Essi Kausalainen named Espoo Artist of the Year 2023

2.2.2023 10.03Updated: 8.5.2023 12.38
Artist Essi Kausalainen.
Photo: Otto-Ville Väätäinen

The City of Espoo Culture Committee has awarded the 2023 working grant for professional artists to artist Essi Kausalainen. The grant is awarded to one professional artist in Espoo for one year at a time.

Kausalainen holds a Master’s degree in Performing Arts and has worked as a performance artist, visual artist and director in many performance-based works. Kausalainen aims to create works that renew the field of art and to promote a sustainable working culture. 

Kausalainen describes the grant as significant in many ways:

“I feel it is particularly important that the recognition was awarded to a multi-artistic and highly experimental practice. In addition to lending emotional support, the grant also gives me concrete tools for combining the international and local dimensions of my work.”

The selection process emphasised not only Kausalainen’s multidisciplinary work but also her work plan that is closely linked to Espoo and offers surprising and delightful works and events for the enjoyment of Espoo residents. The work plan also strengthens the international nature of art in Espoo. 

“As a fairly new resident of Espoo, I hope that the grant will also help me find new local audiences and partners for my work who will help me further expand and enrich my artistic roots,” Kausalainen says.

In 2023, Kausalainen will produce two stage performances, Barbara ja häntä (Barbara and the tail) and Fossils Record, which both discuss current phenomena. Both performances are prepared in working groups, and the performers include an international team of professionals from various fields as well as children and young people.

The experimental stage performance Barbara ja häntä examines how knowledge is produced as well as different ways of knowing. The performance is the first part of the Tutkijat (Scientists) trilogy based on three scientists whose work has changed the way of thinking and operating culture in their field. The performance will be staged in the spring in Kausalainen’s atelier apartment in Tapiola.

Fossils Record is part of the large-scale Carnival of the Animals series, which attempts to understand the current state of nature and humans. The work is being developed together with a group from Chicago. The performance will be staged in autumn of 2023 at the Turku City Theatre and also in Chicago, United States.


Susanna Tommila

Cultural Director+358 43 8255074

Marja Mägi
Executive Assistant
+358 40 1849783