A week of snow and seemingly perpetual white skies. Seven days of cold fingers scrunched up in mittens, treading carefully (in my fairly-old, barely-used, now much appreciated fur-lined boots) along icey paths scattered intermittently with gravel to aid pedestrians, but which then freezes again in a rather counter-productive manner, resulting in near collisions between my backside and sidewalks of death as I explored this lovely little town of Kokkola.
My name is Tatjana Bladt-Cohen, and I am a multi-faceted visual artist and writer drawing from a multi-faceted background. Before I arrived as the January ‘Artist-in-Residence’ here at the Drake Arts Centre, I was ambitious. I had enjoyed a lovely Christmas break in the sun in France, and I was ready to start the year running. I had so many ways in my mind that I wanted to connect this small town to the migration of the last 3 generations of my family, to the stories that have been written and those that I wanted to write, and to the beautiful landscapes of snow and isolation.
What I wasn’t prepared for was how this town, the light, the atmosphere, the weather would affect my thoughts and processes. I quickly became aware that approaching my time here ‘running’ was not going to work... Since this realisation it has been interesting to see how my ideas have changed and yet remained constant through this past week. The snow just makes everything quiet. The low light and early sunsets make the days so much shorter and the ice makes (the inexperienced) travel at a slower pace.
And yet. Because of all this, you become more aware. More aware of the fresh snow. More aware of the pink in the sky at 15:00, the darkness at 16:00, and the ice hanging from white branches sparkling in the lamplight at 17:00. And more aware that it is okay to take your time, both mentally and physically, in this special place, because there is magic hiding in plain sight.
Entrance for the Few
The Naked Chill
Frozen in Time.
My time here was aided by the fantastic STEP travel grant from the ECF and CdSP.