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 :) Last time we talked to Boris Vitázek and Pieta Wikstrom and before that with Michal Rafaj from Slovakia and painter Katriina Kaija from Finland. Today's interview is with the Finnish artist Minni Hirvonen and with the Slovak graphic designer Maťo Pyšný.
Bid Book Cultivating Curiosity - design by Maťo Pyšný
Martin Pyšný is graphic and type designer specializes in branding and corporate identity. He works for both non-profit and commercial clients and recently he is part of a team Trenčín 2026. Martin is the one behind creation and preparation of the first round Bid-Book Cultivating Curiosity for Trenčín 2026. Martin is passionate for animation and he is currently based in Trenčín (Slovakia). Martin also created his own typeface that helps dyslectic people who suffer from visual stress alleviate their unpleasant feelings when reading which is called Dyscont.
Minni Hirvonen is a dance and performance artist, producer and community artist. Her character is named Miss Catastroph, who is part of nature conservation work internationally and nationally. She does also campaigns for accessible and applicable art and culture. For example In 2015, Tukilinja (finnish disability organization) has awarded her work for giving birth to Able Art Group in Finland. The group consists of disabled and non-disabled art enthusiasts as well as professional dance and circus artists.
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?
Maťo: Understanding the sensual perception of the viewer helps me design things more precisely.
Minni: The last 7 years I have taken the artistic teaching -and a strong theme of nature conservation. It best appears as an expression of Miss Catastroph, the silly character I created. In each workshops, public presentations, or seminar lecturers, I bring out the natural disasters globally, as the largest entity, the transport of megalomaniacal plastic pollution to the seas, nature and man himself.
I draw all my creative power by wandering and hiking in nature at any time of the year. I am not advocating any religion, and I do not belong to the church, but I have a strong spiritual from the forest. It is very important for me in this respect.
2. How has covid19 affected your work?
Maťo: Personal touch with clients is the most efficient for understanding their needs and their situation. It is more natural and confidential to share my ideas with clients by a person. Online space doesn't provide these benefits.
Minni: This year has been a terrible year overall. I've lost half my work and consequently the economy has collapsed. Lucky for me I've got to do educational work with children and the Eastern Finland region has fortunately been spared some of the toughest lockdown. All gigs as a performing artist have been completely postponed or even canceled. I am a very social person and enjoy being excellent in the middle of various human groups. This year I have been practicing typical Finnish way to be away from people and secluded to your home. This covid anxiety is helped by a wild adventure in nature with my dog or with one friend at a time.
Covid working place of Maťo Pyšný
3. How would you like to develop your city in the next few years?
Maťo: I would like to be involved in designing visual communication of the nascent Creative Institute of Trenčín. Which would be a great opportunity to become an insider of cultural life in our region.
Minni: How would you like to develop Savonlinna in the next few years?
In my every way I would like to create more positive atmosphere for art and culture in my city. I think my agenda is encouraging joint creative doing for the increasingly prosperous flourishing of urban space. There is still plenty to do in the area of tourism and performing arts in the charming and natural area of Eastern Finland.
4. Why your city should be chosen for the European Capital of Culture in 2026?
Maťo: First of all Trenčín is my home so I want all the best possible for this town. Trencin has big potencial. People here have big potential. ECoC would encourage them to feel more like it is their home.
Minni: Eastern Finland has always found itself in the position of an under-respondent in Finnish culture, so now it would be the time to be the driving force of culture and show what cultural gems we can find here.
Watch an interesting performance by Maťo Pyšný on TEDx about his created font Dyscont.