I arrived two days ago and was greeted by my relative, Antti Ojala (his grandfather was my great-grandfather’s brother—bonus points if you can figure out what that makes us!), and his wife Tuula. They have welcomed me into their home and life for a week. I had arrived by bus from Turku, where I attended the TIP-Fest (another blog post forthcoming). We sat and talked for a bit about my first visit to Finland in 2006, my plans for the project, and how we would collaborate with Tuula’s help translating. Simply put-- I would pick the colors and he would paint.
I am just now waking up for our third day together. It is a little before the sun has come up.There will be just less than six hours of light today before the sun disappears again. It is a big day. A filmmaker is coming today to document our work together. Antti is also expecting the delivery of a finished wooden doll he commissioned inspired by a toy he remembers from his childhood that Kustaa carved. It is unclear to me what he intends to do with this figure, but has said a few times, “We can cast it in a lighter material for your purposes”. I will see what this means soon. . . This evening Antti will attend a black tie event to celebrate the 125 anniversary of the Finnish Artist Association.
Our work has lasted only a few days, but it feels connected to many lifetimes.