My artwork relates to community-based service design and artistic research. Community-based service design applies the methods of art and design to develop and empower services. The goal of joint design productions is to illustrate the important themes and desired changes in a community and ways to implement them. In artistic research, data is collected and interpreted with the help of artistic practice.
I have a long history of working with local Namibian, South African and Botswanan communities in a number of projects aiming to develop handiwork and design, including Opuwo-Helsinki-Opuwo (2002), Kwaata-Kosketus (2004), Potentials – Design in the Field (2006-2007).
I was a member of Katutura working group. Since 2010, the group has carried out community-based art and design projects, such as Lost in Katutura (2010-2012) and My Dream World (2013-2015). The projects have also involved exhibitions in locations such as the Craft Museum of Finland, Helinä Rautavaara Museum, Museum of Cultures, Arktikum, Library 10, National Art Gallery of Namibia and the exhibition space Attic in the Cape Town City Hall. The exhibitions Lost in Katutura, Kaupungissa vai maalla? and Itsepäinen shakaali seikkailee were part of the official programme of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. Similarly, the project My Dream World was included in the programme of World Design Capital Cape Town 2014.
I have worked in several community art projects with children and young people. The work Siipiä consisted of a series of four photographs printed on aluminium, which led children into the world of fairy tales. Children were gathered around the photographs to tell stories and think back to the scents, colours and light of summer. The project was part of the urban art exhibition Näkyjä organised by Valmed in January 2015. The artwork My Wings to Fly was created in Michigan in 2016 in collaboration with students from the Finlandia University. It was comprised of feathers made by the students, which were coloured by their life stories. The work was displayed in the Reflection Gallery in Hancock, Michigan for the summer season.
I was the principal investigator for the artistic research project Women Living on the Edges of the World (2016–2017) funded by the Kone Foundation. With the help of artistic practice, the project explores themes relating to marginality. I was working on some narrative textile pieces and istallations in connection with the project.