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Art residency in a hotel

St. George Residency x Photofuss: Dream Laboratory

In autumn 2023, members of the Finnish Museum of Photography's Photofuss youth group were invited to apply for a 24-hour artist residency at Hotel St. George.

The exhibition of the residency project's photographs, which opened at the St. George Week in spring, is titled "Dream Laboratory" and will be on display until the end of 2024 at St. George Bakery.

Discover the photographers and the residency series on this page & read the St. George Journal article about the project.

Emilia Rautio

Emilia Rautio, photographer and artist, is currently working as a freelancer. Rautio applied for the residency project for the interesting opportunity and artistic freedom it offered. Hotel St. George provided a beautiful setting for both a stay and a photo shoot, and the spa area was particularly captivating.

During the project, Rautio's most memorable experience was being immersed in another world in the heart of the city. Rautio's plan was abstract, as she wanted to give space to what arises in her during the residency and to act intuitively. Time passed quickly during the residency, but Rautio was able to realise her plan in a series of ten images in which water symbolises emotions, the subconscious and healing power.

Photography is a natural way for Rautio to express herself and tell stories, and art is a means of opening up her world for others to experience.

Joona Möttö

Joona Möttö is a film director, photographer and artist studying photography at the Lahti Institute of Design. Möttö says he loves films and therefore also photographs "stories through the lens of film".

During his residency at St. George's, he was inspired by Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation.

The film is about the search for connection in a foreign country, which inspired Möttö to capture a similar feeling of being an outsider, as the hotel is a completely foreign environment for him. With one exception, the photos were taken in the main suite of the St. George. In one, a young woman lies alone in bed with a pristine breakfast tray beside her, while in another, the everyday clutter contrasts with the luxurious look of the space.

"You can perhaps tell from the pictures that I am prone to melancholy. But I wanted the images to be beautiful rather than haunting," Möttö explains.


Anastasija-Evgenija is a curious creative soul, a passionate photographer and a creator of worlds. On a nomadic round-the-world trip, she is currently exploring alternative life, gathering inspiration and planning future projects.

Anastasija feels that the residency in St. George's sought after her. The hotel provided Anastasija with an inspiring environment for her photographic work, especially the Coupole Suite as a location. Tea ceremonies and bubble baths created intimate moments with the models. In her project, she explored femininity and her own emotions, shooting spontaneously and allowing her sensibility to freely guide the process.

For Anastasija, photography is about building an image and capturing emotions. "Art is a mastery of everyday life that knows no genre boundaries," she describes.

Rita Topaloglu

Rita Topaloglu studies photography at Lahti Institute of Design and is a photographer and artist who is passionate about self-expression, loves to experience and is constantly looking for inspiration from different encounters and experiences. She applied for the residency because the opportunity fascinated her and it felt like the perfect thing to do.

The freedom to work on her own was also one of the issues that interested Topaloglu. In residency, Topaloglu started shooting partly intuitively, but with a focus on editorial images that combine a documentary approach with the visual power of staged images. Tantalizing compositions, playfulness and spontaneity played a central role in the images.

Karun Verma

Karun Verma is a photographer and art student from Helsinki. For Karun, photography is an inseparable part of his everyday life and leisure time - a central way of expressing himself and influencing the world around him.

During the residency project, Karun was also interested in the artistic freedom offered by St. George and the opportunity to work on his own terms. The hotel's spaces offered peace and inspiration for photography, with the corridors, staircases and the terrace of the suite being of particular interest. The most memorable aspect of the project was the hotel's fantastic facilities, which provided well-deserved relaxation to counterbalance the work. What was surprising was the fast passage of time and the abundance of objects to photograph.

Karun planned a documentary and narrative style of photography, using human characters and the hotel's facilities to create interactive images. A favourite image was shot in the suite's dressing room, where the use of moving flash lights and sliding doors created the desired effect. The end result reflects a minimalist style and strong character presence.