Henna Asikainen’s work uses a variety of mediums and methods to explore human’s relationship with the environment we inhabit and the concept of nature. Asikainen is particularly interested in the impact of human’s destructive practices on ecosystems and other beings we share the planet with. Her recent works have explored the idea of home, belonging and the importance of access to nature. They have been created in collaboration with migrant and refugee groups based in the North East who have contributed their own experiences of displacement and their attempts to make a home in a new, unfamiliar and sometimes hostile location.

The objects were made by individual participants following the ancient practice of molybdomancy, a method of divination based upon the interpretation of cast shadows. A molten metal alloy is thrown into cold water and forms unique and complex shapes. These are held in candlelight and the shadows cast reveal the secrets of the omen maker. At BALTIC 39 more than 140 forms and shaped ‘omens’ will be presented suspended to reveal their shadows.

Omens Project – Making Futures was staged as part of Refugee Week and created the opportunity for local and migrant communities to discuss cultural traditions and their projected futures through making – casting omens. The activity of casting the omens became a prompt for storytelling. Through this process each sculptural element is at once individual and collectively produced.

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