The Kindling project is run by a partnership consisting of BAC on Gotland, Milvus Artistic Research Center (MARC) in Skåne and the Ukrainian residencies/artistic platforms Sorry No Rooms Available in Uzhhorod and soma.majsternia in Lviv.
As part of the Kindling project BAC welcomed the curator and writer Borys Filonenko during October 2nd-17th and the visual artist Katya Buchatska October 2nd-November 12th.
They both participated in the annual meeting of the Swedish Artist Residency Network (SWAN) which brought together about 70 participants from all over Sweden. Under the heading Sustainable Artistic Freedom, the conference explored themes of sustainability for residencies in times of armed conflict and climate crisis. Alex Fisher, the artistic coordinator of Kindling led a conversation with the artists about the Kindling project and their research on Gotland. Katya Buchatska also exhibited the film Izyum to Liverpool at the Gotland Art Museum during October 5th-15th alongside My Musical by the My Musical Collective from soma.majsternia – another Kindling residency project. The exhibition with artists from Kindling was shown in parallel with an exhibition by a local artist group called Occupé-Libre.
Borys Filonenko and Katya Buchatska focused their residency research on the Gotlandic landscape, its connections to Ukraine and its geopolitical significance. Together, they visited and researched institutions, NGOs and individuals connected to land use and landscapes on Gotland. Filonenko started work on a zine about Gotland and Ukraine as landscapes that were considered possible targets for starting a large-scale and fast war by Russian propagandists and militaries. In the publication, Filonenko will fix his optics on these two landscapes: one that was not attacked and one that was. To tell the story and to understand more, Filonenko explored the phenomenon of landscapes as museum objects – something that the Gotland Museum has many examples of in its collection, most notably Gotlandic meadows or “ängen” in Swedish.
Katya Buchatska’s interest in landscapes lay in the promises they hold. In her series of Swedish and Ukrainian ceramic landscapes, Promised Land, Buchatska lets the clay give shape to landscapes that have had multiple and changing functions and aspirations attached to them. In the ceramic sculptures, the artist shows us an array of hopes connected to the landscapes they were projected upon: the Golgata hill, the Gammelsvenskby village in eastern Ukraine promised to the displaced Swedes from Dagö in Estonia, Södra Hällarna on Gotland – a military area turned into a well visited nature reserve. Among these, two landscapes hold a deep personal significance for the artist and her work: a bird’s eye view of the artist’s native Kyiv and the Mohrytsia ravines – a site for an annual land art symposium held before the full-scale invasion.
The Promised Land series were presented to the local art audience in an open studio event at BAC on November 9th and will also be presented at the Internally Displaced Landscapes exhibition, as part of the Mohrytsia Land Art Symposium, now held in Kyiv due to the war.
is a research project and dialogue between small and medium-size arts platforms operating in rural and regional areas. Kindling proceeds on the conviction that residencies, especially those operating outside the context of the capital metropolis, proverbially ‘light a fire’ in the communities they are situated in through their support of socially engaged artistic practices. The project takes the form of residencies with associated public programming, including workshops, showings, performances, and a concluding symposium.