Artist Lab: Anniina Aunola (FI)

Anniina Aunola is a Finnish dance artist and pioneer in community art.

Aunola is based in Kuopio, Finland and holds an MA in dance pedagogy from the Helsinki Theatre Academy (1999). She is also qualified as a special educator from the University of Eastern Finland.

Aunola works as a community artist, choreographer, performer and teacher in the field of contemporary dance. In her artistic work she emphasizes improvisation and participatory approach. Her focus is in accessibility and she has lot of experience in working among participants with special needs. She’s also a specialist in different ethnic dance traditions, body percussion and tap dance.

In addition to collaborating with other art organizations, Anniina collaborates with education sector, social services and health care professionals. Previous working environments include hospitals, prisons, service centers, schools, youth centers and child welfare services.

Aunola has been awarded with the Health from the Arts nomination in the year 2010. In 2012-2015 Aunola worked in the Art Promotion Center of Finland as a Regional Artist of Community Arts in North Savo.


Artist Statement

Typical for my practices is to start working on a question, need or desire that is imposed by someone else than me. As an artist I try to be a mediator and an enabler of other people’s efforts to bring something meaningful to light.

I create situations in which it is possible to encounter, to do and to experience art, to discuss and celebrate and, for example, to implement civic activism. At that moment I focus on the art and I’m looking for ways to not create any lasting traces or material.

This also means I don’t collect or present much photo or video footage of my work. I don’t want situations to turn into documenting moments and the participants to turn from experiencers to objects.