Vekara Varkaus is a children’s’ arts & culture festival that has been organised every summer for 24 years in Varkaus, Finland. This year, it was an honor to be the artist patron of the festival; take part in designing the theme for the festival (environmental connection and empathy) and leading several workshops for the children:

Tree Portrait workshop was a study of the linden trees in Kosulanniemi historical setting. With all their senses, the participants explored these trees which have been standing on the site for well over hundred years. Based on the explorations, composed magnificent images of the lindens that were then left on the trees as an exhibition.

Vastavoimaa workshop also happened in Kosulanniemi and took over the old sauna. The participants made whisks, bundles of twigs, from different tree species and learnt about their affects in sauna.

Myötätuntokävelyt (empathy walks) were organised in Tyyskänniemi, a narrow cape reaching to the water where the urban and industrial soundscape mixes with birds singing and wind in the tree tops. The participants did some breathing exercise, tasted birch sap, called the water entities and relaxed in hammocks in the small forest.

Thank you for all the amazing participants of the workshops and the absolutely great Vekara Varkaus team Heli Sutinen, Nina Pesonen ja Sointu Laine!


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