Alvi’s Alvila-home implemented applied arts community project Very Important 2015-2016. The purpose of the project was to examine the issues experienced by people who are recovering from mental health issues to be relevant to their own lives as well as help Alvila-home staff to direct the attention to the important things experienced by the residents.

Photography exhibition appears in Lapinlahden Lähde – Käytävä Gallery. Very Important -project shows the issues raised by people who are recovering from mental health issues. What is meaningful in life today, tomorrow or next year? Photos are arranged & shot by the nurse and photographer Mimmi Tverin.

One important purpose of the photo exhibition is to promote mental health resources and inspire visitors to open their minds to meaningful things in their own life. Asking themselves the same questions: What exactly is important to you today, tomorrow – how about next year?

Background information about the project, the photographer’s point of view

Project Background and purpose:

Very Important- project was born of professional interest. The aim is to use applied arts community project, and artistic intervention to find out are we doing the right things to support Alvila-home residents in their everyday life: what is important today, what are the aims today? Are we doing the right things as recovery and social work professionals?

Doctor of Philosophy Kai Lehikoinen has defined an artistic intervention to mean the artist’s own methods of process in working communities or organizations whose purpose is to support the change, and strengthen innovation and creativity in organization, or develop skills within the workplace. ”Artistic intervention produce representations of the operation of reality which should be interpreted by organizational staff.” (Taiteilija kehittäjänä – Taiteelliset interventiot työssä 2016 ed Lehikoinen & Pässilä: Kokos publications 1/2016).

When I introduced Very Important- photo project I noticed that many of the recovery and social work professionals were left wondering the same thing in their everyday life: What single thing is important to me today? I realized I was on to something essential. Issue, which determines our day. Awareness of it clarifying the allocation of resources to what really matters: This case is ”Very Important” which often brings satisfaction in our everyday life. I got to notice that we don’t always know the answer to these question, or feel embarrassed to say it out loud, even if there aren’t right or wrong answers, and no need to be fancy and sublime.

Project implementation:

Community art project was implemented by the support of the management of Alvi and Alvila-home staff inquiring about residents’ thoughts on a new way of working.  After receiving a positive response from residents, we agreed to all residents of the Alvila-home to have individual conversation about the subject. The discussions with the residents was to look for an answer to three structured questions: What is meaningful/most important thing today? What about tomorrow? What do you think is meaningful and still important to you next year?

About half of the residents gave permission taking photographs of issues that rise from the individual discussions and public display of the images on a photographic exhibition ’Very Important’.  As artists and creators of the exhibition content residents, with the assistance of Alvila-home staff, can inspire the exhibition visitors to go through the same process in their own lives.

At the photography phase, in co-operation with the inhabitants and the photographer, it was crystallized how meaningful things can be photographed; abstracts and relevant issues were getting the symbolic form chosen by the inhabitants. Very Important -photographs don’t therefore always literally represent meaningful issue, but an object which s/he has chosen for the photo symbolizes the inhabitant’s meaningful things. For this reason, photographic works were also without naming, in order to let theviewer, create their own value and free interpretation of the works. That will keep the artwork fresh and open for different perceiving.

As a photographer I wondered advance the visual appearance of the images for a long time and without finding a satisfactory answer. When the first residents came to bring me the photograph objects to the studio I’d built in Alvila-home, the visual image of the photos came clearer in an instant. Residents brought the objects to be photographed wrapped in a material of their own choice: paper, plastic bag, a cloth or a cardboard box. I interpreted as a photographer, that we are shooting baskets of life! Inspired by residents I chose the visual appearance to be open baskets, where there are resources into a meaningful life.

What does your basket of life offer today? Photo exhibition guest are encouraged to participate in the exhibition in social network with their own photo greetings; at Facebook or Instagram on the event page of the exhibition. 

PARTICIPATE: #veryimportant #alviry

Lapinlahden Lähde Käytävä Gallery is open:

Monday-Friday 11am-18pm

Saturday-Sunday 12am-18pm

Exhibition Opening Tuesday 2.5.2017 17pm-19pm 

Contact us:

Alvila-home: 040-455 3330