Nastja Säde Rönkkö

Below Zero Finnish Art Prize UK Residency & Exhibition

salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears

Exhibition: 16 March – 6 May 2023

Wednesday – Saturday, 12-5pm

Thursday 27 April at 7pm: Nastja Säde Rönkkö in conversation with Chloe Carroll

From the personification of a tear drop, a drop of blood and a droplet of sweat, emerges a tragic tale of lost love and its chaotic emotional fallout. The three-channel video (13:59) is driven by Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s poetic text: intimate verse with an ambiguity that delivers a metanarrative for lost and found identity, a scarred planet and our ever-changing world.

Finnish born Nastja Säde Rönkkö, winner of the Below Zero Finnish Art Prize spends a lot of time in London as well as hometown Helsinki, and her eight week residency with Beaconsfield has drawn on a network that zig-zags between the two cities. Rönkkö has written the text during the early weeks of the residency, while preparing the ground for a video work that has been driven by process, and shot in a range of locations ranging from an inner city council estate, NHS Blood Donation centre and a leafy sculpture garden.

salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears is a polyvalent production. Trusted collaborators sound composer Mikko Maijala, cinematogapher Aake Kivalo, photographer Luke Turner, editor Heli Kota and colourist Hannu Kāki turn up to contribute their skills together with new collaborators: art students, Phoebe Russell, Ho-sa Wang and Jane Wu, who not only made sculptural props to specification but performed to camera alongside actors Jessica Luostarin and Emma James. Eight weeks is a very short time in which to produce a film but the challenges thrown up on a daily basis have been deftly turned to advantage by Rönkkö, demonstrating perhaps the most important lesson an art school education embeds: that necessity is the mother of invention.

We would like to thank Stephen Bailey of NHS Blood and Transplant, Will Bradshaw of Genesis equipment hire, Anna Bunting-Branch and Gavin Weber of Weber Industries, Javier Weyler of 5dB, AVEK for scriptwriting support, Elizabeth Feoshi, Emma Ikävalko, Rebecca James, Jamila Johnson-Small, Anna Jochymek, Karoliina Korpilahti, Alec Kronacker, Onya McCausland, Rosaliina Paavilainen, Ellis Parkinson, Aava Susi, Damian Taylor, Caroline Todd, Alison Wright and our partners the Finnish Instiute in Uk + Ireland and Serlachius Museums Finland.

Nastja Säde Rönkkö returns to London for 27 April to talk with Chloe Carroll about how concepts such as care, slowness or affection can be silent yet radical ways to be and act in the world. Book here to attend.


Further press information from Alison Wright PR | | 07814 796 930 | @alisonwrightpr

The Below Zero Finnish Art Prize is generously supported by an anonymous patron.

View documentation from the opening celebration for salt in our blood … on 17 March, 6-8pm

View documentation from Nastja Säde Rönkkö’s Beaconsfield residency: 23 January – 15 March

More about the Below Zero Finnish Art Prize

Below Zero, the unique UK based contemporary art prize for Finnish artists emerging on the international scene, returns to Beaconsfield London in association with the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland. This is the third time the prize has been awarded. We are excited to announce our new collaboration with Serlachius Museums, one of Finland’s most important cultural institutions.

Below Zero offers something different. Beaconsfield commissions are unique in their collaborative nature. Mentored residencies support artists to be brave and take risks. An objective of this creative support is to make the excitement of innovative practice accessible to all: an ambition that matches the founding principle of Serlachius Museums. The prizewinner is offered a solo exhibition of the London commission at Serlachius Museums in 2024 with the option of a residency in Mänttä.

Nastja Säde Rönkköthe third recipient of the Below Zero Finnish Art Prize, describes her practice as investigating relationships between the digital era, power, humanity and the future of our planet. For this commission she will develop three new moving image works on site, produced with Beaconsfield under the working title salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears.

Interview: Nastja Säde Rönkkö : ‘Exploring the symbols of blood, tears and sweat in contemporary culture’


Further press information from Alison Wright PR | | 07814 796 930 | @alisonwrightpr

The Below Zero Finnish Art Prize is generously supported by an anonymous patron.