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An artistic study of childhood experiences seeks solutions to environmental crises

Published on 27.5.2021
Tampere University
Pysäytyskuva Raisa Fosterin videoteoksesta The Body.
Raisa Foster approaches current social and ecological issues through research and art. She argues that ecological problems should be discussed as cultural problems.

The More than a human exhibition by Foster – a multidisciplinary researcher, adjunct professor and artist based in Tampere, Finland – opens at Galleria Saskia at the beginning of June. The works exploring childhood experiences of nature awaken the viewers’ environmental awareness. The solo exhibition consists of charcoal, chalk and ink drawings, and audio and video artworks.

Foster’s exhibition is a part of Tampere University’s Re-connect / Re-collect project that explores childhood experiences. Foster does not want to confine her work to the boundaries between research and art or to those between different art forms. She has researched current social and ecological issues through dance, video art and drawing, and with more traditional academic methods.

According to Foster, ecological problems should be discussed as a cultural problem: modern people have failed to adapt their culture to fit the Earth’s limited resources.

“We cannot continue to exploit other forms of life for our own benefit. We must understand that without functioning ecosystems, humans would not exist either,” Foster says.

Foster, whose project is funded by the Kone Foundation, explores memories that describe childhood experiences in diverse environments and children’s interactions with other living beings. In Foster’s art, memory stories are combined with her own experiences and previously recorded materials from her video and sound artworks. The drawings were also created by up-cycling, meaning that Foster developed previous drawings by editing, covering, and destabilising them.

By speaking and creating art with more than more the human world, Foster wants to emphasise how our lives are inextricably intertwined not only with other people but also with other animals, plants, and the entire web of life.

“We are connected to the world precisely in and through our bodies. By examining the perceptions, feelings, and memories of the body we can also understand how the world exists in us,” Foster explains.

According to Foster, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle does not have to mean scarcity and suffering because a new, meaningful relationship with animals and plants will also enrich human life.

Contact information :
Raisa Foster
, tel. 050 345 1847, raisa [at] raisafoster.com ()
www.raisafoster.com

Photograph: A still from Raisa Foster’s video artwork The Body.

Raisa Foster: More than a human
Galleria Saskia, address: Pirkankatu 6, Tampere

The solo exhibition is open from 5 to 23 June 2021, Mon–Fri 12–18 and Sat-Sun 12–16.