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Silence Awareness Existence

Thematic residency program
Winter 2019-20 in Finland

1 month
December 2019 - March 2020
Where: Arteles Creative Center, Hämeenkyrö, Finland

Deadline for applications was
27th of June 2019

Creative winter retreat

Silence Awareness Existence is a residency program for artists, researchers and creative professionals, wanting to retreat into silence in nature. The program brings together a group of artists attuned to the theme to share a focused and mindful residency in the middle of the Nordic winter.

The program allows you to concentrate in your creative work and being in a supportive, peaceful environment. You may arrive with a predetermined project, but it is also possible to dedicate the residency solely for inner reflection, meditation and research.

In order to support mindfulness and maintain a focused working & living environment, the program includes silent days, daily meditation sessions and an introduction to meditation course by visiting teacher. To further minimize distractions, internet is only available in a designated room. Participants also have the opportunity to engage in the Finnish sauna culture, an ancient tradition for purifying your mind and body. (See program details below.)

Stillness, darkness and silence

Arteles Creative Center is located in Western Finland in a countryside region, far from city life distractions. Many beautiful forests, fields and lakes surround the residency yards – here, you can truly feel connected with nature.

Finland's winter is filled with stillness and silence. The sun only briefly shows up in the horizon, and tones of blue, white, and grey dominate the monotone landscapes. On clear nights, stars and satellites are clearly visible on the sky. If you get lucky, you may even catch the Northern Lights.

December is one of the darkest months of the year. In average, January and February are snowier and colder, March already bringing more light to the days. Weathers in general are unpredictable and can vary a lot in a short time, from blinding snow storms to total stillness.

Made for artists & creatives
Studio spaces & private bedrooms. Photo studio. 24/7 access.
Read more
Scheduled meditation
We have scheduled morning and evening sessions in the meditation space.
Pure nordic nature
Explore forests, lakes & fields and find skies full of stars and satellites.
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Get relaxed
Traditional Finnish wood-burning sauna built in 1961, for when you feel like it is time to relax.
Authentic rural environment
Arteles Creative Center is located in Hämeenkyrö, Finland.
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Stay focused
Silent days and offline time.
Weekly meetings & discussions (voluntary), field trips and support.
Tools for you
Wide selection of creative gear, equipment and tools for you to use.
See full list here
On-site staff
We assist you with practicalities and introduce you to the local surroundings and nature.

Meditation sessions (voluntary) take place in the new meditation space every morning and evening. There is a one-day introduction to meditation course by visiting teacher. Previous experience is not required.
Silent days
The program includes 2 silent days per week, when speaking is not allowed and making noise or engaging others in communication is to be avoided. On these days, participants can better clear their mind and get deeper into their present experience.
Limited internet access
In order to maintain a focused environment, there is no wifi available in the program. Internet can only be accessed in a designated room (one USB connection), and it is recommended (not required) that cellphones or sim-cards are handed out and stored in the office.
Participants are given an introduction to the Finnish sauna culture, and they may use the traditional, wood-burning residency sauna freely. Also the public sauna nearby is a special experience, with the option to go winter swimming in the icy-cold lake.
The program allows you the time, space, facilities and, most of all, the freedom and stress-free environment you need in order to develop yourself and your creative practice.
Organic breakfast
Nutritious breakfast is included in the program, consisting of primarily organic and locally produced, vegetarian products. The breakfast table is set from Monday to Friday.

Included in your stay at Arteles Creative Center:

For creative practice:

  • studio spaces and facilities 24 h access — See facilities here
  • photo studio with tripods, lights, reflectors etc. — See list here
  • creative equipment & tools, incl. projectors, printers, telescope etc. — See list here
  • scheduled daily meditation sessions in the meditation space (voluntary)
  • assistant(s) to help you with projects and practicalities
  • weekly group meetings and support
  • artist promotion on our online network
  • artist pages in Arteles Catalogue

For everyday life:

  • private bedrooms, incl. towels and bedlinen
    - Note: There are large working desks also in all bedrooms.
  • organic breakfast (Mon-Fri)
  • fully equipped kitchen facilities
  • traditional Finnish wood-burning sauna
  • residency car (with automatic gears) for getting around the region
  • internet access (limited in this program, see details above)
  • laundry facilities
  • pure Northern nature and silence

For starters:

  • pick-up service for arrivals and departures — See how to get here
  • orientation & introduction to get you settled in
  • introduction to meditation course by visiting teacher
  • assistance in finding the materials you need

Residency periods

1 Month
Months: December 2019 / January 2020 / February 2020 / March 2020
Our residency periods follow the monthly calendar.
The periods start on the 2nd day of the month and end on the last day of the month.
(If necessary, arriving some days later or leaving a bit earlier within the period is possible.)

Program fees

We offer financial aid for applicants otherwise unable to join the program.
The financial aid provided covers 40 % of the full program fee.

Contributor's fees (fees without support)
1 person: 1950 € / month

Accommodation in a private bedroom
Organic breakfast included (Mon-Fri)

Fees with support
1 person: 1170 € / month

Accommodation in a private bedroom
Organic breakfast included (Mon-Fri)

All fees include the registration fee (120 € / person - non-refundable).
No application fee.

Resident's short-term guests/visitors:

40 € / night / person - needs to be agreed with the staff in advance

Who can apply

We are looking for emerging and professional artists, creatives and interesting individuals widely from different fields and backgrounds. In the selection process, an emphasis is put on applicant’s approach and suitability to the program theme. We value authenticity and tenacity. You must be at least 23 or older to apply.

We do not require a project proposal in the application as this would be in contradiction with the program. Also we understand that when working in the creative field, your subjects, interests and working methods tend to change and evolve along the way.

Due to the program theme, there is no possibility to work with live music/sound - sound artists working with headphones are welcome to apply.

Please note that only individual applicants may apply to this program (no duos). Spouses, partners and friends are welcome as short-term guests only (1-3 days, 40 €/night). Children are not permitted in the residency.

Deadline for applications was 27th of June 2019

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