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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.

Leida Illend

“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.

Liisbeth Kirss

“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.  

Margit Paulin

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.

Paul Villemi  

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.