, from single objects to larger interior works.
I am the chairman of the Artists Blacksmiths’ Association of Finland, which is an association established in 1979 for the development of artistic forging.
Jarkko Kaartilanmäki, Blacksmith Master
We asked artists 4 simple questions. Find out with us the similarity but also the differences in their view of the current situation, as well as their work itself.
1. What is the role of nature in your art?
Lucia: Nature and the place of man in it, the relationship between man and nature, is one of the main themes that I deal with in my work. I wonder how these two entities can exist in harmony or contradiction. This motivates me when creating images, objects and installation. I am also interested in the themes of home, family, background, landscape and "non-cities", which are the description and search for empty, man-emptied places, their definition and materialization in various ways. The earth and man are interaction units for me. For example, in the painting series Monolithic, I paint the landscape in an abstract form, where the expressive part in the form of dripping, spilling and stains represents the organic part of nature and the geometric form of human intervention and human existence. I can also present such a depiction as the plundering and cultivation of the landscape in expressive expression in combination with geometric forms. Despite the "natural" origin of man, I consider man and nature to be two polarities, and in the paintings, I depict their coexistence or coexistence in contradictions. I visualize the impact and existence of man in nature, anthropocene.
Jarkko: Nature is a place for me to relax and take care of my well-being. Of course, I can find interesting shapes for my work there, but the greatest impact nature has on my well-being and, and by extension, it positively affects my work.
Artwork od Jarkko
2. How has covid19 affected your work?
Lucia: If we are talking about art, then I continued with all my work. Whether we are in a lockdown or not it will not greatly affect whether I devote myself to creation. Rather, everything that was planned has shifted in time. We are waiting for when it will be possible to exhibit and have live visitors at the exhibition or the presentations have moved to the online space. Our household became a studio, which I was used to for children. Rather, it was very difficult for us, as for many other parents, to combine the needs of all family members and online teaching of our daughter, our son's closed kindergarten and my home learning, because I work as an art teacher at the local Karol Pádivý Art School in Trenčín. I hope we managed it anyway :)
Jarkko: The effect has been contradictory. Restrictions have reduced sales of products from the collection, but there has been an increase in the number of made to order works. My regular customers have been very loyal and wanted to help by placing orders during these challenging times. My workshop is located far from the city, so I am used to working by myself and have been able to focus even more on my work.
Artwork of Lucia
3. How would you like to develop your city in the next few years?
Lucia: My family comes from Dubnica nad Váhom (part of Trenčín Region). Together with my husband and daughter I lived in Bratislava (capital) for a while, but we always had a desire to come back here. We therefore returned in 2014. In my opinion, Trenčín and its surroundings have great potential to become a very pleasant place to live. Its location and size. I mean public spaces, closeness to nature, e.g. nábrežie Váhu, Brezina, ... as well as opportunities to realize their intentions in culture and social life. There here are a lot of clever people who loves it here and makes this region what it is and work to makes it a place according to their ideas. I would like it to remain Trenčín to be a place for people which will give room for diversity.
Jarkko: I want to be involved in developing my region’s cultural offerings with other artists. I am always enthusiastic about new collaborative opportunities that are implemented professionally.
Artwork of Lucia
4. Why your city should be chosen for the European Capital of Culture in 2026?
Lucia: Why should Trenčín become the European Capital of Culture? I probably answered that in the previous question:) It has potential in people, localities and environments.
Jarkko: The region has a very wide-ranging and comprehensive group of professional artists. Cultural events and design have been in a strong lift in the region in recent years and professionals from all over Finland have moved to the region. Saimaa has been the common pull factor. In the Capital of Culture year, it would be the time to present this source of inspiration and the artists who draw inspiration from it.
Artwork of Jarkko
Photocredits by Lucia Horňák Černayová and Jarkko Kaartilanmäki
In cooperation with Saimaa-ilmiö ❤ Trenčín, we decided to bring interesting articles and interviews about Trenčín2026 and Saimaa-ilmiö2026 every week, as well as presenting various artists, interesting tourist places and mutual conversations. We can't wait for more :)