Maija Kantanen (FI), exchange artist in Tallaght Community Art Centre, Dublin.
Raumars Registered as an independent association in 1999. In the same year, artists Maija Kantanen and Kirsi Backman were elected to the residency of the Tallaght Arts Center in Dublin. Maija applied for a residency for three months and Kirsi for a month and a half. The selection was made on the basis of applications and an interview. The interviewer was Mary Grehan, Director of Tallaght Arts Center.
During the first weeks, Finnish artists co-led community projects, e.g. directing pottery workshops to local groups. There was also an opportunity to work on their own for the future exhibition and get to know Irish everyday life as well as local people. During the artist exchange, local art as well as the enchanting nature of Ireland became familiar like Ring of Kerry, Galway, Killarny, Glendaglough, Howht and Glifden.
Later, Maija Kantanen participated in several events organized by the Arts Center, such as the Halloween celebration for the families as a children's face painter and at the jury of music competitions. Kantanen also visited Cork and the home of artist Siobhan Doyle on the southernmost island of Ireland, Cape Clear.
At the end of the visit program, an exhibition of Finnish artists “Tarua ja totta” was organized, where they were showing the sculptures they made in Ireland. Kirsi Backman implemented a Kalevala-themed exhibition during her residency and Maija Kantanen took up the topics of the impulses of the residency period because the longer residency period made it possible. Among other things, the New Grange burial mound 40 km from Dublin, appeared in exhibition works. Kantanen hung the “Tale or True” exhibition at the Tallaght Art Center Gallery after Kirsi Backman returned to his home country.
The exhibition was opened by Olavi Jalkanen, the Finnish Ambassador to Ireland, and Finnishness was strongly taken into account in the opening ceremonies organized by the Art Center, e.g. in serving and decorating. Irish and Finnish songs were sung alternately at the opening. The exhibition was shown on TV, radio and in magazines in Dublin.
The following spring 2000, artists Kirsi Backman, Maija Kantanen and the then Raumars artist, Tom Meskell from Ireland organized a joint exhibition in the courtyard studios of the Lönnström Art Museum in Rauma. An exhibition "Memories of Ireland" by Backman and Kantanen was seen in the same year at the Galleria Leonardo in Tampere. The exhibitions focused on experiences from Ireland.