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Elize Hiiop’s solo exhibition SENSORY SPACES explores the relationship of external and internal spaces. The jewellery series depicts real places and objects that have acquired symbolic significance for the artist over time. Familiar architectural elements are presented in altered sizes, and through the harmony of their repetitions and overlaps, new miniature worlds have emerged.

Several spaces that inspired the works now exist only in the artist’s memories. Emotions, scents, sounds, and light evoke vague and romanticized sceneries. There are places or objects that became valuable through human touch – a grandmother waiting on the steps in front of the house, who has now passed away; a daughter practicing piano in the mornings, who has started an independent life; or the snow castles built with her father in childhood, which disappeared with the first thaw. There are also places that have inscribed themselves deeply in her soul over the years, like the home in Kalamaja or the studio in the old town, and some that persist as flashes before her eyes through bright realization or experience.

The exhibition gathers location-based memories into a tangible form, creating a time capsule that can be revisited now at any chosen moment. The jewellery pieces took form  as brooches, allowing the cherished places to be carried with oneself. A piece of jewelry worn close to the heart is like a bridge that maintains a strong connection between the inner and outer worlds. The dominant material used is porcelain, accompanied by ebony, silver, bone, coral, and cotton paper.

Elize Hiiop (1977) is an Estonian jewellery artist and designer who graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a degree in jewellery and blacksmithing in 2005. She has participated in numerous exhibitions in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States, and her works are in various private collections. Hiiop is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of porcelain as a material, focusing on 3D printing with organic additives in recent years.

Thanks: A-Galerii, Estonian Cultural Endowment, Estonian Academy of Arts, Lovisa Luka Hiiop, Lauri Kilusk, Meriti Ilves, and everyone who supported with kind words or deeds.

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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.