ON A FORMER ISLAND – Sibelius-museo Hoppa till huvudinnehållet


A theatrical ecology with

Elie Halonen & Satu Hakamäki – shibari dance performance

Pia Palme – composition/subbass recorders

Mari Zhiginas – voice

Tuomas Laitinen – dialogist

Siiri Viljakka – live sketching

Storyboard by Palme/Halonen/Hakamäki/Laitinen

Videos by Pia Palme

All artists are currently fellows at the Saari Residence maintained by Kone Foundation.

On a former island is a theatrical ecology that brings together sound, dance, text, humans, visuals, paper, plant material, and anorganic matter and was developed for the Sibelius Museum. The piece was initiated by the composer and artistic researcher Pia Palme (Austria) and conceived, developed, and staged with Elie Halonen, Satu Hakamäki and Tuomas Laitinen (Finland). The artists met during their residence at Saari in March and April, found that they share a deep connection with nature and ecology in art, and decided to enter a risky collaborative process. For all of them, the interaction of disciplines in this form was new and offered space for joyful experimentation and discovery. They further joined with vocal artist Mari Zhiginas (Ukraine). Siiri Viljakka, comic artist, projects the performance onto paper by means of simultaneous sketching and drawing. 

Pia Palme

As an artist, I do things. Listening is at the core of what I do, it is the binding activity that connects me with the planet. My compositional practice is an ecosystem that includes myself as part of it, together with all human and non-human, living and non-living elements, technologies and instruments. I observe how the various practices and materials interact with each other, how they grow, evolve and decay. Based on these observations, I compose. My practice allows me to make plans for what lies ahead, to envision an ecofeminist future.

Elie Halonen is a Turku based visual artist and a bodyworker. Their studies in sculpture combine with their practice of shibari (japanese influenced ropebondage). In their work Halonen explores the somatics and materiality of the human body finding ways for emotions to take sculptural forms.

Satu Hakamäki

I have worked fifteen years as a freelance artist with contemporary dance, circus and theatre. Nature, interaction, empathy and power relationships are my eternal points of interest. My dream is an open, honest and present way to be. My needs are eye contact and touch. My sources of inspiration are different places and people, curiosity, playfulness, adventuring and exploring. I work rather in a group than alone. The best place to work is by the sea or in a forest, but once in a while I also need a flat floor.

Tuomas Laitinen works as a director, performer, writer, curator and teacher between the fields of live and performance art, contemporary theatre and contemporary dance. Laitinen’s artistic practice is particularly focused on questioning the role of the audience, experimenting with it, and consequently developing new forms of performance. Currently, he works with a doctoral research project at Performing Arts Research Center Tutke, Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy, and is a part of the curatorial group of the Stage for Contemporary Performance at Helsinki City Theatre.

Siiri Viljakka is a comic artist based in Turku, Finland. She specializes with longform comics that deal with humane struggles from a queer gaze. Viljakka is currently drawing a storyboard on a partly autobiographical project REKKIS, which combines comic art and drawings about butch identity and female masculinity. In addition, they are drawing a fantasy comic about orc warriors together with Tuomas Myllylä.

Photo credit:

Tuomas Laitinen / Saari Residence