/ The Knowledge of the Earth / Anne Yoncha: Re:Peat III

Anne Yoncha: Re:Peat III

Re:Peat III is a series of works resulting from an art-science collaboration between visual artist Anne Yoncha and researchers Oili Tarvainen, Anne Tolvanen and Anna-Liisa Välimaa of the Natural Resources Institute Finland. The works showcase Yoncha’s observations from the long-term collaboration with the group, highlighting the layered and complex structure of the peatland mat and the relationships between the current moss structures and grass species. The works show the muscular nature of Sphagnum moss when viewed up close, in contrast with the sandy texture of peat ash, the industrial by-product created when burning the peat for fuel and the restoration additive to neutralise soil pH. The colours in the works are created by mixing the peat ash with acrylic paint, for example.

‘’The artist creating her work in a scientific context led also us researchers to see beneath the surface. In the discussions with Anne Yoncha about the meaning of mire and peat in Northern Ostrobothnia we examined peat in different scales and timelines’’ -Research team of the Natural Resources Institute Finland.

Anne Yoncha

Anne Yoncha is an American artist from Delaware. She has been a Fulbright student fellow at the Natural Resources Institute Finland for the past year working with restorationists to make collaborative art-science work about former peat extraction sites outside Oulu. Her practice combines digital sensing technology, such as bio-data sonification, and analogue, traditional processes including painting with ink she makes from locally sourced plant matter. Yoncha completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Montana in 2019, and she will begin work as Assistant Professor in the Art Department at East Central University in autumn 2020.