Disconnect to Reconnect: Angie Gunnoe Finds Creative Fulfillment in Finland’s Stillness

The deceivingly simple freedom to create is oftentimes a struggle to find. Artists must make an effort to find this freedom, and when they do, cherish it. Angie Gunnoe (CCAD MFA 2014) knows exactly what this means. Earlier this year, Angie was accepted into one of the largest international artist residencies in Finland, the Arteles Creative Center. This provided her with the opportunity to disconnect from the clutter of everyday life, and reconnect with creative instincts.

When asked to describe her experience, Angie responded,

“FINLAND! Oh how I love thee!

I spent the month of February in the Finnish countryside at Arteles Creative Center. The experience was full of wondering and wandering in the dim light and darkness of the winter season. Complete with a traditional Finnish sauna and a deep forest of birch trees, Arteles Creative Center provided a space of solitude for myself and 9 other artists from around the world. As a group, we observed days of silence and intentional disconnection from the Internet, matching the quiet of this landscape.

Embracing the darkness of winter, I focused my time on creating night images. There is an added peculiarity in the night landscape that attracts me. This intersection of beauty and strangeness holds a feeling of both tension and stillness and brings with it the experience of other-ness. I went looking for the sauna elves and the magic of the northern lights; I went to heal myself. I found that in darkness there is depth, understanding and immense beauty.”

“Whoever you are: some evening take a step out of your house, which you know so well. Enormous space is near.”   -Rainer Maria Rilke

Photo by Angie Gunnoe, 2015

Photo by Angie Gunnoe, 2015

For more information on the Arteles Creative Center go to http://www.arteles.org/index.html.

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