St. Petersburg Lab

Preliminary performance on Lake Ladoga, where artists created graphic canvases for future art objects, accompanied by the live sound of the cello. Workshops with local citizens with the participation of artists. Presentation of art objects and open discussion with artists, experts and local citizens of the coastal Baltic region about identity.

Creative Lab in Saint-Petersburg
consisted of 3 stages:

“I remember what I said on the first day of the workshop: ‘Any question can be answered if you try to answer it creatively.”

“The Baltic connects people, and here I could feel it through making art.”

“The workshop provided food for thought about how everything is interconnected, how cyclical everything is.”

❶ Introductory performance

We started our performance at the boulders of Lake Ladoga – rocks contoured by rain, waves and glaciers. The artists transferred the stone texture to paper and created prints (so-called “palimpsests”) for the laboratory participants to work with. The vibrating sounds of cello that accompanied the performance created a dynamic atmosphere and steered the movement of pencil on paper. In this way, water, stones and time all formed part of the project. The participants then brought the sounds of their breath and beating hearts into the project, which served as a catalyst for emotional self-expression.

❷ Workshops with the local people

The main aims of the workshops were to share emotions, and explore oneself, others and the world around us. To facilitate that, two channels – sound and image – were used to encourage honesty and openness. Wordless dialogue and the sounds of the cello together created a united creative space. The participants produced layered graphic sheets depicting stone prints and water, reflecting the feelings stirred up by the creative collaboration. The research process led to the final artistic outcome. When we look at these images, we see the link between the global, the local and the personal, which helps us to better understand how concepts such as “myself” and “I” exist in the world.

❸ Presentation

The creative lab in St. Petersburg concluded with an exhibition of the graphic works, an open discussion about the Baltic Sea, and the participants’ accounts of their experiences with water and the results of our project. The project invited the participants to take a deeper look at themselves, at others and at the Baltic waters. It is said that water has a memory – and if that is the case, then our hope is that someone on the other side of the sea might one day see our reflections.

The sound of a cello during a performance on Ladoga
The sound of the cello during artists’ workshops with local residents
Common Water in St.Petersburg (Russia) — teaser
Creative laboratory in St.Petersburg (Russia) — film about