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On Friday, 3rd of March 2023 at 18:00, A-Gallery will open two new exhibitions on our WINDOWS: Kaia Ansip’s BROKEN FORESTS and Egle Sitkauskaite’s MIGRATING IDENTITY. The exhibitions will stay open until April 23.


BROKEN FORESTS tells a story about the before and after of a deadly wildfire in Pedrogão Grande eucalyptus plantation. It analyses the relation to land which seems to have started acting dangerously and unpredictably. The work is an answer to a trauma that comes from living on the Anthropocene post-apocalyptic landscape. It expresses worry, love and fear for a place which has been changed by eucalyptus plantations. 

The works are casted into the first harvest of cork from Quercus Suber aka cork oak. Quercus Suber, unlike the introduced eucalyptus is native to Portugal and is one of the most resilient trees to the fire thanks to its bark. The hot melted metal puts the cork to yet another test.

Kaia Ansip is an Estonian jewellery artist who graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts  with a master’s degree in jewelry and blacksmithing in 2022. In addition to her studies, Kaia Ansip has completed internships at ArCo art school in Lisbon and with jewellery artist Catarina Silva. Kaia Ansip has participated in exhibitions in Portugal, New Zealand and Estonia, including the Portalegre Biennale of Jewellery in Portugal; in the exhibition “Balance” at Kristie Debbs’ gallery and in the group exhibition “Phantasmagoria”. In a collaboration with Claudia Lepik and Ljubov Kedrina, Kaia Ansip has created the project “Domestic jewelry”, within which the artists shared photos of jewellery made from everyday objects on Instagram for 365 days.


Egle Sitkauskaite’s exhibition MIGRATING IDENTITY revolves around the feeling of  belonging when moving from one place to another; longing for what is left behind, adapting to the new culture, new language and yet staying somewhere in between. Based on her personal history and stories of people with similar experiences, the exhibition reflects on the emotional core of the concept of home which is not something grounded in a particular place or person, but rather as something that is flexible, transportable and constantly changing.

Using a tree as a metaphor, the artist wants to capture the ideas of places and identity transformation through materiality. By bending the wood the artist draws a parallel to the human ability to adapt. In this new form of identity construction flexibility and solidity come together. 

Egle Sitkauskaite comes from a background of textile and jewellery. She uses jewellery as a method: her objects are interactive, performative and strive to question traditional wearable adornments. Egle’s work revolves around her personal history, memories and the left behind traces of the materiality and its relation to places. These connections are the key subject explored in her work, which is poetic and atmospheric, inviting the audience to experience a spatial universe.

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Opening of the 2023 season in A-Gallery

On Friday, 6th of January 2023 at 18:00, A-Gallery will open their 2023 season with three new exhibitions on our WINDOWS: Sille Luiga’s LUUSER POETRY, Tatiana Iakovleva’s MESSAGES and Oscar Wippermann’s exhibition. The exhibitions will remain open until February 26.


The works in this exhibition are inspired by Sille Luiga’s love for manual typesetting in typography. In particular, she really likes the wooden and tin blocks of equal sizes used in manual typesetting, which give the letters their peculiar square shapes. Due to the interesting source of inspiration, the artist dedicates the series to the most influential person in the history of culture, who was, among other things, a goldsmith. He is responsible for what a lot of graphic design, graffiti art, and BLING culture looks like. Of course, we are talking about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, a loser who went bankrupt many times in his life.

Sille Luiga (1994) is a jewellery art alumnus of the Estonian Academy of Arts and has also studied in Italy and Belgium. Sille works as a freelance designer under the pseudonym Sile Luik and produces original jewellery series. Among the latter are the popular Two Cents earrings. Sille has participated in exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad, most recently in Valencia, at the Second Chance exhibition organised by the Estonian Association of Designers. The exhibition LOSER POETRY presents a new, previously unpublished jewellery series of the Sile Luik brand, where the material used are cutting words, irony and silver.

Tatiana Iakovleva MESSAGES

In the modern world, we are constantly in a hurry and we often lose contact with ourselves in the chaos. It is important to know how to find peace for a while and listen to the voice of your heart. The exhibition “Messages” is dedicated to this quiet voice, which has a difficult time breaking through the noise of our reality. Inspired by the beauty of both European and Old Slavic calligraphy and the rich legacy of the great calligraphers of the past, professional calligrapher Tatiana Iakovleva combines her love for calligraphy, jewellery and nature in her jewellery and transforms calligraphic compositions into silver jewellery with precious and semi-precious stones. They contain words and phrases that offer support during difficult times, inspire, give strength, restore balance and a state of love. These are prayers; motivating, inspiring words – these are values that are worth immortalising in precious metals and wearing on your body. Tatiana’s main source of inspiration while creating designs is nature. Tatiana’s metal letters turn into flowers, leaves, blades of grass or reeds in the wind and become barely legible to the untrained eye. This style is similar to the Chinese calligraphy style “Cao – Shu” (grass script), where the emphasis is primarily on emotion and conveying a certain energy rather than clear and easy legibility.

Tatiana Iakovleva is a calligrapher, jewellery artist and the head of the Tallinn School of Calligraphy as well as an instructor. She graduated from the painting and restoration department of the Saint Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design in 2009. Since 2011, she has studied calligraphy with master Heino Kivihall in Tallinn. Since 2010, after arriving in Tallinn, she immersed herself in the study of the ancient art of calligraphy.

Since then, studying and getting to know European and Old Slavic calligraphy, she continues to admire the rich and precious heritage left by the great masters of the past. This is one of the most beautiful and powerful parts of our cultural heritage that should not be forgotten. 


In his artistic work, Oscar Wippermann deals with natural materials – cattle bones, ebony, silk and cotton – and how they can be brought into new forms with traditional techniques. When he works with cattle bones, a lot depends on the shape and texture of the material. The natural form is organic and curved. He gives the material a shape that has geometry and order. He doesn’t want the bone to be immediately recognisable as such. He saws the bones into rough shape and works on them further with files. Depending on the desired shape and the possibilities the bone allows him, he creates straight surfaces. Holes are drilled to create apertures that open up the form and make it possible to connect the individual pieces with the help of textiles. He uses silk to connect the elements which is a very durable textile and has a noble sheen and offers a variety of colours. Combining these colours with bone objects results in something visually joyful. It is the contrast between the rather geometrically strict bone elements and the colourful movable elements made of silk.

Oscar Wippermann is an emerging German jewellery artist who has studied in Goldschmiedeschule mit Uhrmacherschule Pforzheim. He has a Bachelor’s degree from HS Düsseldorf Applied Art and Design, and Master’s degree from HS Trier Campus Idar-Oberstein. In his work he loves to use natural materials: bone, wood, silk and cotton, especially cattle bones together with colourful silk.

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Tiina Rajakallio / Muyang Li / Khanya Mthethwa

Tiina Rajakallio

The starting point for Rajakallio’s project was to find her own style of using the marquetry technique in jewellery, combine it with other techniques and see how her work fits in the long history of the tradition of marquetry. Marquetry is a veneer decoration technique traditionally used in furniture and room decoration. Wooden veneers are used to form a mosaic-like image by combining different wood species and utilizing the unique patterns of the wood. In Europe, the technique became popular in the Renaissance period in Italy, where it served both secular and ecclesiastical goals as a fashionable phenomenon of its time. In autumn 2019 Rajakallio spent a three-month residency period at Villa Lante, the Finnish Roman Institute and started this project. 

At the beginning, the imagery of the works was referring to what Rajakallio had seen and experienced in Italy. Gradually the work started to become timeless descriptions of life in general. The ideas of the work arose from the author’s personal experiences and reflections, but with the aim to reach something general. The past few years have been very special to us. We are facing many global issues and insecurities and they affect us. The pieces tell about the cycle of life and different aspects of humanity. They reflect on how we are with others and what kind of mark we leave on our environment. On the display of the exhibition, a large golden circle shines behind the works. That and the name of the show “Ring” can be seen as a reference to the cycle of life, the sun, eternity or the halo. Everything is interconnected and the movement never stops.

Rajakallio’s works are picture plates that you can carry and wear. Most of them can be worn as pendants or brooches. The pendants have simple silver rings at the back, of which the piece can be hung around the neck with a ribbon, the brooches have a simple brooch mechanism for attaching to clothing. Some of the works have engraved, burned or stained details. The series also features crocheted yarn and carved wooden pieces. This is a selection of the series that consists of 40 pieces. The works have been finished in 2021-2022. The Arts Promotion Centre Finland has supported this project along its way.

Tiina Rajakallio is a Finnish jewellery artist currently living in Lappeenranta, Finland. She earned her master’s degree from a metal department of Konstfack, University of Arts, Crafts and Design, in Stockholm, Sweden in 2008. The Bachelor Degree she received from South Carelian Polytechnic Lappeenranta, Finland in 2005 studying stone object and jewellery design. Rajakallio is active in associations and projects of her professional field and serves as the chairwoman of Southeast Finland Designer Makers TÄKY. Previously, she has worked as a part-time jewellery teacher. Today, Rajakallio works full-time on jewelry art and small series jewelry in her studio in Lappeenranta and presents her work in exhibitions internationally. Rajakallio’s works can be found in international private collections as well as in the CODA Apeldoorn museum in the Netherlands, the collection of the Finnish State Art Commission and the collection of the Finnish Jewellery Art Association.

Khanya Mthethwa

The collection is titled Umswenko – how as indigenous people we confidently present ourselves to the world through cultural adornments as identification. The work moves beyond the concept of jewellery and body painting as just adornment. For this work the artist combines elements from Zulu, Ndebele, Suri ethnic groups and the West African Ankara fabric, which have similarities with body paintings/adornments or wall paintings using specific motifs to preserve visual culture identifiable with each ethnic group. The way people adorn themselves is embedded in the way we see and think of the body.

 Suri and Zulu women make use of clay for protecting their skin against the sun and as a representation of clay, makeup and white ochre are used in the portraits. Ndebele and Ghanaian people make use of patterns and textiles on fabric and their walls as artistry that serves as group identification symbols. The repeated rhombus shape represents patterns found in the Zulu beadwork on the 3D printed and handwoven jewellery. The 3D printed beads and necklaces represent the ability of ethnic groups to adapt and develop with times despite the colonial influence on the ways of dress. How Suri people use clay on their bodies to create decorative patterns is represented by the Ankara fabric superimposed on the body as body paint. As indigenous people, our bodies are part of an identity that is layered with materials, evoking a sense of belonging and an association with cultural practices. 

The artist’s work looks at how jewellery does not stay the same because it changes in every cultural context. Today technology becomes part of a cultural context where mass production takes precedence over handcrafted jewellery. Umswenko combines aspects of the digital with rediscovered history. Motifs found in indigenous groups which are 3D printed inspire the designs, combined with weaving techniques that simulate the skills used in jewellery and indigenous groups to create adornments. The weaving symbolizes the multiple and layered history of indigenous groups, and how this becomes part of material culture.

Umswenko collection is a visual representation of how jewellery, body painting and adornments can stand as an art form that transmutes in every generation.

 This work is a celebration of different indigenous groups and an invitation to the onlooker to view the indigenous being not as the ‘other’, but as a being that evolves and one that chooses how to present itself to the world. The Zulu people are not just spears and animal cloth. The Suri are more than flowers and body painting. The Ghanaians are more than Ankara fabric. Wall art and neck rings are not the only things the Ndebele are. As indigenous beings we are not subaltern but we too think, imagine, create, grow and exist in this space and time. From Ghanaians adopting Ankara fabric after the Dutch introduced the fabric to them, Zulu people adopting beads through trade and making it into their own identity signifier, to the Suri resisting any external influence on their culture- the colonized being finds a voice and uses colonial influence to express a new identity without the absence of trauma but an acknowledgement of history. I invite the viewer to not gaze at the images as a continuation of a colonial gaze, but to see the beauty of being human. I invite the viewer to take an interest in the significance of cultural adornments in order to gain intercultural understanding.  

Khanya Mthethwa is an award winning jewellery designer that was born in Kwa- Zulu Natal, currently working as an academic at the University of Johannesburg. Some of her prominent accomplishments within academia include a Masters of Art in the field of design, Rough Diamond Evaluation and Diamond cutting certificates. At the present moment she is also a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg in the department of Visual Art majoring in Art History. When she is not immersed in her studies and lecturing, she takes on the role of founder and CEO of Changing Facets  – a company that specializes in contemporary, wearable art jewellery that draws inspiration from indigenous cultures within the African continent. She passionately advocates for the growth of jewellery in the country, and has since become the driving force behind  the establishment of the South African Jewellery week event which is notably the first platform of its kind in the country. The event aims to provide and garner the attention of potential clients for designer’s. 

Muyang Li

The Garden series is an exploration of the craft of Velvet Flower. It’s a traditional headdress craft, mostly used to make for courtly headpieces. However, the grand and complicated hairstyles with gorgeous and ornate velvet flowers are obviously no longer in line with the contemporary daily needs.With the widespread use of media, traditional culture has been revived and this fading craft was able to return to the public eye. But it is also deeply bound to vintage clothing.

Complex monoliths composed of a large number of repetitive elements characterize velvet flowers. By analyzing and reorganizing I hope to explore the expressions and more possibilities that are applicable to the contemporary context.

The traditional velvet flower is an extreme use of silk, presenting the authenticity of the plant in various forms. The Garden series is a tribute to tradition. At the same time, it also liberates the velvet flower from the simulation. The charm of color and material can be felt more directly without the constraints of figurative forms.

Muyang Li has studied in Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing, China and is currently finishing her Master’s degree in Estonia Academy of Arts(EKA),Tallinn, Estonia in Master of Jewellery and Blacksmithing. Her works have been exhibited in China, Netherlands, Gene Town and Tallinn.

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Ivar Kaasik / Jacqueline Yajing Yao / Kai Kiudsoo-Värv / Yao Tan

Ivar Kaasik

Death is the natural end of all living things. For humans, however, it has special meaning because we are aware of it. For materialists, it is the end of being, but nonetheless this matter can give new life and witness the birth of something new. To idealists, death signifies the transition to the afterlife, in the form of a soul or in the form of rebirth. This is seen as liberation. The soul is liberated from the body. As life ends in death, life loses its purpose. What is the meaning of this exhibition? The artist used recyclable materials to create this jewellery, thus giving new life and meaning to existing matter. Some of the materials regenerate themselves naturally in the wild by recreating themselves over and over again. Until humans draw a line and end its life. Only to begin again and again.

Ivar Kaasik is an Estonian artist who moved to Berlin after graduating from the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle and the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 1996 he received the DeBeers Oscar at Paris Haute Couture Week. As a freelance artist, he organises tours for art lovers on Berlin’s battlefield of street art and appropriatist art, gives mobile insights into the city’s centuries-old monumental art and industrial architecture and guides cultural tourists through the maze of avant-garde galleries to the lower east side quarter of Neukölln, which is full of alternative music clubs.

Ivar Kaasik was born in Kuressaare in 1965. He studied at the Estonian Academy of Art (formerly the Estonian State Art Institute) in the Department of Architecture and later in the Department of Metal Art from 1983-1992 and at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design in Halle from 1989-1990. Since then he has held various professions, including working as a goldsmith in Germany from 1992-1998. Kaasik has been a freelance artist since 1999. He has participated in exhibitions since 1989 and has been a member of the Association of German Artists since 2001 and of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 2012. He is also a member of the Estonian Metal Artists’ Union and Estonian Painters’ Union.

Kaasik has been awarded the world-famous Diamond International Award (1996) in Paris for jewellery design. As a writer, Kaasik has expressed his disregard for pathos and traditional approaches towards art in his book Beware of the Art! What To Do, How and How Much (Ettevaatust, kunst! Mida teha. Kuidas ja kui palju, 2011) whose genre Kaasik describes as a “minimum and maximum programme”. – From the book Ivar Kaasik. Beware of the Art! What To Do, How and How Much. (2011)

Jacqueline Yajing Yao

Everyone has their own world – a space where they become themselves. It is both spiritual and precious. While some may open their world to share themselves, others are more protective. My works take inspiration from this space of separation. A place where relaxation and breath can lead to a deeper connection with self.

Space is a conceptual word. It’s an open concept that is interpreted in a variety of meanings. Here, I also would like to leave this wide space to everyone; to experience the relaxation, the breath… anything that can be connected and imagined.

Jacqueline Yajing Yao is an M.F.A. at Savannah College Of Art And Design. Her goal is to create long-lasting jewelry and accessories that aren’t just roughly beautiful but also have a soul passed on from generation to generation. Drawing inspiration from music subculture, philosophy, and art, Yao continuously seeks the perfect balance between meaning, beauty, and function while cherishing the heritage of making things by hand in the best possible way. Jewelry expresses a possibility that few observers have ever noticed: Its ability to touch people. She uses a simple way to express complex thoughts, and she believes handmade can build a special relationship with jeweler and wearer.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv

The purple glow of a willowherb on the edge of a venom-green meadow, a mustard-yellow horizon above a turquoise sea, a pea-green minibus driving past a bright yellow house, snow-white and scarlet dishes on an indigo table… Which moments of life do you recall? The colours, smells and flavours that embody the emotions you have experienced. 

I scroll through the pictures on my phone, searching for the right shot among the familiar assortment of colours. The colour schemes of my recollections.

Some of these schemes were transformed into jewellery with the help of goldsmith Indrek Ikkonen, while others were made by the author herself.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv (born 1968) is a glass artist. She graduated from the Department of Glass Art at the Estonian Academy of Art with a BA in 1995 and an MA in 2005. Since 1995 she has worked as a freelance artist on a variety of projects, from product design to exhibition projects. Her works include light objects, sculptures, church windows and more. She has taught glass art the Estonian Academy of Art and the Olustvere School of Service and Rural Economics.

Her day-to-day work finds her at the Klaasiklubi glass club in Tallinn, which she founded in 2009 and where she organises and conducts a range of fusing technique courses.

Kai Kiudsoo-Värv has also participated in many exhibitions in Estonia and abroad. Her works can be found in a number of private collections and museums.

Yao Tan

The collection called: “XY” speaks about the subtle ambiguity between females and male. “Infra-mince” of which Marcel Duchamp spoke counted which is barely perceptible, barely identifiable, this notion represents a tiny and singularizing difference.

Her work is built on the ambiguous perception of the body and its imagination. The inspiration came from bodily sources, such as vulnerability, mutations, dualities, and formal metamorphosis. Her jewels are like chimeras, tactile and sensitive objects, and always questioning the relationship to our carnal desires. In this series, she looks for ways to interpret issues related to eroticism in a sensitive and poetic, but also ironic and sometimes violent way. 

Yao Tan is an artist and jewellery maker from China. She received her bachelor’s degree in furniture design in 2012, and later a BFA in contemporary art in 2019 and MA in contemporary art in France. 

She is interested in the tension and the strangeness that results from the relationship between an exhibition space and modest sizes objects. Her creations around the perception and imagination of the body to reconstitute paths of sensations in our societies in <crisis of sensitivity> is a kind of resistance to absurd grand narratives.