All of the artists participating in this exhibition are former scholarship holders of the exchange programme between the cultural offices in Tampere and Düsseldorf. They were selected by juries in Tampere and Düsseldorf. The decisive factor was the artistic quality of their work.
Since its inception, the exchange has been inspiring in both artistic and human terms. Numerous contacts have been established between the artists of both cities, some of which have been intensively cultivated for more than a decade. Over the course of time, a lively network has emerged, as evidenced not least by numerous private and professional meetings in Tampere, Helsinki, Berlin and Düsseldorf.
The then head of the cultural office in Tampere, Elise Pederson, provided the impetus to document this Finnish-German project in recurring group exhibitions. The inaugural exhibition was held in 2010 at the Art Center Mältinranta in Tampere with the exhibition title „Kreator Later“. The Finnish artists‘ return visit to Düsseldorf took place in 2011 in the former Consum, now Weltkunstzimmer, with the title „The Big Forest Painters“.
In 2019, part 3 – „Down by the Lake“ – of the series was again held in Tampere. The venue was the municipal exhibition rooms in Haihara, an old farm directly by the lake in the forest. The Finnish hosts, especially in the person of Ms. Pederson, were once again very passionately committed, both organisationally and humanly, and – not least – financially.
So the series is now back in Düsseldorf. In May 2022, after two postponements due to the pandemic, the fourth part of the exhibition series will take place here again.
The Kulturbahnhof Eller is happy to include this project in its programme. In the beautiful former station building, the 13 artists – 7 from Tampere and 6 from Düsseldorf – will show their work in many different media. Since the Kulturbahnhof doesn‘t have a lake next door, but nice train tracks, we called the exhibition „Down by the Track“.
Since my own residency in Tampere in 2006, I have had a deep relationship with the country, the city and many of the artists. The stay in Tampere had a deep impact on me and I found new motifs on walks and journeys in the country and incorporated them into my work. Some of them still appear in my work today, such as in my current Vanitas still lifes in the exhibition.
Gesine Kikol, 2022