The interaction between man and nature has a long history in Finland. With a population of 130,974, Jyväskylä is the capital of Central Finland and the largest city in the Finnish Lakeland, an area of more than 188,000 lakes. Situated on the northern coast of Lake Päijänne and 270 kms north of Helsinki, the city has been continuously one of the most rapidly growing cities in Finland since World War II and is surrounded by lakes, hills and forests.
Järvenjää/Lakeice explores interrelations between people and their immediate environment; reflecting on diverse uses of natural landscapes within the city during the winter. I spent every day walking and travelling by local bus around Jyväskylä to the many lakes in and around the city. Initially, I’m working like a street photographer – nothing is predetermined; the series is built up by spending time out there experiencing changes in the weather and responding to what I see and the people I meet. Later I spent time with the groups of ice swimmers who meet several times a week to relax, take a sauna and swim in a hole in the ice.
I was fascinated with how the frozen lakes had transformed the city and they had become a temporary urban park. The division between the land and water had disappeared.
Järvenjää/Lakeice is part of the Connections North international residency exchange programme and is supported by Arts Council England.