Liisa Kanerva and Kaisu Koivisto: Changes on Northern Shores – Observing problems through art

20180903_135634 p kuva teksti

Climate change has environmental, cultural and social consequences in the North. It is challenging to find sustainable solutions, as the changes are multilayered and not easy to understand. The aim of this project is to make the changes visible and tangible using both art and science.


Climate change is proceeding rapidly in the North. Pollution, excessive fishing, expanding tourism and  extraction of natural resources hurt fragile nature, and sooner or later the local communities and their livelihoods.

Current changes are global, but problems are often local. The Nordic countries have variable geography and climate from the Danish dunes to the Norwegian fjords, from the Baltic Sea, all the way up to the Arctic Ocean and Svalbard islands. Consequently, there are differences in fauna and flora as well as cultural variations. Still, we share Nordic attitudes and values, and it is easy to work together and share knowledge transparently. Changes on Northern Shores will outline a new and useful concept to strengthen co-operation.

 In 2019 the goal is to create a network of Nordic artists and researchers for a multi-layered platform to facilitate networking. The next step in 2020 – 21 is to create exhibitions and events in the Nordic countries. The concept is flexible; artists and researchers find their way freely in contributing to exhibitions in meetings and an informative web site. The events, taking place in libraries, cultural centers, galleries, and universities, aim to create new viewpoints, to open discussions and to advance wise decisions in local communities in Nordic countries and other areas.


The concept of Changes on Northern Shores was developed by Liisa Kanerva and Kaisu Koivisto.

Liisa Kanerva is a Finnish visual artist and architect PhD, docent at Aalto University, based in Oslo. She is interested in human-animal relations and will collaborate with whale researcher Olli Loisa, from Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Kaisu Koivisto is a visual artist, MFA, based in Helsinki. Her interests are northern landscapes and politics. She began a project New Nuuk in April 2018, focusing on the urbanization of Nuuk and will collaborate with activists and researchers in Greenland.

The first Changes on Northern Shores exhibition showcasing the works of 3-4 artists from Nordic countries will be in 2020. It will be followed by a series of exhibitions end events in the noprdic countries. The network will apply for additional funding for creating these events. In addition to that, individual artist will apply for funding of their projects.

Opstart funding from The Nordic Culture Fund enables the creation of the network in 2019.

For additional information, see

or contact northern.changes at gmail dot com

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