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Kaie Parts recalls

Kaie Parts in the book “A-galerii. Eesti autoriehte galerii 20 aastat” (2014)*

* “A-Gallery. Estonian art jewellery gallery for 20 years”

Winter and spring months of 1994 were the period of repair in the future gallery premises at Hobusepea Street. A couple of months earlier I had finished my latest large work of metal plastics. I began to understand that no orders would be expected for monumental works. In such case it is wise to catch at any straw offered. Tremendous euphoria, great joy for our dear Republic of Estonia was gradually replaced by the knowledge that we were very tiny and poor. Orders for works of art – who cares of these! The main goal was persistence of Estonia as a state.

It was an extremely exciting situation. Bold young men carried guns in their pockets. The first millions were earned. A period of rough sale and purchase. My advertisement: “I’ll buy a bra and a lathe, both preferably adjustable”. Humour keeps as alive at any time.

I went happily to Hobusepea Street, where our future gallery was waiting for repair. We had various skills. There were friends from the period of studies, and fortunately also some younger people. It was clear from the start that the room had been used roughly and intensely, while nobody had taken care of it. Enormous nails had been hammered into the wall for different purposes. My measuring tape showed that they reached 17 and 23 cm out of the wall. There were also many large cavities in the walls, where plaster layers had collapsed. A huge “meteorite crater” in the ceiling. I estimated quickly, how much plaster was needed, and set to work. I brought my tools, and already had the rubber bowls needed for plaster casting. It was then, when some people heard for the first time that before studyin jewellery I had graduated from the speciality of sculpture. When they asked, what I was doing, I had to answer that I was also a sculptor.

Dusting and making plaster mixture, preparation of surfaces and finally throwing the mixture into the cavities. Everything was done layer by layer, all over again, until deep holes turned into smooth walls and ceiling. It was like a small salon performance, I was happy and satisfied. The floor required extensive “geological excavations”. We did not know what could be hidden there. The uppermost layer consisted of chipboard, which was very common in that period. We had to slow down the demolition speed, when a patch of stone tiles was uncovered. Maybe something valuable had been preserved! We worked delicately and with caution. Now everybody can see, what was revealed. The same beautiful floor is standing there today.

When I go to the gallery to see exhibitions, I look affectionately to the walls and ceiling. It is good to recall these times twenty years ago. Some memories still make me laugh – people are very exciting. From that period, I remember especially Lia Laasberg (now Tüür), Ene Valter and Katrin Amos. We survived this historical period with pride. A-Gallery is living a happy and interesting life.

From left: E. Johannes, K. Parts. H. Kuma