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Maria Valdma Härm 16.05-10.06.2023

From Tuesday May 16, the exhibition CEMETERY OF WORDS by Maria Valdma Härm will be open in the VAULT of A-Galerii. On June 2, at 5PM a public artist talk with Maria Valdma Härm will take place at A-Galerii after which there will be an exhibition tour with the artist. The exhibition will stay open until June 10.

CEMETERY OF WORDS is a performative library, where actions are stored into matter in the form of jewellery and an installation. The burned books are collected from the book collection point, from where they would have gone on to be destroyed. This action with the books is like an act of euthanasia. In many ways, the author’s idea was inspired by Jean Paul Didierlaurent’s book “The Reader on the 6.27” and Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s “Shadow of the Wind”.

With CEMETERY OF WORDS the artist continues to develop the existing themes in her work that are related to memory and space. Her last solo exhibition “Memory Palace” at the Tallinn City Gallery was based on the location method (method of loci), where information is organised by imagining it – memorable words or thoughts are made into pictures in the mind and placed successively next to the most prominent places on that journey.

With this exhibition the focus is on text, word and paper. The idea is driven by a certain sense of inevitability – by the loss of different possibilities of capturing texts and the analysis of this. For example a physical book that is fading into insignificance; how long do we need a paper book on our bedside table or in our bag? This is the regret over something that’s disappearing, over the possible extinctions of the inner dialogues that emerge from texts that have been read and that have settled in the subconscious. A regret over the possibility of “stealing” existence and identities.

Maria Valdma Härm’s work centres around the relationships of spatiality, memory and the individual which she explores through the poetics of jewellery art. Her work is based on connecting jewellery with issues regarding the quality of spaces, examining the connections between the wearer and the worn item, as well as on the reflections arising from the fusion of personal and public space. The jewellery and the space as a whole is something that exists and expands in the artist’s mind from the very beginning of her creative process and these elements form a conceptual unity in all of her solo exhibitions. Valdma Härm explores how identities emerge, and how relationships set and store as poetic images in space and memory, consciousness or cognition. The jewellery as a message carrier together with the installative space will transform the “word” into something wearable that will reflect from the personal to the general, from the worn item onto the wearer and from there onwards onto a passing stranger. Further encounters are elusive.

Maria Valdma Härm (born in 1973) is a renowned Estonian jewellery artist. She graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2000 with a master’s degree in metal art. Valdma Härm has participated in exhibitions since 1994. In addition to Estonia and several other European countries, she has had exhibitions in Brazil, China, Korea and the US. From 1996-2005 she participated in the art group F.F.F.F.. She has been awarded the annual prize of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in 2021 and in 2002 (together with the F.F.F.F. group). In 2016, she received the Young Estonian Jewellery Award. 

After 30 years of exhibition activity, Valdma Härm’s works can be found in the permanent collections of several museums (Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Art Museum of Estonia), as well as private collections around the world. Maria Valdma Härm is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association and is a gallerist for the association’s HOP Gallery.

Thank You:

Anders Härm, Piret Kändler, Andres Ansper, Eve Kaaret, Ketli Tiitsar and Henri Leetmäe.