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Henna Asikainen is socially engaged artist, born in Joensuu Finland and currently living in Newcastle, UK.
My principal interests as an artist are in questions surrounding landscape & climate justice, migration and the human relationships with nature and the complex social, cultural and ecological issues emerging from this relationship.
My work used to be grounded in an exploration of the ways in which we find beauty in the experience of nature, in our immersion in it, and the deep rooted relationship we have with our world. Over the years, as my work has progressed, I have come to combine ecological issues with social issues. I have become increasingly aware that these are intimately interlinked, complex, intersecting matters that require an understanding of the ways in which everything is held in balance, that action – or inaction - in one area will generate a cascade of consequences. The ways in which we live directly effects how other people can live.
My most recent works have been participatory projects which have been built around communal and social experiences and have explored the idea of belonging and the importance of access to nature and outdoor experiences. They have been created with the participation of migrant and refugee groups who have contributed their own experiences of displacement and their attempts to make a home in a new, unfamiliar and sometimes hostile location. These projects have involved trips to the ‘heritage landscapes’ of the North-East England and creating art works and installations made from the foraged, natural materials we have gathered from these locations. Alongside the positive feelings of hospitality and friendships created these projects have examined how displacement is produced through exclusionary cultural practices.