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Arctic MAKES: Observations, Lessons, and Solutions from the Geographic Periphery


Arctic Design School and the Ural State University of Architecture and Art present an exhibition Arctic MAKES: Observations, Lessons, and Solutions from the Geographic Periphery, that provides a broad overview of socially engaged art and design across the Arctic area. This exhibition is a part of a wider project “Arctic Design”, supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project #17-78-20047).With this exhibition, the Arctic Design School continues the educational and artistic activities of the Arctic Sustainable Arts & Design Thematic Network (ASAD) established by the Council of the University of the Arctic, in 2010. Since its foundation, this distinctive and essential network has been working across the Circumpolar and Northern regions organizing collaborative events that encourage visitors to engage with research on Arctic art and design.

In this exhibition, 29 artists from 10 countries promote the widest possible understanding of the topic of Arctic-evoked creativity and inventiveness, where the following contrasting viewpoints meet, interweave or collide:

Through this exhibition, we invite designers, artists, and a broader audience to reflect on how to use local knowledge in creative and ethical ways, how to integrate this knowledge into the art/design educational practice, and how to support and facilitate the development of this knowledge in situ.

Our exhibition is available online from 30 April 2020. You are welcome to browse through the works at

Alexandra Raeva
Svetlana Kravchuk 

Joar Nango

Sami-Norwegian artist and architect


Joar Nango's works are strongly influenced by his roots in the Arctic north and by his Sаmi identity. A big part of his practice consists of taking documentarist photos of the built environment and investigation of the interface between art and architecture – improvised temporary buildings, structures and design elements referring to the formerly largely nomadic way of life of the Sаmi. In the exhibition Joar presents his short film THE INDIGENUITY MANIFESTO (2016).

The film and the play on words in the title are dedicated to the inventive spirit of Indigenous cultures in architecture, design and everyday life. In his film, Nango suggests a reading of these traditions as alternative narratives to Consumerist values, and sees these problem solving attitudes as valuable cultural assets that can find new meaning in the dying times of capitalism.

Adam Fung

Associate Professor of Art, TCU Ft. Worth
Texas, USA

Adam Fung received his MFA from University of Notre Dame and BFA from Western Washington University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Painting at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. In June 2016, Fung was an artist in residence as part of the Arctic Circle program. The summer solstice expedition traveled above 81 degrees latitude aboard a rigged sailing ship, using the port of Longyearbyen, Svalbard as a departure point. His new body of work “the far future” arises from this direct experience in the Arctic.


Adam Fung’s three channel film, THE UNCOMMON, places the viewer in a stark, unpopulated Arctic landscape. Filmed using an aerial drone and submersible cameras the dramatic perspectives are constantly shifting as we are immersed in a space that suggests ongoing transitions. The visuals are layered with a narration that suggests a conversation with the expansive space, an acknowledgment of the elemental forces at work, and an eventual recognition of the construct of human vs nature.

THE UNCOMMON raises the following questions as we move firmly into the Anthropocene: do we recognise the implications of our impact on the planet, can we save ourselves from the outcomes, do we abandon hope (start over on new planets), realise that climate change will continue without our well-being in mind, and ultimately see past the human/nature divide that is essential to find a more sensitive way forward? These are global questions, in an increasingly fractured moment, requiring a paradigm shift. Fung’s film, with its discordant, ominous score, leaves us unsure of the possibilities.

The film's narration is compiled from a performance piece titled THINGS WE SAY TO THE Arctic where Fung requested text, poetry, phrases, and questions to speak to the landscape. In addition to composing the narration from these texts Fung used his own journals from the trip and responses to film footage posttrip.

All footage recorded for the uncommon was captured in Svalbard including the Arctic pack ice at 81°08,3563 N, 016° 10.3649 E as part of Adam Fung’s participation in the 2016 summer solstice Arctic Circle Artist Residency and Expedition.

Adam Fung director + editor + video/photography
Neil Anderson-Himmelspach (Assistant Professor of Art, TCU, Ft. Worth, Texas, USA) score + composition
Alex Martin (Video Editor, Ft. Worth, Texas, USA) editor + producer
Jenna Wright (Voice actor, USA) narration + voice
Nick Bontrager (Associate Professor of Art, TCU, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)

Ana Carvalho

Visual artist and designer
Lisbon, Portugal

In 1999, Ana finished her degree in Graphic Design in Lisbon and completed her MA in Multimedia Interfaces (Elisava, Barcelona) in 2001. Ana also began to study music at the age of 5. During her music studies, she studied violin and later the viola, which became her main instrument. Collaborated with the Digital Arts Center Atmosferas from 2003 to 2006. In 2005 presented the experimental short film SIMBIOSIS, project accomplished in collaboration with the composer Pedro M. Rocha in Música Viva Festival. Between 2006 and 2007 worked on the project LX 2.0 digital arts online platform for the Lisboa 20 Gallery (Gallery Miguel Nabinho), Lisbon. In June 2016, participated in the expeditionary art residency THE ARCTIC CIRCLE, followed by the participation in LABVERDE, in 2017, an immersive experience in the brazilian Amazon. Ana’s work has been shown in several national and international exhibitions since 2015.


On her path, Ana has worked with a large scope of visual media and sound with different purposes. Ana’s artistic and creative practice is a result of this experience, expressed by different media and techniques from digital platforms to paper. Her body of work explores the concepts of organic landscape and place, challenging the visual perception through abstract compositions. These are a result of exhaustive research on biodiversity, scientific illustration, mapping and data visualisation, and of real natural places as well as records collected on site. Depth and scale are also essential dimensions: the obsessive element overlay of micro, macro and nano scale organic elements and its wear over time. The relation between sound and image is always present in her work.

TAUSE BILDER (SILENT IMAGES) is a digital media project focused on the silence of a disappearing landscape. Svalbard (Arctic Ocean), Summer Solstice 2016. It is composed with a series of black and white living images/short videos. TAUSE BILDER is part of ARTICO II, the second of the three moments of project ARTICO.

“My artwork proposal is an immersive piece focused on natural landscapes that shows a series of crystallised moments in time — a living image in silence. It is a reflection on a singular and fragile ecosystem endangered. It allows one to broaden their own understanding and to question the surrounding environment and their own behaviour.”

Anna M. Davidson

PhD, scientist, visual artist and educator
California State University
Sacramento, California, USA

Concerned with climate breakdown, Anna’s work fuses art, climate, and biology manifesting in sculpture, video, performance and bioart. She completed her MFA in Visual Arts (2016) following the completion of her PhD in plant ecophysiology (2014), both from UC Davis. Davidson has numerous scientific and artistic publications, has exhibited internationally and attended several residencies including the Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard, Norway. She is the founder of the Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous at UC Davis, in affiliation with Leonardo, the International Society of Art, Science and Technology.


81 DEGREES is an 11 minute video created from footage taken while on a glacial sailing vessel near Svalbard, Norway during the Arctic Circle Residency. The goal of this work was to document the memories the icy landscape holds while alluding to the fragility of the landscape and its systems that are breaking down.

Barbara Schennerlein

German Society of Polar Research,
History of Polar Research Specialist Group

Author Barbara Schennerlein holds a Doctorate in engineering and a Master's degree in culture and management. She works in the field of scientific communications, as a Lecturer on Russian polar history at schools / for tourists / at public events, as an organizer of various scientific events related to the polar history, and also as a documentary photographer . She participated in international polar conferences Field work in the Arctic: Canada, Franz Josef Land, Northern Sea Route, Spitsbergen, Greenland.


Active polar station Cape Baranov, Severnaya Zemlya – A former hut for living


Closed polar station Bukhta Tikhaya, Franz Josef Land – the inner of the former hut for ionosphere research


Closed polar station Bukhta Tikhaya, Franz Josef Land – in a former hut for living

One of the most impressive human activities in the Arctic is related to the exploration of the northern Sea Route. A hundred years ago a large number of polar stations were built along the Siberian Coast and the islands in the Arctic Ocean, threaded like a string of pearls from West to East. The researchers, who overwintered there, were silent heroes, who brought new scientific knowledge to the world. Still today we find their traces, slowly sinking in the permafrost. We can see the remains of objects of everyday life, and remains of the simplest huts. Mostly these are no special designed things for the high latitudes and under the difficult conditions in the polar night. In this sense, the photographs can be perceived as a kind of archeology, showing the human adaptation in the Arctic, as a way of holding onto human relics that will soon disappear.

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Claudia O'Steen
Aly Ogasian

Artists and Professors of Fine Art

O’Steen received a BFA from Watkins College of Art and an MFA in Digital+Media at Rhode Island School of Design and is an Assistant Professor of Fine Arts at Winthrop University.

Ogasian received a BFA from Queen’s University and an MFA in Digital+Media at Rhode Island School of Design and is an Assistant Professor at Rhode Island School of Design.

They have been awarded collaborative residencies at Rural Projects, Wassaic Project, Montalvo Arts Center, The Arctic Circle, and NCCA St. Petersburg, and have exhibited at venues such as apexart, Flux Factory, and Manifest Creative Research Gallery.


THE PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE SEA synthesises the profound psychological effect of traversing one of the most rarefied places on earth in the footprints of a failed explorer. In 1897, explorer S.A. Andee attempted to fly to the North Pole in a silk hydrogen balloon.

Andree intended to be first to the North Pole, and planned to map the region using aerial cameras engineered for cartographic use. Shortly after taking off from the archipelago of Svalbard, however, the expedition crashed.

This work reveals our expedition along the Gulf Stream from the Gulf of Mexico to Svalbard, and into the pack ice near the North Pole. It compiles video and audio documentation, drawing, and text written from personal expedition journals, the journals of Matthew Fontaine Maury (father of modern oceanography), and the journals of S.A. Andree.

Timo Jokela

University of Lapland

Antti Stockell

University lecturer
University of Lapland


The benefits people obtain from nature are called ecosystem services. In winter, the different states or phases of water, such as snow, frost and ice, create a distinct character for the environment and for the people moving and working in it. northern cultures have adapted to winter and snow. Dozens of different terms are used to describe the states of snow and ice, most of which are multisensory and illustrate the relationship of activity to winter. This is the tacit everyday knowledge of the North, which has been the basis for developing winter art as a form of environmental art carried out in winter landscapes in the North. Snow, ice and variations in natural light are some of nature’s most impressive aesthetic phenomena. Merging hunter’s practical knowledge of snow and artist’s aesthetic relations, winter art opens up new perspectives to see snow as valuable ecosystem services.

A snowy landscape is not culturally empty. It can also be seen as a cultural ecosystem service. These are non-material benefits obtained through socio-cultural habits, reflection, recreation learning and cognitive development. Besides these many northern cultures add spiritual and religious dimensions and values to ecosystems. The ecosystem services provided by winter have shaped not only the natural culture of communities but also social relationships. Winter is also a time for action, socializing and re-telling stories.

Made with snow by Timo Jokela

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Julie Forgues

Professor of Photography, Lecturer
Department of Visual Arts, University of Moncton

Living in Moncton, New-Brunswick, Julie Forgues obtained her BFA at Université de Moncton in 1995 and her MFA Studio – photography at Concordia University in 1999. She has been a faculty member of the Départment des arts visuels of Université de Moncton since 2000 as a photography professor and is the Head of department since July 2016. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows such as at Galerie d’art Louise et Reuben Cohen in Moncton, at the Beaverbrook Gallery in Fredericton. Throughout the years, she has also show work nationally in Ontario, Québec, New-Brunswick, and internationally China and Japan. She has participated in numerous artist residency programs in China, Ireland, Japan and the Arctic Circle and was part of the renown Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai from August 2017 to February 2018 where she also showed her work during the Shanghai PhotoFairs in September 2018. She considers her work as a visual in-between a space and a place.


In the past few years, I have been working on an ongoing photographic research about how a space can be transformed into a place (place being a space with value), but can also fluctuate between both states. I’ve worked on this theme in Ireland, the Arctic Circle, China, and Japan. These in-betweens in landscapes are fluctuating states that I then render into photographic images. At every site that I have photographed, I think of what was there, what is there now and what will be there in the future: spaces that are now places, but mostly places-spaces that are in a limbo-ing state.

These 3 images represent the exact words that were going through my head as we woke up in the morning of June 18th 2016 to see that we had sailed to 82°N as part of The Arctic Circle residency program. We were at the top of the world in a sea of packed ice. I was in awe at the beauty I saw before me, and at the same time horrified that I was “here”. As climate change is horrendously melting the ices in the Arctic, I should not have been there, but at the same time, since I was there, I’m now able to talk about the experience of seeing this with my own eyes and hopefully create more awareness. This series therefore represents my awkwardness between being there and having to talk about it.

Sarah Schalk

Аrtist and games inventor

After graduating from the art school Ortweinschule Graz (Austria) as a multimedia designer, Sarah Schalk studied philosophy and physics in Berlin, Vienna and Montreal. Ever since she has been working as an artist and games inventor. Her work brought her to Ghana, Lebanon and the Arctic. Recently she has been focusing on playful outdoor experiences and video loops. She has been awarded with numerous grants and awards, such as the German Award for Movies on Human Rights (bronze).


What is a horizon? What are you looking at? What are you looking through? You can look at water. You can look through water. How do we differentiate between what we are looking at and what we are looking through?

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Udo (R.B.) Prinsen

Visual artist, director

I am a visual artist working in photography, film and animation. My inspiration mostly lies within themes connected to arctic science. In my work I search for a poetic connection that brings about a strong means to tell a story and bring attention to certain subjects. I have created film and photography for broadcast, cinema, theatre, museums, exhibits and government. In 2015 I was an artist in residence on a scientific expedition to Svalbard and in 2019 I have collaborated with 25 scientists creating imagery on location at scientific research stations in the arctic.




For the most part the Arctic is a mystical uninhabited area in which nature rules. Some animals can stay all year long, but most birds are migrant and arrive in the springtime when the light is omnipresent. Another summer migrant is visiting the Arctic at the same time, the scientist. So much is to learn in the Arctic, the area in which climate change is so clearly visible and measurable. Research facilities host a vibrant science community in summer, but are deserted in winter. My artworks celebrate these scientists that call the Arctic home for a short period. They work around the clock to look for clues and answers to questions that are of great concern to us all. The images are an impressionistic representation of these research bases with the sun passing by. They were created within the project TOUCH BASE, Arctic solargraphy, using analogue long exposure photographic techniques. I built panorama camera obscuras and used light sensitive photo paper inside which allows for the recording of the sun's track (burning itself in the paper) as it passes by. I sent the cameras around the globe and got the assistance of scientists on site to place them, as I would not be able to travel to all the desired locations. Once they returned to me, I would take the cameras to my studio and process them into the results that we share with you here.

Music composer: Martin Fondse
Link for more info:
Funding partners: Creative Industries Fund,
Ministry of Foreign affairs, NL

Viktoria Khokhlova

Аrchitect and urbanist

Viktoria Khokhlova is an architect and urbanist who enjoys working with spaces and future scenarios. She studied in Russia, Lichtenstein and Germany, where she obtained her Master Degree in Architecture (M.A., Dipl.-Ing.) at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Viktroia has worked alongside international colleagues on projects in Moscow, Tyumen, Eindhoven, and is currently based in Munich.

Polarity Collective is a collaboration of Viktoria Khokhlova(RU) and Emily Aquilina(AU), two researchers based in Munich and Rotterdam. Collective works on the projects surrounding the themes of territory, environment, urbanism, power/governance, ecology, culture and social choreography.


In this research, the Arctic is first seen through the prism of the idea of desirable impossible places such as Ultima Thule. As a disposition the current northern trends presented as invisible exurban landscaping driven by hydrocarbon resources and operated by machines. These combine with the deterritorialisation of the place, which provided with the adopting several of the cliche images of the North. This project looks into the future of northern urbanism as a decentralised network of nomadic coastline settlements. Unlike the settled towns with continually increasing demands, they require the principles and structures capable of varying in scale or of being moved whenever needed — intellectually and physically. In the new scenario for the small remote Arctic fishing village Teriberka, space becomes expressed by the routine rituals and traditions, in other words, the necessary domestic everyday activities, which are tied to the lifestyle of the Russian North so inseparable, that they shape the architectural environment.

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Emily Aquilina

Spatial Practitioner
Melbourne, Australia / Rotterdam, Netherlands

Emily is a Spatial Practitioner with an affinity for territoriality, borders, boundaries and all things related to the Arctic. Working on all scales Emily’s work sits at the intersection between architecture, urbanism, research, landscape, environment and spatial planner. Emily studied her Bachelor of Architecture at RMIT University Melbourne, Australia and graduated from her MSc in Architecture at TU Delft, The Netherlands and is based in Rotterdam.

Polarity Collective is a collaboration of Viktoria Khokhlova(RU) and Emily Aquilina(AU), two researchers based in Munich and Rotterdam. Collective works on the projects surrounding the themes of territory, environment, urbanism, power/governance, ecology, culture and social choreography.


Through the synthesis of a speculative design project I explore the meditative process of working together with earth forces to create alternative ways of valuing the Arctic and its critical, yet fragile, environments. To understand the complex conditions and factors that have influence within the Arctic Ocean a process of mapping “conflicts” — defined as disruptive forces — documented the interactions and relations between assemblages and ecologies existing within past, present and future organisations of territory. The agency of mapping as a tool of cartography visualises the otherwise invisible ecological, environmental and geo-political processes.

This project explores new technologies that oppose methods of extraction and exploitation of the Arctic Ocean’s unique conditions and emerges as a series of mechanisms that harness and instead work with earth forces, designing with rather than against ecological processes.

Fritz Horstman

Visual artist, curator and educator

Fritz Horstman (born 1978 in Albion, MI, USA) is a visual artist, curator, and educator who has exhibited his photos, drawings, sculptures, and installations in recent exhibitions across Europe, North America and Asia. Recent residencies include the Dessau Bauhaus, Shiro Oni in Onishi, Japan, and the Arctic Circle Residency. His sculptures are on permanent display in Ås, Norway and at the Dessau Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany. drj Art Projects represents his work in their Berlin gallery. He is Education Director at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, CT, USA.


ICE VOICES was created in response to the incredible sounds of ice that permeated every moment of the time I spent in the Arctic in 2016 participating in the Arctic Circle Residency. 27 artists and 10 crew sailed around Svalbard, encountering dozens of glacial faces and countless icebergs. I asked my shipmates to recreate sounds of the ice with their voices. An arrangement of those recorded performances comprises the soundtrack of a video of undulating sea ice. By replacing the sound of ice with the human voice, I have allowed and encouraged a slippage between our objective and subjective perceptions of nature – in this case the Arctic.

Veronika Burkhanova
Anastasia Demyanjuk

Students of the Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design of Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia

Konstantin Ivshin

Doctor of Technical Sciences, Head of Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design, Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia


The Russian North begins at the coast of the White Sea. According to Scandinavian mythology, it was called "Gandvik", which is translated as "Monster's Bay". The lands near the White Sea are not suitable for agriculture, however, the richness of these places with fur, fish and marine animals attracted the most energetic and not afraid of risk people who settled along the banks of the rivers and the “breathing sea” — the White Sea. Thus, a peculiar sub ethnos was formed — the Pomors, who mastered the western part of the Arctic Ocean, including the Svalbard area, which they called Grumant, in their rooks-kochi. With its courage this outburst attracts attention. They were skilled sailors: they went fishing in Norway and Eastern Siberia, and they were also really good at hunting, shipbuilding, and the extraction of salt and pearls. Their whole life is connected to the sea.

Based on lifestyles and trades of the Pomors, illustrations and patterns were created that tell about their life.

Nikolay Garin
Svetlana Kravchuk
Aleksandra Raeva

Arctic Design School Team
Ural State University of Architecture and Art
Yekaterinburg, Russia


The project explores the inventive potential of the Russian northern periphery – the rural areas, distant from administrative centers, large industries and infrastructures, where people pursue a literally de-modernised way of living. In such settings, we searched for local inventions – particularly transport vehicles – that people made for themselves. We looked for practical solutions to problems of daily mobility that involved minimum effort and material. The objects we found provided a new understanding of the “beauty and utility” formula, which appeared to be unique for each locality and personality of a maker.

Our dataset consists of historical data that were drawn from museums, archives, and other public domains such as magazines and newspapers on the Soviet phenomenon of DIY-enthusiasts grounded in a broader historical and social context of a so-called “repair society”; and firsthand observations of contemporary realities of the Russian northern periphery that were obtained through in-depth field studies on local technologies and practices in three different areas: Arkhangelsk Oblast, Perm Krai, and the Sakha Republic. The stories collected and artefacts depicted are those of unthinkable transformations: when fallen rocket parts turn into light, durable boats; ordinary motorbikes impractical in roadless areas and seasons — into all-weather, all-terrain, and low-maintenance “horses”; and snowmobiles not used in summertime become water pumps.

Download Presentation

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Ekaterina Schaeffer

Izhevsk, Russia

Ekaterina Schaeffer has a degree in Design from the College of Arts of the Komi Republic and a university degree in Environmental Design from Udmurt State University.


Our region, the Komi Republic, has a unique cultural heritage, rich history, centuries-old national tradition and ethnic features. Komi legends contain many inspiring characters — deities, forest spirits, sorcerers and others. All of them embody the power of nature and its greatness, sky, sun, mighty rivers, forests and their inhabitants. But lately, popular mass culture has supplanted the national one. This problem exists not only in the Komi Republic, but also in other regions.

The main goal of creating graffiti was the preservation and development of national culture, popularization among the people. The work is based on traditional images of Komi mythology. These images are used in the heraldry of Syktyvkar and Komi Republic. In the center of the picture is a bird of prey. This image is based on the Perm Animal style. On the chest of a bird a woman’s face framed by six elk heads.

A bird of prey with spread wings is a symbol of the sun and the upper world. The woman’s face on the bird’s chest corresponds to the image of Zarni-An, the lifegiving solar goddess, mother of the world. The image of an elk is associated with the idea of strength and nobility. At the bottom of the work is a bear, which is one of the key characters in Komi mythology and an animal that is widespread in the Republic. According to Komi legends, the bear has tremendous power and intelligence.

Street art will decorate the city and become a place of attraction for residents and guests capital of the Komi Republic, give Syktyvkar a unique look and contribute to creating a comfortable urban environment in the competent cultural context of the Russian North.

Ekaterina Kudelina

Student of the Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design, Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia

Konstantin Ivshin

Doctor of Technical Sciences, Head of Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design, Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia


The Sun, according to ancient myths of the Nenets, is a woman. She grows grass, trees, moss. When frosts come, the Sun hides from them — it turns into the firmament and the night falls, the polar night. This is the first heroine of our history. Her print is the rays of the sun. The patroness of the female half of the family was considered Yaneba. She helped young women to facilitate the birth of a child. She is the second heroine, her pattern is drops or tears, tears of joy on the face of a woman who has become a mother. And the third heroine is the patroness of the family — Nadpuhutsya. Her symbol is a flower of welfare.

We express this myth through a print that symbolises the northern sun, water and a flora. The source of inspiration for creating a collection of printed toys was taken from Nenets mythology. Nenets colouristics are supported by the dolls’ clothes — yellow, green and blue. The name of our project, NUHUCOS, in Nenets language means “to play with a toy”. Our concept is the simplicity and ease of perception of the culture that the child sees and with which he grows, the child's interest in life, the key to smile and interest in their eyes.

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Dariya Pershina
Elena Naddaka
Anastasia Overina

Syktyvkar State University named after P. Sorokin
Syktyvkar, Russia

Anelia Lyantsevich

Associate Professor of Department of Fine Arts and Design
Institute of Art and Culture, Syktyvkar State University named after P. Sorokin
Syktyvkar, Russia


The group of artists developed a virtual art-museum MARFA. UST'-TSILMA. It is a visual story in a remote village of the Russian North where time seems to have stopped. The visitor gets acquainted with the cultural heritage and its history through visual and audio interactions. Authors have created digital collages, gif-animations and 3d-environments, which show their unique vision of this place.

Elisaveta Andreeva
Ekaterina Kudelina

Students of the Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design, Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia

Konstantin Ivshin

Doctor of Technical Sciences, Head of Department of Design
Institute of Arts and Design, Udmurt State University
Izhevsk, Russia


The northernmost natural area of high latitudes is the Arctic desert. These include a considerable part of the island Arctic territories. The basis of the landscape of this area is snow, ice and stone placers. Taller flora specimens are few in number and grow in fertilised areas sheltered from cold winds (bird markets, lemming holes). It is easy to list the names of the flowers of the plant world of the Arctic in this zone: Alpine foxtail, Saxifrage snowy, Arctic buttercup, Arctic pike, Arctic poppy, sow thistle, bluegrass, nibs, starlet, polar willow. They all rarely reach more than 3-5 cm in height. One of the features of this severe, uncomfortable, but beautiful and very promising in terms of human economic activity, is the abundance of rare and endemic plants in the Arctic, combined with the extremely weak resistance of ecosystems to the influence of external influences. Low temperatures, an extremely small fraction of solar radiation falling into these zones cause low productivity of the local flora. This inspired us to create the idea or legend ARCTIC FLOWERS. We chose endemic plants of the Arctic and developed our characters, personifying each of the flowers and made patterns. Our objects are carriers of the concept, which consists in attention to the world of the Arctic. You can feel involved in the conservation of nature.

The most beautiful things are often small. We see a flower, its ordinary, simple, familiar colour, the shape of the petals, and inside of it there is the whole life that he lived, meeting the dawns, sunsets, winds and northern lights.

And also it is us who are lost in the big world of routines and information. That holds all that is beautiful deep inside. This is our attempt to speak out about the richness of the human inner world and the priceless nature of the Arctic, about how we tried to combine them.

Tatiana Batova

Аrt-researcher in Indigenous art, language and culture, Senior Lecturer
Murmansk Arctic State University
Murmansk, Russia


In March 2019, a project was launched to promote and increase the motivation to study the native language among young Nenets living in the Nenets Autonomous district, Naryan-Mar.

The project VADAKO is aimed at increasing interest in the native language among young Nenets by means of the popular at the moment among young people artform of lettering and calligraphy with a brush-pen. Popularisation of the native language by means of calligraphy and lettering is a modern conceptual and creative approach to solving the problem of the loss of Indigenous languages.

For the continuity of the project a website was launched with the ability to order a t-shirt or a mug or other promotional material. Besides, one can place an order for the development of their own text in Nenets language.

The global goal of the research is to test the methods of attracting young Indigenous people (Nenets) to the study of their native language by means of calligraphy and lettering as the most accessible and relevant for them artform.

The exhibition will present the results of the research and the results of practical work in artistic interpretation.

The Project to popularize the National Language by Means of Design "Vadako"

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