Naked with strangers

            ‘silence, awareness, existence’   residency   January 2019    Haukijärvi,  Finland

Yes it’s true, we all got naked with people we had only just met –
the Finnish sauna – remarkable really – words elude the experience… But naked bodies were just the beginning –
it wasn’t long before we exposed not just our physical flesh, but also laid bare our creative vulnerabilities, as our artistic processes revealed themselves in the naked light of the Finnish winter.

I came to regenerate, to reflect, to research, to reside in peaceful detachment from the mundane of the everyday – to strip down, to lay bare, to open up, to see what the naked eye could not –
to find whatever showed up –

The heart piece took its time, the vision blurred, its visibility felt rather than seen –
the pulse faint, but not dead – it remained in the background of making, but in the foreground of feeling, incubating in a timeless space and place –

‘hai’ lights happened – two installations in spite of a cold so deep even the bones questioned the reason for it.

One in a birch forest – Koivu – amongst the long shadows of the winter sun, up for a week in varying light.

Koivu Forest, Haukijärvi, Finland



One on a Kokku – a pile of fallen branches collected in autumn in communities throughout Finland – gathered to be burnt in celebration of light during the summer solstice –

Kokko Haukijärvi, Finland



‘hai’ lights – planting light in the darkest season –
a tribute, a visual reminder of the light within.

Naked with strangers – now friends
in the coldest, darkest season –
in silence, with the awareness of the vulnerability of our existence

Grateful for its gifts

February 2019

3 thoughts on “Naked with strangers

  1. Dear Louise,

    Thanks for sharing this.  it is a beautiful piece of writing besides telling a story of your experience with the work and the people in Finland on your project. Where are you now?   safe travels to you, love susie


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