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Ashleigh McCulloch, Yu-Fang Hu / Yael Friedman / Elize Hiiop

On Thursday, 5th of May at 18:00 three exhibitions will be opened on A-Gallery WINDOWS: Elize Hiiop’s ON THE EDGE OF THE PRESENT, Yael Friedman’s CIRCULAR RETROSPECTION and Ashleigh McCulloch’s & Yu-fang Hu’s project FRAGMENTS AND FORMS. The exhibitions will stay open until the 2nd of July. 

FRAGMENTS AND FORMS is an exhibition created in collaboration with South African artist Ashleigh McCulloch and Taiwanese artist Yu-fang Hu, focusing on the various forms of rings and their connections to the body and the wider social world. Although as items that can be bought and sold, the rings are also carefully handcrafted works of art. They are like strange attributes, the meanings of which are completely constructed by the wearer or the viewer. They can signify love, purity, wealth, or meaninglessness. The ways of interpreting objects and how they change over time are enchanting. It is also fascinating what forms such creation can take as sculptural objects. By questioning the nature of jewellery and its forms, a more holistic perspective on modern consumer culture, whether negative or positive, can be opened up.

Yu-fang Hu is a jewellery and object maker from Taiwan. She received her bachelor’s degree in literature and linguistics in 2014, and later a BFA in contemporary jewellery in 2018. She is currently doing her MA in jewellery and blacksmithing at EKA. Her interest in making, stems from her background in language studies where she became fascinated by the signified and the signifier and how objects speak.

Ashleigh McCulloch is a jewellery and object designer from South Africa. She is interested in the anthropology of adornment as well as metal forming. She is currently furthering her studies on cultural analysis in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

CIRCULAR RETROSPECTION is a mandala like jewellery installation that encompasses an array of colors, materials and shapes. All the parts of the installation are wearable jewellery, mounted together on a frame creating a colorful painting that calls for closer inspection. Yael Friedman also known as YAYO is a jewellery designer who works with various materials and techniques, started creating these large scale pieces and jewellery installations in the past several years. She addresses the medium of jewellery design in a playful way.

Yael Friedman / YAYO is a jewellery designer working in her self-maintained studio in Israel. In the last 25 years, Friedman has been designing contemporary jewellery. Her work has been displayed in galleries throughout the world. 

ON THE EDGE OF THE PRESENT is an exhibition by an Estonian artist Elize Hiiop that focuses on untangling the connections between self-respect, the body and sacredness as well as the pursuit of purity and presence. The contrasting use of color in the large porcelain ornaments on display symbolizes duality. There is good versus bad, high versus low, white versus black, light versus dark… Often what looks good on the outside is hollow on the inside. In order to gain, you have to give. In the end, everything we do leaves a mark – within and around us. When aligned with the depths of one’s nature, the scales balance out, and for a moment light and darkness exist simultaneously within the same space. Understanding dissolves judgements, contrasts and contradictions that flow into one as a slow-flowing river.

Time arrives fleetingly and moves on suddenly  – somewhere in between is a moment of the present. It is a space where we can meet ourselves, where the presence of the past and the future merge into the now. Focusing on the present with all our senses expands time and space, creating a seemingly parallel timeline where the world moves at a slower pace. Borders widen and disappear. Thus, in addition to the silence, an artist and a piece of jewellery being created exist in this space. The blurry outlines of ideas are cleansed and condensed hour by hour into material bonds, where every detail has its part and meaning. As one becomes part of the process and a part within the object the distinctions between essence and being, the doer and the task disappear gradually.

Elize Hiiop is an Estonian jewellery artist who graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a degree in jewellery and blacksmithing. She is one of the few jewellery artists in Estonia who has been dedicated to porcelain for so long and with such depth. She has studied glass art for three years and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in ceramics, where her focus is on printing 3D paper porcelain. Elize Hiiop is also a celebratedwatercolor artist. ON THE EDGE OF PRESENT is Elize Hiiop’s first exhibition at A-Gallery.

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Andrea Auer / Peleg Mercedes Matityahu, Barbara Kisil, Natali Itzhak / Sigrid Kuusk / Tõnis Malkov / HYRV

On Wednesday, 2nd of March five very unique exhibitions will be opened on A-Gallery WINDOWS: Austrian artist Andrea Auer’s exhibition PEarls, Israeli artists Peleg Mercedes Matityahu, Natali Itzhak and Barbara Kisil’s exhibition HOLE PEEKS MEMORIES. Estonian artists will be represented by Tõnis Malkov’s experimental JEWELLERY ROOMS, Hyrv with their new collection PEBBLES and for the first time in A-Gallery’s history Sigrid Kuusk’s jewellery will be present with her exhibition SIZE MATTERS.

The presentation for Andrea Auer’s book BLACK CHERRIES AND ELDERBERRIES took place on the 9th of March 2022 at 18:00 in A-Gallery.

Andrea Auer 

Andrea Auer finds value in the ordinary.

Her interest belongs to materials surrounding us everyday, which at same time are not the conventional materials for (making) jewellery.

The collection called: “PEarls“ speaks about imitation or redefinition of pearls and came to life through her experiments with PE-polyehthylene cling film, which originally comes from household requirements. The wrapped polyethylene displays a lustre, as though just slipped from the oyster. In her work she refers to examples stemming from nature that have been appended with myths. Copying nature has always been a particular challenge for people.

Accompanying the exhibition – a book Black Cherries and Elderberries that can be bought from A-Gallery.

Bakelite was all the rage in the 1920’s and 30’s with a lasting impact on the history of design, materials and society. One hundred years later, the designer Andrea Auer takes up the topic of Bakelite once again. Her Bakelite earrings “black cherries” inspired the title of  Andrea Auer’s brand new monograph “black cherries & elderberries”.

The presentation for the book will be held on the 9th of March 2022 at 18:00 in A-Gallery. The event is supported by the Austrian Embassy in Tallinn.

Andrea Auer is an artist and designer, born in 1972 in Gmunden (Upper Austria). She completed training as a belt maker, goldsmith and silversmith at the technical college for creative metalcraft in Steyr (AT) and holds a degree from the University of Art and Industrial Design of Linz (AT). The Vienna based designer’s eponymous label was founded in 2002. Andrea Auer’s work has been shown in Austria, China, Estonia, Netherlands and Czech Republic.  

P. M. Matityahu, N. Itzhak, B. Kisil

Using the window as a hole the exhibition offers a peek into the world of jewellery and our way of thinking as a group of three young designers.

The jewellery designers among us decided to use plaster as a material that reflects memory and to create two jewellery pieces that explore the body using the same material in different dimensions: 3D versus 2D. Natalie freezes the moment with the help of the plaster – the material is fixed and finishes accumulating memory. Peleg is using it in a completely different way – the jewellery can constantly accumulate more memories and it basically stays flexible. The interior designer among us, Barbara, will use light as a material. The video art projection brings time, place and memory to life, creating another dimension to the moment, and completing the journey of the two jewellery designers.

Peleg Mercedes Matityahu was born in 1992 in Israel. Peleg received her B. Des degree in jewellery design from  Shenkar – college of art, design and engineering. Immediately After graduating her work was shown in the International Graduate Show at Galerie Marzee and she was the winner of the Marzee Graduate award in 2021. Since then her work has been exhibited internationally. She received the AICF scholarship for outstanding achievement in the field of jewellery. She currently lives in Amsterdam as one of the resident designers at Intro gallery.

Natali Itzhak started her journey with a year of fashion studies at ‘Bezalel Academy’, Jerusalem, after that she completed her B.Des degree in Jewellery Design at ‘Shenkar college’, Ramat-Gan. During her degree in jewellery design she received a certificate of excellence from Shenkar, in addition she was sent to a student exchange in IED Madrid in the fashion department. Recently, she received a certificate of recognition for excellence and scholarship from AICF the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.

Barbara Kisil is an artist focusing on fusing lights and material to create several mediums by using urban public places as a playground. Graduated A B.Des from Shenkar College of art, design, and engineering. Along the way, she produced underground art events at Tel Aviv, art installations exhibitions by fellow artists at the Midburn festival in the Arava desert, and designed light experiences as a VJ on art events. 

Sigrid Kuusk 

The exhibition SIZE MATTERS by Sigrid Kuusk expands upon the possibilities of an element. The most popular jewellery collection by Sigrid Kuusk called SOHO is mostly known by its earrings that are available in three sizes. In 2020 the collection got a new, parallel life as art objects, alternative clothing and headwear. At the center of the collection is a glitter disc that can be used as a module. When reduced in size, the discs can form a kind of fabric, or when made bigger it can be transformed into large headwear. 

The shiny spectacle of the glitter becomes a kind of cape that catches the eye. Raising the contradicting question – is it transfering the gaze from something to hide or catching the eye to be seen?

Sigrid Kuusk is a jewellery artist and MA student of jewellery and blacksmithing in the Estonian Academy of Arts. Besides Estonia her jewellery has been exhibited in Athens, Valencia, Munich, and Arnheim. Sigrid Kuusk was represented by Galerie Marzee in 2019 at the jewellery fair SCHMUCK.

Tõnis Malkov

SPACES FOR JEWELLERY is a poetic expression of jewellery artist Tõnis Malkov’s visualisations of the last 15 years, exploring connections of the material and virtual worlds through jewellery and VR rooms. The exhibition focuses on connecting jewellery and virtual rooms and binding these two mediums together by making the works into crypto blockchain NFT-s. Thus the viewer can discover the virtual worlds behind the works which enables them to see and experience the backstory of the jewellery. The exhibition will also be shown at the Oculus Store and the NFT-s of the work will be made public at the first digital art online gallery in Estonia –

Tõnis Malkov (b. 1985) is a jewellery artist, who has also studied urbanism, his works have been shown in many exhibitions in Estonia and can also be found in the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design and the private collection of prof. Kadri Mälk. The artist is also active as a visualizer/modeler and graphic designer. 

PEBBLES – rolling stones, soft shapes created by nature.

The new collection by the jewellery brand Hyrv surrounds us with new and fresh shapes. A breath of fresh air is just what’s needed after these trying times.

The Pebbles collection is best described by natural shapes, minimalism and sustainable use of materials. The Pebbles jewellery is a journey into dreams … the sea, freshness, clarity, life, freedom, pebbles cast ashore and shaped by nature. The feeling one gets when sharing energy with the jewellery they wear, cherishing it, being moved by it. It’s the great joy of recognition.

There is a saying that by gathering small stones you can build a great city and by removing them you can move mountains. This echoes the determination of women. But  since there is no universal formula to guide one’s life, every woman’s choices for themselves and their families should be respected.

Hyrv’s Pebbles are for every woman to build as they like, to wear as they wish, just for them.

Hyrv is a jewellery brand created in 2012 by jewellery artist Kateryna Pishon. Hyrv means “deer” in Estonian and it is also the brand’s creative director and creator Kateryna Pishon’s nickname. The mythological meaning of the deer in ancient Nordic cultures is also important for the brand’s creators – the deer brings luck and harmony and seeing a deer in nature was considered a good omen. Hyrv uses natural stones and reused silver, for commissions also gold. Hyrv is the only jewellery brand in Estonia that uses high quality Japanese Akoya saltwater pearls. 

In 2018 Hyrv participated in the renowned jewellery fair JCK Las Vegas, where the brand’s collection “Coco” received the grand prize.

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On Friday, January 14 at 18:00 exhibitions THREE STORIES and TRACES IN TIME will open on A-Gallery WINDOWS.

Aino Kapsta, Keesi Kapsta, Henry Mardisalu

THREE STORIES is about three generations of a family and their take on jewellery. The three artists’ three different stories are tightly interwoven and influential to each other.                                                                    

The main asset and inspiration of the Kapsta family is the esteemed Estonian jewellery artist Aino Kapsta, who’s work experience starts way back in the Soviet times. In the past couple of years Kapsta has mostly been working in filigree. Kapsta’s delicate and detailed filigree jewelry has won the hearts of many jewelry admirers. During her 60 years in art jewellery, Aino Kapsta’s work has travelled to London, Italy, Berlin, Moscow and Japan. This exhibition is the 12th time for Aino Kapsta to be showing in A-Gallery.

Aino Kapsta’s daughter Keesi Kapsta initially studied graphic design, but was also drawn to jewellery. Although having learned a lot from her mother, Keesi has developed her own independent form of free expression through the smelting technique.

The link between them is the third generation artist Henry Mardisalu, who works in the preparation of materials. According to him, the path of metal art was paved for him by the environment he was born into. His main favorite is the production of gold and silver chains. All the chains used in the jewellery of the Kapsta family are handmade by Henry. In recent years, he has also been fascinated by the sophistication of filigree techniques, which he has learned largely from his grandmother Aino Kapsta.               

Helen Clara Hemsley, Therese Mørch 

Therese and Helen’s collaborative project is called TRACES IN TIME. There is a display of exploration and the concept of the everyday in both of their works.

In essence, the title refers to both their artistic practices, and a shared fascination with documenting events in their lives – the things that matter to them, the seemingly mundane, and the big and small challenges they face as creators and in their private lives – through the medium of contemporary jewellery. The individual pieces work together and tell a united story – works that allow the viewer to investigate and form their own opinions, and contemplate their own lives and situations. 

The title TRACES IN TIME thus refers to a visual documentation of our lives and practices. Whether it’s about building up pieces with materials and objects collected over a period of over 30 years, constructing a kind of timeline of a life well lived. Or pieces depicting a growing family, representing tactile and metaphorical encounters, and gently allowing sensory perception in a materialised sense of belonging. 

With Helen’s work there is an odd sense of familiarity, but at the same time a perplexing feeling of not being completely sure why the objects or materials are so important, what they symbolise or where they come from. And then there is a feeling of sadness, and an almost desperate need to make things better again. All this happens over a long period of time, bearing witness to the joys and pain of teenage struggles, parents and parenthood, marriage, divorce and a constant desire to make, build and share.

With Therese’s work there is also a feeling of familiarity and the passing of time, and a beautiful fragility that draws the viewer in. Common to her series TRACES & TOUCHED is the sense of touch and tactility used as generators for creating contact. This may lead senses onto paths of proximity, intimacy, physicality, sentiment, totems, object relations and attachment. All are fragments of Therese’s on-going research in jewellery, which is often embodied in repetitive sculpt work, corporeal representation with reference to ritual and spiritual prayer jewellery.

“We both work with themes that appeal to human nature and experience, and are endlessly fascinated by the material intimacy and tactility of the works, which arouse curiosity and attention”.

Helen Clara Hemsley is originally from South Africa, but currently lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Helen studied at Oxford Brookes University and the Institute for Precious Metals in Copenhagen and she holds a BA in Fine Art from the Glasgow School of Art. Her work has been exhibited, among other countries, in Denmark, China, Portugal, Australia, Germany and the US.

Therese Mørch is from Denmark and studied in London. She now lives and works in Copenhagen. Therese graduated from Cass School of art & Design and in Royal College of Art, both in London. Her work has been exhibited in Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, France, Germany and in the UK.

The exhibition is funded by the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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Edgar Volkov

There is so much we aspire to achieve, that we don’t notice when we are lost in our own desires. Our hands reach out for something or someone that might not even be real. The dreams we wish were true might not even be our own to begin with. Are we just chasing shadows or do shadows chase us?

Edgar Volkov’s window exhibition is about portraying an obsession with our aspirations and wondering if they are caused by personal desires or a force we cannot control.

Edgar Volkov is a jeweller and a jewellery artist. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2015 specializing in jewellery (BA). He is currently working at Roman Tavast. Edgar Volkov has taken part of group exhibitions “Vari” at the courtyard of Estonian Academy of Arts (2014), “Ferromenaalne” at Tallinn City Gallery (2014), “Pinna all” at St John’s Almshouse Museum (2016) and “Dark Water” in A-Gallery VAULT exhibition (2020). In 2021 Volkov took part in the group exhibition “Phantasmagoria”.

Erinn M. Cox

Sometimes our heartbreak feels so dramatic, so momentous, that we seek reasons for it that are equally so. We need to make sense of the sadness we feel when the other is lost, when they so effortlessly disappear. Their absence feels overwhelming, their silence a deafening statement of rejection. We cling to memories, old conversations, private jokes, the love that they always said they wanted – the love that we still desperately hold on to despite our return to solitude.

Erinn M. Cox is a jewellery artist from the United States based in Tallinn, Estonia. She holds BFA and MFA degrees in sculpture and installation, and a MA degree in Jewellery. Erinn has exhibited her work in the US and internationally, highlighted by her selection for Schmuck 2018 & 2020, SOFA CHICAGO, and the 21grams touring exhibition. She was awarded the Galerie Marzee Graduate Prize and named an upcoming design star by Wallpaper* Magazine. As well, Erinn is an adjunct professor of Fine Arts and Art History in the US and a guest lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She is a published author on topics related to contemporary art + design, jewellery, and philosophy and is the founder and writer for the online journal Louise & Maurice (


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Treasures from the Sea is an exhibition about man’s relation to the sea.

Sodium, potassium and calcium are carried in our veins. We have that in common with all the fish, amphibians, reptiles, warm-blooded birds and mammals. It is a salty stream combined in almost the same proportions as in seawater. Life on Earth arose in the ancient sea. When we once left our original home to live our lives on land we took the sea with us inside our bodies. We still carry it.

Man’s relation to the sea accommodates a gamut of feelings and thoughts. We are drawn to it, yet we know little about it. 80% of its wonders and mysteries are still waiting for us. It triggers our imagination and fear. No one is untouched.

This exhibition is about man’s relation to the sea spoken through the art of jewellery. Six Swedish jewellers invite you to their realms of jewellery, to explore and ponder. These are their treasures from the sea.

Treasures from the Sea was shown in Paris during the international jewellery triennial Parcours Bijoux 2020 where it became a highly appreciated exhibition. As a complement to the exhibition the book with the same title is available. It gives an even deeper approach to the subject and in it the jewellers describe their work and process. The foreword is written by Anders Omstedt, professor emeritus in oceanography, the author of ”A Philosophic View of the Ocean and Humanity”.

The grand opening of TREASURES FROM THE SEA will take place on August 25th at A-Gallery in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden.⁠

Serena Holm
Serena often works with myths and tales as a theme. In this project the mermaid is her main figure. In a series of necklaces she interprets the mermaid from different cultures. The three sirens from the Greek myths are here, so is the Korean legend about Sinjike and the one about the West African Mami Wata. Her jewellery is made of silver, gemstones and porcelain.

Hanna Lijenberg
Over the years Hanna has developed her own very personal expression in her use of paper in her jewellery. For this project she has especially looked closer at lichens. These small and super strong species that live where sea and land meets have inspired her to a series called Symbioses. The name comes from the symbiotic partnership of algae and fungus. The pieces are made of silver and paper, paint and lacquer.

Lena Lindahl
The underwater forests of kelp and eelgrass and the complexity of the ecosystems of the coral reefs have given her inspiration to her necklaces with tanned fish leather from Iceland. She also lets you meet the sea elephant, the grey seal, the sea leopard and many more in her seal colony of etched brooches in silver.

Anna Norrgrann
Anna’s works are about the importance of weight. It is about the plumbs that with their weight pull downwards to touch the ocean floor and measure the depth of the sea. They are reminders of the other direction than the one shown by the waves. The pendants have been given their forms inspired of old plumbs.

Paula Lindblom
Paula has worked with plastic waste from the oceans in her jewellery for many years. For this exhibition she has made jewellery for the modern mermaid. What would she adorn herself with when she goes on holiday to the floating island of plastic waste that has aroused? Paula’s works bear the traces of environmental issues, of feminism and the inspirations of marine life.

Mona Wallström
Mona remembers swimming in lukewarm waters in the late summer nights with the glittering sea fire surrounding her body. She has dived deep down into the wonderfully detailed illustrations of Ernest Haeckel and created a whole new world of her own of diatoms and zooplankton. She calls them Sea-crets and they are all brooches in titanium.


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KUNSTNIKE ÕU (Artists’ Court) invites everyone to the cozy courtyard of the H2 ARTISTS HOUSE on Hobusepea Street on Saturday, August 14, to enjoy a day full of art and music!

 You can listen to inspiring artist talks and explore the fascinating exhibitions of the galleries of the Old Town through curated tours. In addition, we will take you on an exciting journey through the past and present of the historical Hobusepea 2 building.

 Sonic soundscapes are created by Liz Wirestring, who improvises with a harp and loopers; Maris Pihlap, who combines jazz, traditional and electronic music, and Hello Killu, a duo of intellectual rock music and minimalist art-blues.

 The studios of the jewellery and metal artists working in the H2 building are also open to guests during the day.

 The event is organized by A-Gallery, HOP Gallery, Draakon Gallery, Hobusepea Gallery, Hobusepea 2 ARTISTS HOUSE and the Estonian Artists’ Association. The event is part of the Tallinn Old Town Days program.

Piltide autor on Annika Haas.