The annual EXHIBITION-SALE 2020 invites visitors to interact with a cross-section of local jewellery art from the past year.
The exhibition converges pieces from over 30 jewellery artists, made in and hence influenced by the meandering ways of the (un)believable and freakish year 2020. The artworks of the annual exhibition are on sale for the whole duration of the exhibition.
The drive of the exhibition is to explore how the force majeure of 2020 has influenced the everyday life and creative processes of the participating artists. The past year has been full of anxiety and worry about the unknown but has given the opportunity to find solace in being in the present. Resting on the imposed need for solitude, stillness holds space for the emergence of inspiration and clears time for facing yourself and to give the introspection a palpable form.
Jewellery artist Liisbeth Kirss: “This year’s restrictions made me take a break during which I could peacefully think or not think about my art. I feel it was very necessary and it couldn’t have happened in any other way.”
At the same time there are artists who were forced to prioritize the pressing financial matters of everyday life before their creative endeavours due to the coronavirus. “I lost my studio recently, because it was in the building of a restaurant in the Old Town and the restaurant went bankrupt. Hence, the pandemic has a quite direct influence on my creative work”, says artist Anni Kagovere. However, in the words of artist Claudia Lepik, the pandemic hasn’t changed the rhythm of her work so far, and the quotidian journeys she makes are as modest as before.
A-Gallery is the representative gallery of local art jewellery as well as a place for meeting artworks from over a hundred different authors. Encompassing different generations, schools, forms and ideas, A-Gallery tells the story of Estonian art jewellery. Each piece is handmade, unique and represents the aesthetics and concept of the artist.
Krista Laos, Ive-Maria Köögard, Tarvo Porroson, Ülle Mesikäpp, Anne Roolaht, Tea Vellerind, Ihan Toomik, Anni Kagovere, Kertu Vellerind, Mari Relo-Šaulys, Adolfas Šaulys, Urve Küttner, Liisbeth Kirss, Ulvi Haagensen, Ülle Voosalu, Tamara Sergijenko, Claudia Lepik, Ivar Kaasik, Ane Raunam, Kadi Kübarsepp, Ülle Kõuts, Keesi Kapsta, Katrin Veegen, Raili Vinn, Merike Balod, Margit Paulin, Aino Kapsta, Kristi Paap, Kätrin Beljaev, Erle Nemvalts, Melitina Balabin, Nikolai Balabin, Marita Lumi, Ene Valter, Viktorija Lillemets, Rita-Livia Erikson, Sille Luiga, Kristiina Laurits.
Maire Morgen Hääl
Sille Kima, the gallerist and curator of A-Gallery: “One window is undoubtedly not enough for an extensive retrospective of Maire Morgen Hääl’s work. Morgen Hääl’s work and contribution to Estonian art history is noteworthy. Artist and curator Kaisa Maasik has said that in 2020 contemporary artists are hybrids, whose main interests hint at who they would be if they were not artists. Maire has been a hybrid from the beginning. As a monumentalist, creator of public art, metal artist, designer and exhibition producer, she would need much more space and a deep reflection on her work. This window exhibition is the first bookmark.”
Maire Morgen Hääl (1939) studied blacksmithing at Estonian Academy of Art (former State Art Institute) and later, for many years, worked as a designer and an artist at the Experimental Construction Department of Tallinn University of Technology (former Tallinn Polytechnical Institute), where she designed and made details for testing equipment which the institute’s scientists needed for their experiments. Aside from that Morgen Hääl occasionally worked on creating award badges and medals for the rectorate’s or the ruling party’s distinguished guests during the Soviet era.
During the same period, Hääl’s creative designs were mostly monumental works for public space. Her works include ironwork at the Glehn Castle and Õnnepalee, as well as the monumental sculpture “Students” in front of the main building of TalTech,as well as lighting fixtures in National Library of Estonia, and elsewhere. Morgen Hääl also kept up a jewellery practice and created commissioned works in semi-secrecy, as this was prohibited by the Soviet state. In her jewellery designs Morgen Hääl’s main focus is the person the piece is for. Partly due to this, she has created few pieces without a specific person in mind. One of Morgen Hääl’s most notable collaborations was with fashion designer Kai Saar at the Tallinn Fashion House at the end of the 1980s.
Maire Morgen Hääl’s works belong to the collection of Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and she has participated in exhibitions in Berlin, Moscow, Tallinn, Vilnius, Prague, Montreal and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union.
“Play is a serious work for a little human, as stated in a song. Play! By designing jewellery I have relied on playful approaches, such as combination, juxtaposition of surfaces, using different textures and graphic lines etc – their correlation and the contribution of stones. Play is mysterious. Play is secret.” – Leida Illend, 13 October 2020
Leida Illend (1940) spent her school years in Rakvere. She began her art studies at Tartu Art School as a decorator (1961–1966). Illend graduated from Estonian Academy of Arts (former State Art Institute) in 1972. From 1972 to 1995 she worked at ARS-JUVEEL as an artist and creator of original editions. Today she is a freelance artist. Illend’s works have been shown at applied art exhibitions since 1971, both in Estonia and abroad, including in Milan, Italy; Montreal, Canada; Munich, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and elsewhere in the Soviet Union. She has taken part in three Tallinn Applied Art Triennials. Her solo exhibition “Clarity” was displayed at A-Gallery (2005) and the most notable group shows Illend has participated in include “10” at Tallinn Town Hall (1998) and “Eyes” at Vabaduse gallery (1996). In recent years she has taken part in the annual exhibitions of the Estonian Association of Jewellery Artists and Blacksmiths whenever possible. Many of her works belong to private collections as well as those of Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and Tallinn City Museum.
“Peepshow” is about love, sexuality, shame and pride. Some feelings make you want to cover your eyes and hide behind a curtain. Fighting this shyness is an everyday struggle. Why do I feel a girly coyness as a grown-up woman? And when I do temporarily defeat this feeling, I have to start explaining my “arrogance”. Does anyone even love without shame?
Liisbeth Kirss (1996) was born and raised in Pärnu. In 2018 she graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Jewellery and Blacksmithing, currently continuing studies in the Master’s degree. Kirss has taken part in exhibitions both home and abroad, as well as an internship in Amsterdam. She gets inspiration from friends, love and nightlife.
After offering Adams’ apple to Eve, so much has happened in this garden. Old metal objects found in the soil under the apple tree leaves of the artists’ own home garden, have got the words to tell their stories through jewellery and through the artists’ hands,which are very personal – someone has had love, had prayers, faith… has shed blood and built a home – simple timeless apple orchard stories. Dedicated to special men.
Margit Paulin (1980) was born in Tallinn and graduated from EKA with a degree in metal jewellery in 2012 and is currently working as a freelance jewelry artist in her home studio between the forest and the sea in the small Estonian village of Keibu. In the creation of jewellery, the important aspect is the story of someone, from which the journey of jewellery begins and on the basis of this story the object becomes an individual piece of jewellery. Jewelry has a soul, and if there is a story the jewellery could be everlasting.
Death is a part of every life and it leaves a mark on the ones close to it. But it can be beautiful – that which is left behind.
Paul Villemi (1983) is a metal artist, who has graduated from the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing Estonian Academy of Arts in the (2014 BA). He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and in 2015 he opened his personal exhibition “Motive” in the Vault of A-gallery. Paul has largely been focused on knifemaking, using 3D printing and metal casting as his main techniques.