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At the solo exhibition THE BOUNDS OF BOUNDARIES, Maarja Niinemägi presents sculptural rings that extensively combine materials and technologies, such as titanium, buffalo horn, ebony, engraving, riveting, and anodizing. The creation of large-scale abstract jewellery is a creative practice that plays with the boundaries of design and jewellery art – a journey the artist started already in 2005. Maarja Niinemägi writes:

“I seek a shape that does not directly allude to the ring, a form distinct from the conventional. A ring could be a piece of art even when not worn on a finger.

 Unaware of the dimensions of the jewellery piece while looking at a photo of it, a person may be surprised by its actual size in real life. I aim to design these rings playfully keeping in mind the function of a ring but evading the limits of its traditional form. 

My desire is to develop and discover nuances inside the shapes forming the rings. The rings can be worn and viewed as independent objects, connecting small details and designs – creating philosophical landscapes. On each ring a small story sets a scene.”

The exhibition is funded with the help of Estonian Cultural Endowment.

Maarja Niinemägi is a jewellery artist and designer based in Tartu. She has participated in exhibitions since 1997, leading her to various parts of the world, including Europe, China, America, and Australia. Niinemägi obtained her education in jewellery art from the Estonian Academy of Arts, where she earned her master’s degree in arts with honours in 2008. As an exchange student and intern in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, she also acquired skills in gemstone engraving. Her works are part of the collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, the Alice and Louis Koch Ring Collection in Switzerland, and other private collections in Estonia and abroad. Maarja Niinemägi has been a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association since 2011 and the Estonian Association of Designers since 2014.

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Mourning Cloak Butterfly wakes up early from its winter slumber, sleeps deep through midsummer, and remains awake for a long time in autumn.

Already in early childhood Ülle encountered the miraculous Mourning Cloak Butterfly.

The elderly paid attention to the butterfly as well.

The child could not yet grasp the meaning of its name, as only a delicate shadow was cast by it on the winged beauty.

Emotions and knowledge attached with time passing.

Gratitude to the dear departed ones remains.

The dark side of earthly beings, their envy and greed, are grief-worthy, not the dread before the unknown light. In this world, the Mourning Cloak Butterfly crosses forests and seas, luxuriates in the sun on a blooming meadow, and sucks up the juice and time given to it. With the Universe’s kind permission, journeys through the warmth of summer and the cold winter. Circling in a never ending pursuit of happiness.

The sun caresses people because they are so beautiful and kind.

Dear companions choose between light and shadow.

With the arrival of winter, the Milky Way in the sky, one can travel along it.

And people are so beautiful and kind… Hope remains.


Ülle Voosalu’s exhibition MOURNING CLOAK BUTTERFLY celebrates the 70th anniversary of the jewelry artist from Tartu, Estonia. Voosalu graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts from the metalworking department in 1980 and soon after began exhibiting in 1981. She has worked as an artist at Tartu ARS and as a lecturer at Pallas University of Applied Sciences. Since 2001, she has been working as a freelance jewelry artist. Voosalu is a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association. The artist creates jewelry in an outstanding author’s technique, combining silver wire and gemstones into variously structured clusters. Her jewelry embodies wild joy of life and love for the beauty of nature. She crafts her pieces with the best wishes for the wearer.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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A shirt from a lover

A gift from a friend

A few stitches from an other

A path without an end …

Decaeon has come to stay.

“Never again!” she swore as she disappeared into the waves.

NEVER AFTER – an installation about an endless winter. 

The exhibition consists of jewelry and objects inspired by decorative techniques from the Mediterranean. Rich colors and the decadent charm of the abundance of material reflect the desire for eternal life: suffocating and charming at the same time, like the bittersweet love from fairy tales …as much a balm as a poison.

In these works, curses and eternal love are intertwined, sharing a glimpse into a drowning world where memories of better days are all there is.


Pilvi Tammoja is an Estonian interdisciplinary artist. She has a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and a master’s degree in jewellry art (cum laude) from the Estonian Academy of Arts. At the core of Tammoja’s opulent, space-burying installations are masterfully crafted, detailed works whose materials vary from silk thread to cast iron.

The exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

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TRANSMISSION, as a term, signifies the act of transferring: in practice, it refers to the conveyance of force, energy, and control. It also encompasses the transfer of thoughts and ideas, from one entity to another. Thus, every belief encompasses transmission, an intelligent organizing energy that can catalyze change.

The title TRANSMISSION in this exhibition’s context arbitrarily interprets the English term and emphasizes on the part ‘mission,’ highlighting purpose-driven and responsible action.

Memory is selective; objects retain and aid in our recollection. Jewellery is remembered, and through it, people and time. Throughout history, jewellery has been a carrier of memory. With this focus, we turn our gaze to a time when the entire art scene in Estonia was undergoing significant changes. Figuratively speaking, it was a time when doors were closing and opening—some slammed shut with a bang, others were gently kicked wide, all with a touch of arrogance and sincere enthusiasm.

The TRANSMISSION exhibition evokes a period from 30 years ago. On May 10, 1994, in the premises of the present-day HOP Gallery of the Estonian Artists’ Union, situated at Hobusepea 2, a distinctive gallery devoted to art jewellery was inaugurated through the financial backing and collaborative effort of 33 artists. The core of this exhibition consists of the works of these artists from the 1990s. Despite the relatively homogeneous closed learning and development environment, their jewellery creations were explorative and distinctive. Among them are artists who have since passed away, but fortunately, many talented new artists have emerged. Do we also find influences and traces of the 1990s in the works of these younger creators—contemporary ideas intermingling with those from the past? What has been added over time, and what has been lost? The curators do not deny that, in compiling the exhibition, they sought similarities and kinship rather than conflicts, with a hidden desire to witness transmissions and inspirations stemming from the pivotal jewelry art of that era.

The exhibition aims to pay homage to the pioneers, to all fellow travelers, and extends wishes of strength to those continuing the mission of A-Galerii. Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

Exhibition curators: Tiina Käesel and Maria Valdma-Härm

Exhibition design: Maria Valdma-Härm

Graphic design: Rasmus Lukas

The exhibition features video clips from the ERR archive: “Estonian Jewellery” (parts 1 and 3, year 1990), director Tiina Pork, consultant Tiina Käesel.

The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment.

Thanks to: Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and Ketli Tiitsar.

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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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A-Gallery’s annual art jewellery exhibition SPARK

Annual exhibition 2023 by jewellery artists on the WINDOWS and in the VAULT of A-Galerii

On Friday, December 1, at 6:00 PM, A-Galerii will open the jewellery art exhibition SPARK in the VAULT and on the WINDOWS, reflecting the moods and trends of 2023. The exhibition showcases 45 different artists and most of the work is presented for the first time ever. The exhibition is designed by sculptor Anna Mari Liivrand.

The annual exhibition is like a spark admits of all the shine that jewellery artists have created and continue to create. A spark concentrates all the light into one point and then scatters it tirelessly. Mere sparkle, which may seem like superficial glitter, sometimes becomes a source of great comfort.

A spark can freeze time, it becomes a wonderful moment in the uninterruptible flow of time. Eureka! Clarity and discovery… what every creative soul seeks. Finding it gives birth to something unique, something that brings peace to the soul, inspiring action.

The gentle tinkling of silver, the brilliance of a diamond on a finger, or the sharp gleam from a stranger’s gold tooth all hold a unique surprise. The spark on a piece of jewellery is an exclamation point that elevates the whole. The SPARK exhibition, bringing together all artists of A-Galerii, aims to beautifully conclude the year as well.

The exhibition is funded with the help of: Estonian Cultural Endowment, Nautimus, Bohemian Wine and Art

Designer of the exhibition: Anna Mari Liivrand

Exhibition coordinator: Sille Luiga

The list of participants: Adolfas Šaulys, Agnes Veski, Aino Kapsta, Ane Raunam, Anneli Oppar, Anni Kagovere, Egle Sitkauskaite, Eilve Manglus, Elis Liivo, Ene Valter, Erle Nemvalts, Guntis Lauders, Hansel Tai, Henry Mardisalu, Ivar Kaasik, Ive-Maria Köögard, Kadi Kübarsepp, Kadi Veesaar, Kärt Summatavet, Katariina Kriipsalu, Kati Erme, Keesi Kapsta, Kertu Tuberg, Kertu Vellerind, Krista Laos, Krista Lehari, Liina Lelov, Liisbeth Kirss, Margit Paulin, Mari Pärtelpoeg, Mari Relo-Šaulys, Merike Balod, Raili Vinn, Riin Somelar, Sille Luiga, Tamara Sergijenko, Tea Vellerind, Triin Kukk, Ülle Kõuts, Ülle Voosalu, Ulrika Paemurru, Urve Küttner, Valdek Laur, Viktorija Lillemets, Yu Fang Hu