23-24 mars Gemeinsam – Selforganized artists of the North at GlogauAIR in Berlin.
1.Meri Nikula
Picture: Meri Nikula LOUHETAR // Collaboration with Essi Korva (Sculptural Dress) and Meri Nikula (voice & performance) // PHOTO CREDIT: Jari Mäntylä


What do we need? In order to feel that we are moving, not standing still: to avoid becoming bogged down in internal or external issues, but instead to progress from one question to the next? To develop – as a person and as an artist?

We need each other; we need to discuss, reflect, obstruct, construct. We need dialogues and polylogues. We need co-participation. As individual artists we cooperate long-term with invited artists, creating mutual mentorship, broadening our artistic practice, our organising, our thoughts.

We embrace the collective practice, we find strength in each other and have so much more fun together.

Participating artists:
Elin Maria Johansson // Hanna Kanto // Meri Nikula //Sara Edström // Stefan Riebel // Anja Örn // Tomas Örn // Fanny Carinasdotter // Therese Engström // Anna Harju // Vappu Jalonen

Thanks to: Region Norrbotten and GlogauAIR for a good collaboration


Elin Maria Johansson

“He called them moon waves” 2018, animated film
Sound composer: Michel Wenzer.

“The wind can be a raging demon that spreads death and destruction. But it is also the breath of the earth that can intervene in human lives in many different ways.”
J.D. Ratcliff
3. Elin Maria JohanssonElin Maria Johansson’s practice spreds over installations, film, performance, sound works and objects. Her work often circles around the subject of time. In an attempt to figure out how if it can be perceived, and the impossible in trying to capture it.

“By using tactile and performative approaches in my work, I seek to find a physical point of contact between the work and the viewer. Create a state of being, from which the perspective of time, body and what is seen as truth, is distorted.”

In her works it´s often difficult to define reality from imagination. They seem to move between the subconsciousness and the real world. Our society, historical events merged with destinies, unattainable fantasies, the shadow of the past and ominous state.

It does not try to escape reality but create another reality from were new myths about our contemporary society can occur.

Elin Maria Johansson has for many years been a part of establishing the self organized art space Gylleboverket in the south of Sweden, and Galleri Syster is happy to be their collegues in the network for self organized spaces in Sweden, The Collective Brain.


Hanna Kanto
Paintings. Oil / acrylic on canvas.


Hanna Kanto was born in Tornio, Finland 1981 and has been living and working in Northern Finland, Norway and Sweden as a visual artist since 2008. To live in the north is important to her because it is part of her identity and thus also the fundament of her art. She is inspired by the rugged landscape and the traditional culture of her northern homeland. She has the minimalistic and inhospitable northern landscape and it’s people as reference points for her art. The thematic arc of Hanna Kanto’s art is supported by a concern about the disappearance of a unique cultural environment. Even though certain nostalgia and sorrow is present, the paintings are above all elegiac shots of the beautiful northern landscape and it’s original and rich cultural heritage. She also explores and study herself in the landscape, how it is to live and dwell as a woman in North.

Hanna Kanto’s work consists mainly of acrylic and oil painting but also build installations and produces video art around the same theme. She uses the medium of painting both in a diversified and experimental way.

She has been working very actively as a visual artist during the past ten years and frequently exhibits both in Finland and Sweden, and has participated in exhibitions in different parts of Europe.

Hanna Kanto has been very active in the nordic art scene working with and initiating many collaborative projects in a region that so well needs people like her. Galleri Syster is proud to call her our friend since we first exhibited her work in Stockholm 2013.


Meri Nikula
Vocal Performance with a Sculptural Costume
Louhetar is a raw queen, an animalistic mistress. An ancient feminist icon coming alive from the tales of Kalevala.
Collaboration with Hanna Kanto (Sculptural Dress) and Meri Nikula (voice & performance)


MERI NIKULA is an experimental vocalist, performance artist and transformational healer from Finland. Her own voice and body are the core elements of creation. Meri’s work is very visceral, often a sensual experience. Meri graduated in 2007 from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands, with a solo performance ‘In the Flesh I Reside’ for voice, body and video. The main theme of her artistic research and expression has been the human condition and the psychophysical experience of how it feels to live on this planet at this time, as a human being. Meri’s work is very visceral, often a sensual experience.

Meri is working internationally as a performing artist and a healing vocal channel, collaborating with a wide range of other artists, dancers and musicians. She is combining her experience in music, dance, art and healing practices to teach ‘Voicing Your Body’ workshops for deepening awareness of your body & voice and tuning into free expression. The healing effects of artistic creation and free vocal expression and the limitless possibilities of the human voice are the core subjects of her work and research.

Galleri Syster is inspired by her extensive collective practice, and we are happy to have found her through her collaboration with Hanna Kanto and Essi Korva in Haparanda in the very north of Sweden.


Sara Edström

I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore
Video loop and sculptures


The midlife crisis hit me with full force right in the stomach. And it keeps hitting me every day, almost every second. Now I’m a bit tired. It would be so insanely nice to sit back and feel that I am good enough. I feel paralyzed and tense and I can’t seem to catch enough air. As if I sometimes forget how to breathe. I do not know who I am. I do not know what I look like. When I catch sight of my reflection in a shop window I wonder who the hell is that? Who am I supposed to be?

The project I Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore is a form of exorcism, a way to seize power over the crisis and take possession of my own body again.

Sara Edström is one of the members of Galleri Syster, a self organized art space in Luleå in the north of Sweden.


Sara Edström and Stefan Riebel

Performing an Artspace

Skärmavbild 2018-03-09 kl. 17.02.37

Performing an Artspace is an archive of performative proposals that address the necessary actions all around running an art space. The archive forms a stock for further action.

The project is a part of Galleri Systers ongoing project CollArtBoration, and Edström and Riebel continues the collaboration they started in Luleå 2017 with the exhibition Going Places – Finding Words.

Stefan Riebel is a Berlin based artist and founder of Institut Für Alles Möglishe with residency studios all over Berlin. Edström and Reibel’s collaboration is a part of his investigating project Project Space Practice.


Anja Örn, Tomas Örn, Fanny Carinasdotter

Using landscapes
Videoinstallation 28 min

Using landscapes

Using landscapes is a part of the artists’ ongoing investigation of the Aitik open-pit copper mine in Sakajärvi. The work collects voices connected to the mine in various ways. Knowledge, emotions, economics, and nature come together and push against each other in the dramatic landscape. The quotations are taken from interviews, news articles, informational films about Boliden, and the letters of Sakajärvi residents to the mining company, amongst other sources. Instead of following a single story with a definite ending, the artists allow the many voices to remain conflicting and multifaceted.

Using landscapes is an investigation of the intersections between industry and the landscape. An attempt to understand the endless beauty of the natural landscape and the vast size of the industry. Where does nature seize to be nature and where does the memory of the cultural landscapes end up?

A previous version of Using landscapes has been commissioned by Public Art Agency Sweden.

Fanny Carinasdotter investigates the spaces that arise when humans encroach upon the landscape and the traces we leave behind us. She works with photography, which she combines with interviews and archival materials. Fanny Carinasdotter has participated in multiple exhibitions in Sweden and internationally.

Tomas Örn is interested in how the hierarchy of power over public spaces is created, and how this is challenged by subcultures and civilian protests. He works with the meaning of place from a cultural-historical and artistic perspective. Tomas Örn has a background as an architectural conservationist.

Anja Örn is interested in the varying degrees of publicness of places. Using sculptural forms, she engages with nature and challenges the boundary between industry and landscape. Anja Örn established and runs Galleri Syster in Luleå and has participated in several exhibitions in Sweden and internationally.


Therese Engström, Anna Harju

Walking and talking
Sound recording and video loop


For more than 40 years Therese Engström and Anna Harju have been friends and conversation partners. They have walked and talked through everyday life, crises, happiness, depressions. In their conversations there is a keynote of searching, investigating, of questions that might not come to one conclusive answer, but rather to a kind of temporary answer, that later on will be extended, given one more dimension, and thereafter yet another.

Walking and talking is a distillate of decades of conversations, an investigation, a path leading ahead.

As a little girl, Anna Harju wanted to become a maid in a big house; she dreamt about having the task of dusting statues to be able to hide behind them and carefully look out on the world, protected by the marble figures. But she became a musician, and instead of hiding behind statues, she performs on stage every week as a member of Gävle symphony orchestra.

Therese Engström is a writer and co-runner of Galleri Syster, a self-organized art space in Luleå in the north of Sweden.


Vappu Jalonen

Good Life
Performance (2018) 15 min


Vappu Jalonen is an artist and writer. She lives and works in Helsinki and Berlin. Her recent work includes text and sound performances in Helsinki, Geneva, Warsaw and Luleå as well as in Byron Bay, Melbourne and Sydney (2016–2017), and collective editing and writing of the publication No play Feminist Training Camp (nGbK, Berlin, 2017). She also took part in the exhibition and publication The Truth About Finland (Porin kulttuurisäätö, 2017).

Jalonen was selected for the Transfer North curatorial and critical writing residency programme (residencies in Galleri Syster, Luleå and Sámi Center For Contemporary Art, Karasjok, both in 2017). In 2018 she will be a fellow at the Saari Residence in Southwest Finland and at the Ars Bioarctica residency program in Kilpisjärvi. In September–November 2018 she will have an exhibition at Shedhalle, Zürich (together with Elis Hannikainen, Ernest Ah and Freja Bäckman).

Jalonen is doing her doctorate in the Department of Art at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
She is the drummer of a feminist metal band Lithalsa.

Vappu Jalonen was a resident artist at Galleri Syster in february of 2017. We love her work, and we are also inspired and impressed by her work organizing art events like No Play – Feminist Trainingcamp which took place in Berlin in 2016. The Training Camp stems from a queer understanding of feminism with a strong emphasis on grassroots models of collective organization, knowledges based in lived experience and the handling of daily oppressions.