Örö Residency Programme

Örö Residency Programme offers artists and researchers a chance to work in a unique natural environment. The facilities are located on Örö, a former military fortress island in the Finnish Archipelago National Park. The artists-run programme focuses on new and experimental fields of art, art-science collaborations and interdisciplinary projects.

Örö is a 2 km2 island in the southern outskirts of the Finnish archipelago. Used as a military fortress from the early 1900s until the end of 2014, the island has since been opened for the general public, developing into a popular travel destination. Örö is a part of the Archipelago National Park, administered by the state via Metsähallitus.

Due to being closed for over 100 years, the island’s nature is unusually pristine and home to many rare species. With one side of the island facing the open Baltic Sea and the other side being sheltered by the picturesque lattice of the archipelago, Örö is a concentration of diverse habitats and geotypes. The military history and the ongoing conversion towards nature tourism add more layers to the scenery.

See a comprehensive introduction to Örö on the island’s official pages.

Focus & Activities

Our main focus is visual artists working in media, video and experimental fields of art, art-science collaborations and other interdisciplinary projects such as bio art and human geography. We also encourage researchers in humanistic and social sciences with an interdisciplinary approach to apply.

Due to the remote location of the island and the quietness of the winter months, the residency programme is more retreat-like and works on a self-service basis. Though now having staff on the island itself, we are happy to offer the selected artists help and advice in practical matters and can arrange meetings, contacts and presentations.

The long-term goal of the programme is to develop into a collaborative platform, emphasizing project-based approach and coordinating projects between multiple organizations in the fields of art and research. A new form of collaboration we are experimenting with in 2017 is launching residency exchange opportunities with peer AiR organizations.

Studios & Accommodation

Two separate apartments are normally available, both having one or two bedrooms, a living room/studio, a kitchen and a bathroom with shower. An apartment can be utilized by a single visitor for a separate living and studio space, or shared by a two artists, a workgroup or a family. The apartments are equipped with basic furniture, necessities and tools for living and working.

The actual apartments available for residency use may vary from season to season. Buildings on the island are renovated one-by-one and many apartments are also seasonally used for commercial accommodation.