Madelynne Cornish

Entry #11


All Entries

DAY 70 – Sunday 10/9/17

Weather conditions: 15 degrees, grey overcast conditions with occasional rain

Normally I go out on field trips by myself, however Krister the temporary residency host told me of an area which he thought I should visit, Elämänmäki, Hill of Life. Set in a Finnish wilderness area, Elämänmäki was the site of a rural retreat for the treatment of mental health. It was established in 1906 and closed around 1918. Elämänmäki was turned into a conservation area in 1994 and has not been logged since then.

On Sunday morning I headed off to Elämänmäki, with Australian painter Lynne Flemons and Japanese visual artist Ouma. It was an atmospheric day, there was a mist and the occasional light rain, which enhanced our experience of the forest. We spent the afternoon time observing and documenting the forest. It was an enchanting place to spend the day.

Out of all the forest areas I have visited during my stay in Mänttä, Elämänmäki is the loveliest. All the forested areas I have visited during my stay no matter how lovely they appear are plantations. The trees are the same size and evenly spaced and the forest floor is mostly clear of debris. I often ponder if these cultivated environments can really be called forests. I think what Krister once said is more accurate, ‘here we have fields of trees’. Some of the people I talk to aren’t even aware that these forests are manufactured environments.


Image – Lynne Flemons

DAY 76 – Saturday 16/9/17

Weather conditions: 10 degrees, grey overcast conditions with occasional rain

A fab day out in Tampere with the girls, thanks to Leea Lundel. Normally I go out filming every weekend regardless of the conditions. However, on Saturday I broke with tradition and took the day off. This was a last minute decision and I have to say I’m glad I took up Leea’s gracious offer. The day was a hoot, there was much laughing. We did lots of fun things like shopping, ate a tasty lunch at Gopels, visited a few gallaries, explored the local market and sampled the delicious offerings. It was a full day and we all felt exhausted when we returned to the residency house, exhausted but relaxed. I’ve had very little down time since Ignacio’s departure at the end of July. The final 2 weeks of the my residency heralds in another dramatic shift in my routine. I will spend most of my remaining in the studio editing. I have to create a version of Common Ground for my upcoming exhibition at Alekanterin Linna [Serlachius Residency Gallery].


Image – Lynne Flemons

DAY 77 – Sunday 17/9/17

Weather conditions: 10 degrees, grey overcast conditions with occasional rain

On Sunday I returned to my normal routine of filming. My intention was to head back to Elämänmäki, but this was not meant to be. Sonja the residency hostess told me of a forest at Heräjärvi, which she thought could be an old growth area. The other residential artists were keen to join me so we hit the road and made our way there. The area is very beautiful, the forest surrounds a shallow lake. However, it was not an old growth area this was clearly evident by the forest floor and the size of the trees. Nevertheless l enjoyed meandering along the various paths pausing from time to time to document the landscape. Even though the day was quite dark and overcast I managed to get some good footage with the drone, which was a bonus.
Even though most days have been grey and overcast I haven’t felt cold. Over the last week there has been a shift and there’s no mistaking it, winter is on it’s way. To mark the change of season, I went and got my haircut. Truth be known, it’s unruliness was driving me crazy. However, on Sunday my little head was feeling cold and I didn’t have a beanie to keep it warm. A girl has no choice but to ad-lib on these occasions, hence my Katmandu jacket metamorphosed into a turban/beanie and it worked a treat.


Image – Lynne Flemons

Supported by