Events News Press
XIV Eleusis
Artists’ Exchange

Saara Halminen

Visual artist and painter
Socio-ecological challenges: safeguarding our seas and shores.

This project strand offers short residency opportunities in partner cities for 30 emerging artists. Each UEO city partner will send two artists on a residency to another partner’s city of a different art form, thereby seeking to enrich their professional practice through inter-disciplinary residencies. Artists are chosen on the basis of having demonstrated an interest in the hosting city’s Arts & Society contemporary European theme. They must also practice a different art form from that of the hosting city’s public event. The project offers the emerging artists the opportunity to travel without the pressure to produce work and ideally to experience UEO’s public events. Athens’ artists will be confirmed shortly.

Saara Halminen will travel to Eleusis

Oulu’s other artist, Jared van Earle, will travel to Cluj

Artists’ Statement

I am a 20-year-old visual artist and painter. Ever since I was little, I have had the very ambitious dream of becoming a painter and full-time artist. Art is a big part of my life as a queer person, and I have had the privilege to build a safe place for myself through art. I appreciate representation and try to make art that is relatable to queer people. My passion is to study queer and trans bodies in my work and tell stories of the body’s relationship with gender or sexuality. I see nature as my friend in my work and it is somehow always connected to my topics. My work has almost always included elements from nature, and I like to think that is because of how often aspects of the human experience are seen in nature too.

I work mostly with oil paint and enjoy painting people. My work is based on experimenting with textiles and oil painting. I am inspired by people and their stories – especially my family, my partner, and my friends. Even though I am inspired by other people I need to be alone to create. I require boredom for finding the best ideas and getting into the creative flow. Also as said, nature has always inspired me, and I enjoy painting growth like vines or leaves and seeing my paintings come alive.

My reason for making art is that I want to be the one telling my own stories. When I am making art, I know I am worthy, and people like me deserve to be seen and heard

Artists’ Biography

Saara Halminen is a young visual artist from Oulu focusing mostly on oil painting. Halminen graduated from an art-oriented upper secondary school in 2022. After graduating, Halminen concentrated on working on their portfolio. Halminen has worked on nationwide and local cultural projects for Young Visual Art forum which is operated by the Art Centre for Children and Young People in Finland.

Halminen has had multiple exhibitions, most of them in Oulu. Halminen had their first solo exhibition in 2021. The work extends from oil paintings and textile art to public pieces and installations. Using textile art and oil painting together is Halminen’s modern way to apply embroidery in art. Halminen’s artworks almost always cover topics like the queer body, gender, and nature. Currently, Halminen is focusing on applying to an art university in Finland and working as an apprentice for Oulu Urban Culture association.