Hanna Kanto

Hanna Kanto: The Lasso, still from a video, 2010

Visual artist Hanna Kanto is fascinated by Lapland: its rough nature, isolation, the Sámi culture and of course, reindeer herding. After graduating from the University of Lapland she moved for seasonal work further up to North, where she was introduced to the local livelihood. This meant working with the reindeer herders, participating in all aspects of the trade including the skinning and the separation of reindeer for slaughter.

Reindeer herding made a deep impact on Kanto who feels that the herding has an ancient presence in contemporary Lapland and is strongly connected to nature. In her paintings, Kanto explores the ideas of her own Northern identity and the everyday life in the North. Through her work she expresses concerns about tourism, hoping it would integrate better with the local environment and with the local population’s terms and way of living.

Nowadays Hanna Kanto divides her time between teaching in Haparanda, Sweden, and painting. Her trips to Lapland are therefore shorter but all the more intense.


Hanna Kanto: Stains, 2011