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Heidi Marjaana Kukkonen

Ekstern gjesteforeleser

G3042 ( Universitetsveien 25, Kristiansand )

I work as a research fellow at the University of Agder, Department of Visual Arts and Drama. I study museum educational practices and encounters with abstract modernist art in my PhD project. I come from Finland, and I have a master’s degree in art history (major) and museum studies (minor) from the University of Turku, Finland. I have worked many years as a museum educator in Finland on the side and as part of my studies.

I will spend the autumn semester 2021 at Goldsmiths, University of London, as a visiting PhD candidate, participating in the "Arts Learning and Practice" PhD programme.

I enjoy international environments and love to connect with new people. I have previously had exchange periods in the United States (Alfred University in Upstate New York 2013), France (Université Paris 8 2015-2016) and Germany (2008).



I study museum educational practices and encounters with abstract modernist art in my PhD project. As an important empirical part of my project, I curated an exhibition (Abstraction!) about abstract art for Children's Art Museum, a section dedicated for children inside Sørlandets Art Museum in Kristiansand, Norway. The exhibition displays Finnish Post-War abstract art from the Nicolai Tangen Collection together with interactive and digital solutions, focusing on multisensory experiences, movement and participation. I observe museum visitors both in traditional and experimental settings, with and without video, to study experiences with abstract art.

  • What is the educational potential of abstract art?
  • How do children and young people experience abstract modernist art in traditional and experimental museum exhibitions? 

While my theoretical framework comes from new materialisms and poststructuralism, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, I take multiple methodological approaches in my project (qualitative and postqualitative, new materialisms, a/r/tography).

Read more about the exhibition and curatorial work here:



Faglige interesser

Deleuzian methodologies

New materialisms

Post Qualitative Inquiry



Art and social relations


Abstract art

Museum education


Utvalgte publikasjoner

Kukkonen, H. (forthcoming). “Abstraction in Action: Post-Qualitative Inquiry as an Approach to Curating.” In Skregelid, L. & Knudsen, K. (Ed.), Kunstens betydning. Utvidede perspektiver på kunst for, av og med barn og unge [Meanings of Art. Perspectives to art for, by and with children and young people]. Cappelen Damm Akademisk.

Kukkonen, H. (forthcoming). “The Virtual of Abstract Art. Museum Educational Encounters with Concrete Abstraction” in Sinner, A., Boyd, T., White, B., (Eds.), Artful Xchanges. Propositions for Museum Education. Intellect.

Elmies-Vestergren, A., & Kukkonen, H. (forthcoming). Playful Assemblage – Walking into Failures in the Digital Space. In Lee, N., Ursino, J., Mosavarzadeh, M., & Irwin, R., (Eds.) Walking Matters: Material and Digital A/r/tographic Explorations. Studies in Art-Based Educational Research. Springer.

Lehto-Vahtera, Johanna (Ed.), Holkeri, Eeva; Kukkonen, Heidi; Mäki, Ilona (Co-Editors). (2018). Kokoelmien avaimet. Museokokoelmien tunnisteobjekteja. Museoiden tallennus- ja kokoelmaverkosto TAKO / Poolin 6 hanke Kokoelmien avaimet 2013-2014. Turku: Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum. https://www.aboavetusarsnova.fi/files/tiedostot/kokoelmien_avaimet.pdf

Kukkonen, H. (2017). Uncannyt oksymoronit subliimin lähteinä. Stéphane Thidet’n tuotannon tarkastelua. [Uncanny Oxymorons as the Sources of Sublime. Viewing Stéphane Thidet’s Art.] Master’s thesis. University of Turku, Department of Art History, School of History, Culture and Art Studies.

Kukkonen, H. (2017). ”Hammer and Medal. The Two Sides of an Artist’s Life in the Wäinö Aaltonen Item Collection.” In Ovaska, E., Aurekoski-Turjas, M., Kormano, R., (Eds.), Wäinö Aaltonen: Poseerauksia. Transl. Grano Oy / Multidoc. Museum Centre of Turku, pp 71-73.

Vitenskapelige publikasjoner

Sist endret: 26.11.2021 14:11