Archives for the month of: September, 2018

The Kuusisto Art Manor

Welcome to the Art Manor!

is a private art gallery situated in one of the oldest log houses in Finland. It is located on Kuusisto island in South Western Finland, 170 km west of Helsinki, 17 km from Turku. In 2013 the almost 300 year old log house was transformed into the Kuusisto Art Manor, a unique multi-sensory meeting place for contemporary art surrounded by an ancient fruit orchard. Dr. Merja Markkula is the visionary and enthusiastic artist/scientist who runs the gallery from May- September each year. Merja was our gracious and inspirational host for our visit to the Art Manor.

The group of silent embroiderers sewing for the “common cause” In the background, a phototransfer print by Julie Dixon

The scene was set by the appearance of a group of women artists, dressed in white lace tops and aprons, with lace hats and lace hankerchiefs over their mouths. They sat embroidering in complete silence, moving as a group from room to room.

Minnamarina Tammi -twining paper and paper mache

The gallery uses only natural light, which added a tranquil and ethereal quality to the experience. Other pieces that resonated with this quality, were  hand woven paper daisies and hand embroidery on an old sheet that belonged to the artist’s grandmother.

Presentation showing  lego cowboy representing the 19th century American doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”

Guernsey Boy Gun. The gun is wearing a protective guernsey sweater, designed to protect sailors at sea

Happy Mother’s Day. The gun is dressed in the typical pattern stitches of a baby matinee coat

On Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

I presented my talk about art and violence , creating art as a way to transform objects of fear and violence into knitted objects that reflect cultural values of caring, commitment and support. It was a great honor to present my artwork and have the opportunity to give a presentation at the Art Manor. Everyone spoke perfect english, and in kindness and consideration for their english-speaking guests, the following two talks were presented in english too. Many thanks to everyone who came to the  presentation, including my husband, my sister Marianne and her husband Marc. I was so impressed by the hospitality, kindness and creativity of all the Finish people that we met on our travels to Turku and Helsinki.  Special thanks to Merja and her husband for inviting us to their home and for their hospitality and delightful company.


Joseph Saberenzi

“Peace and Reconciliation”

Whitney Auditorium, 7.30pm

Elon University


Imagine, if you can

living as a refugee in a foreign country with your spouse and two children, and you receive a phone call at 5 am in the morning.

Imagine if you can

hearing that your mother and father and seven brothers and sisters had been murdered, along with most of your extended family,  friends and neighbours.

Imagine if you can

the anger, rage and bitterness and feelings of complete helplessness that this news would bring.

This is how Joseph Saberenzi found out about the genocide of his ethnic group, the Tutsis in Rwanda. In Joseph’s passionate and harrowing presentation,  Joseph Saberenzi described the steps he took to overcome his anger and bitterness at the events that had happened in Rwanda.

“I could n’t sleep: I had headaches all the time and my stomach hurt. I knew I could not live like this, in constant anger and bitterness.”  He realized he could not lead a healthy and productive life while consumed with thoughts of rage and revenge. He decided then that he had to return to Rwanda, with his family and began his long, and difficult journey towards peace and reconciliation.

He described the three major steps in his journey towards peace and forgiveness:

  • He acknowledged his anger and bitterness and how those thoughts would destroy his health and any chance of future happiness for himself and his family.
  • He decided to focus on making a safe and caring future for his children and grandchildren. To do this he returned to Rwanda and rose through the ranks of Parliament, eventually becoming Speaker. As a leader, he works to improve good governance and eliminate corruption, and pushes for peace and reconciliation, despite everything he has suffered.
  • He has a strong belief in God and in his faith.

He spoke of the need for forgiveness and described a conversation between two Vietnam veterans both of whom had been prisoners of war .

One veteran asked the other- “Have you forgiven the people who imprisoned you?”

The other veteran replied-“No! Never ! I will never forgive them for the rest of my life for what they did to me.”

The other veteran said,” Then you are still in prison.”

As Joseph explained- the first hurt was the imprisonment. The second injury is the memory of the imprisonment, which you can choose to hold onto, and continue to let it cause pain and suffering- and let that control your life.

A student asked at the end of the presentation- “What is the take home message you want us to have at the end of this presentation?”

“The take home message is that you have the power to decide how to react to what happens to you in your life. You cannot control outside events but you can control how you let these events affect your life. You can choose to transform your life and have a happy and productive life no matter what your circumstances. “


To find out more about Joseph Sebranzi’s life and work:

“GOD SLEEPS IN RWANDA: A Journey of Transformation “


Reconquering Burgundy, resurrecting Charles the Bold

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Photography Art Plus

Photography, Animals, Flowers, Nature, Sky

Fibre art by Jean Ottosen

NC Alternative Crops and Organics

art in fibers and fabric

around the garden

art in fibers and fabric


art in fibers and fabric