Satu and Maria Tani take part in Art Brut Biënnale in Hengelo, the Netherlands

Oct 4, 2023 | 2023, News

Artistic project Breathing reef (2019-) is a continuum for Satu and Maria Tani’s childhood playing.


Satu Tani shares: “While playing as kids, we created our own worlds, costumes, and props, and lost track of time. Roles we made up gave us courage to say whatever we wanted, although in real life, Maria never talked to strangers.”

Breathing reef is a play played by adult artist sisters. Its costumes and props are trimmed to the extreme. Essentially it explores interaction – both between human beings, and between human and non-human living nature. The presence of ecological crisis is obvious.

Satu and Maria Tani won The Artist of the Year prize of the Finnish Outsider Art Festival in 2022. Their award-winning piece was a performative version of Breathing reef. OAF’s inclusive curator team described the performance with following words: “The performance tells what it’s like to breath in the sea when seas get polluted. It is amazing how — inorganic, crocheted objects come to life, breathe, become mobile and organic, merge into the plasticity of the body, harmonising the surrounding space. The performance presents a distinctive way of combining nature and culture, with creativity and one’s own body.”

Breathing reef connects contemporary art with outsider art.

Satu Tani is a visual artist (Candidate of Culture and Arts 2011, Master of Culture and Arts 2019) and has studied media and video art.

Maria Tani is a jewellery artisan and has graduated from Invalidiopisto (2011).

The video version of Breathing reef was filmed in July 2023 with a cinematography team, which was made possible by a grant by the Finnish Arts Promotion Centre. The video premieres at an international outsider art biennale, Art Brut Biënnale, in Hengelo, the Netherlands. Art Brut Biënnale receives an estimated 15 000 visitors yearly and will be open for audiences from the 7th to the 15th of October 2023.

Visit the instagram account of Satu Tani and the instagram of Maria Tani to learn more about their work.

The participation of Satu and Maria Tani at Art Brut Biënnale in Hengelo, the Netherlands is supported by the Finnish Cultural Institute for the Benelux.

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