Project 5 : Cultural Collective Kukoistus

Cultural Collective Kukoistus

Cultural Collective Kukoistus is located at the Korkeaoja village in the western part of Finland, some 40km from the coastline. We work here on various projects centered around art, ecology and building. Some of us live in the village and others in nearby cities. Our aims are to increase the opportunities for artistic work in the Finnish countryside and combining art with living close to the land while promoting sustainability and ecological values. Our operation is centered at the old main house and it’s surroundings at Korkeaoja organic farm. Among our ongoing long-term projects are the creation of an international residency for artists (to this end we are renovating the 8 rooms + kitchen main house) and the establishment of a 1ha communal edible forest garden. In addition we organize a wide range of festivals, exhibitions, workshops and seminars. We are also renovating an old stone barn to function as a multi-purpose workspace. The residency is aimed for people of all ages and all cultures and backgrounds, as are all the projects of our cultural collective. Our public events attract people from all around Finland, but also focus on serving our local community in the south-west countryside of Finland. Our special interests are performance art and time/space art, permaculture and ecological design, and holistic, wholesome life in general.Some examples of past event and activities are: Käsitekesä summer exhibition, Artistic Ecosystems seminar, the Immaterial festival of performance art, ”Kotonen” mobile house construction workshops and lectures on permaculture and forest garden design.

Your work as a volunteer

The tasks for volunteers vary according to season and the progress of various ongoing building projects (the renovation of the main house and the stone barn, finishing a cordwood hut and a recycling center) as well as the forest garden. The skills and interests of volunteers will be taken into account. The work hours may vary as well, but we make sure it all balances out. The period of mid winter, form December to March, is really only suitable for someone who enjoys quiet and solitude (and we mean this in a Finnish sense ;) And especially for someone who has their own creative projects they can pursue, as there isn’t so much practical work to do during that time. 

Possible tasks

  • Construction (this can be simple and repetitive manual tasks, or more demanding work depending on skills)
  • Working in the garden and orchard (watering, weeding, planting, protection, harvesting of herbs, apples, berries)
  • Maintenance of the residency house (cleaning, organizing, heating)
  • Maintenance of the yard and surrounding spaces Assisting artists in residence (if there are some and if they need help with something) 
  • Cooking 
  • Heating the sauna
  • Making art (For those who want to pursue their own artistic practices we also want to offer the time and space for working on their art. We can offer tools, but you’ll need your own materials. Art that is installed / takes place in the village is most welcome, but not a prerequisite.)

Volunteer position 1

Run and organize the everyday life in the AIR (artists in recidency).  Take care of the premises, tools and accomodation and solve small problems. Organize housemeetings and practicalities in housekeeping. Organize get-togethers between Kukoistus members and artists in recidency. Communicate with Kukoistus board/ producer. Make a calendar for the AIR and preliminary work for choosing the volunteers and artists. Organize events, workshops and other happenings that suit Kukoistus profile (arts and culture, citicen-activism, permaculture etc.). Take part in volunteer work directed by Kukoistus board at the recidency such as: farming work, construction work and organizing events.

We expect you to be social but capable of independent work, flexible, proactive and collaborative, stay at Kukoistus between 6-12 months and preferably have a driving licence.

Volunteer position 2.

Take part in volunteer work directed by Kukoistus at the recidency such as: farming work, construction work and organizing events. Take part in the housekeeping chores. Make your own artistic/research/activist project about 50% of the volunteer work hours, aiming to show your work as a part of the annual exhibition organized by Kukoistus. Sometimes it might be more other work, sometimes more artistic work.

We expect you to be social but capable of independent work, flexible, proactive and collaborative, have your own artistic/research/activist project to work on and ability to work on it independently and stay at Kukoistus between 2-12 months.

Accomodation

Accommodation is in the residency house (8 rooms and a shared kitchen). There is usually a couple of people staying in the house, sometimes more during busier summer months and during events or workshops. The residency is not fully operational yet, so we don’t have artists staying throughout the year. 

Volunteers can prepare their meals in the shared kitchen. There is also a wood heated sauna, a small lake with a tiny beach and a barbecue & chill out spot. There’s a wifi connection and a shared computer to use. 

There are also a few horses, a cat and some occasional dogs inhabiting at the farm. This is good to take into account if you have allergies. 

The closest shops and services are 15km from Korkeaoja, in nearby small towns. There is no public transport, but we have a car for the volunteers to use, and try to coordinate rides. We also have bicycles volunteers can borrow. 

Distance to Pori, the nearest city, is 35km. Nearest bus and train stations are 15km away, with good access to Pori, Tampere, Helsinki and other cities. For leisure time there’s plenty of nature to enjoy. For other activities the city of Pori has a quite active cultural scene with exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Yyteri beach (50km) has wonderful natural dunes by the seaside.

Volunteer profile

We are looking for volunteers interested in art, ecology, gardening, building, and life in the countryside. Qualities we look for: creativity, selfinitiative, flexibility, patience, social skills and a positive outlook. 

From spring to autumn we have more people staying here, so getting along with random people is important, while from autumn to winter things tend to quiet down and tolerance towards quiet and solitude can also be important. 

There are several unfinished projects going on simultaneously so capacity to handle some chaos and unpredictability is good to have.

Former volunteer shares her experience !

More info:

https://www.kukoistus.org/ 

https://www.kasitekesa.org/ 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfp rANUD4X5bG1n20_H8C4Q