Thanks to Lasse Kantola, Artistic Director of Theatrum Olga for the photo of the chair and permission to use it for the cover of this Special Edition.
Theatrum Olga is an integral part of Suomen Diakoniapisto / The Diakonia College of Finland and is situated in the city of Lahti. The innovative programme that Kantola has created is not for training actors, but for Youth and Leisure time Workers, Child Care Instructors and Practical Nurses. Students ages range from 16-65. Some come straight from school, others have education qualifications, but want to study more, and yet others want to change their job, to do other work. Theatrum Olga is a learning laboratory where those attending pick up the things that they think they need to learn about their selves and their work.
Special thanks to Anu Kankare who created the chair as part of the project, ‘Living Paintings: Functional Art History’ in collaboration with Lahti City Museum. The students chose five paintings from those they remembered having encountered in the past, two of which were Vincent Van Goughs Sunflowers and his Self Portrait (1899). Instead of starting from a conventional Art History perspective such as the artist’s style or life, they started to think about the models and objects in the paintings. The point was to find what was not the main point.
Tatiana Chemi, Aalborg University
Takaya Kawamura, Osaka City University
Anne Pässilä, Lappeenranta Lahti University of Technology
Allan Owens, University of Chester