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Raili Vinn, Hans-Otto Ojaste, Katrin Veegen, Kristiina Laurits 20.03–11.04.2020

Raili Vinn

Raili Vinn is mostly known in Estonian art history for using and highlighting limestone as decorative material. Together with geologist and limestone researcher Helle Perens, she has created series of limestone jewellery since 1992, emphasising the diversity of local limestone. Raili Vinn has exceptional knowledge of stone – she has great sensitivity towards stones used in jewellery and she makes her choices with enthusiasm and profound dedication to the material. Perhaps this is the reason why she can shape limestone into jewellery with such mastery – Vinn skilfully makes use of the colour, patterns and fossils in limestone, sourced from various locations and geological strata.

SPELL OF LIMESTONE is Raili Vinn’s sixth exhibition dedicated to limestone.

Raili Vinn (1943) is an Estonian jewellery artist. After graduating from secondary school Vinn studied goldsmithing at ARS Juveel, so it was only natural that she continued her studies at the Metal Art Department at the State Art Institute of the Estonian SSR, which she graduated from in 1969. The following years Vinn spent creating window displays and decorations for Soviet retail and later worked as a graphic designer for Ajakirjanduslevi. She remained active as an artist and was known both in Estonia and elsewhere for her fine and distinguished gold and silver jewellery with a crisp and concrete feel, softened by skilfully chosen precious and semi-precious stones. It was around that time Vinn had her solo exhibitions (1977 and 1987), participated in applied art exhibition of the Estonian SSR, Baltic Applied Art Triennials and international jewellery exhibitions in Jablonec, Czechoslovakia (1984 and 1987). In the last decade of 20th century Vinn was the head artist of Ars Juveel for a short period of time. After Estonia regained independence, Vinn began a new, still ongoing era in her work – with her focus on limestone, she also combines sea shells found on the beach, corals, stones from the sea and other found materials with gold, silver and precious stones. During the past three decades her work has been exhibited both at solo exhibitions in Estonia as well as in Kiel, Berlin, Copenhagen, Krakow and elsewhere. In 1994 she received the Ede Kurrel Prize and her works belong to the collections of Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. In 2020 Raili Vinn’s jewellery are exhibited at The Anatomy of Estonian Art Jewellery 1953-2019 at Tartu Art Museum.

Hans-Otto Ojaste

HANDFUL OF PRAYERS juxtaposes the movements involved in snacking on sunflower seeds and handling prayer beads. Using fingers to handle prayer beads is used to help with saying prayers and mantras in various religions. Over thousands of years people have developed physical algorithms to code their mind. Fingering beads is synchronised with repeating prayers or mantras. Placing this motif into street culture, one can find a parallel with snacking on sunflower seeds. Just like beads, the seeds are handled with fingers. The movements of removing the seed from its husk and eating it are repetitive. Saying a prayer is replaced by chewing.

Hans-Otto Ojaste graduated from the Department of Jewellery and Blacksmithing at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2012) and belongs to the artist duo Urmas-Ott. He has exhibited in group exhibitions both in Estonia and abroad.

The exhibition of Hans-Otto Ojaste can be viewed in a virtual window here.

Katrin Veegen

Dirty sweets. That amazing place through your eyes. Again. The same crap every spring…

The exhibition REFLECTIONS brings together a small selection of recent works by Veegen. The roots of the stories stored in these pieces of jewellery go all the way to the experiential moments created and amplified by nature around us. Some moments are just one-time reflections, some moments are flickers that reproduce themselves. From year to year.

Katrin Veegen is a graduate of the Estonian Academy of Arts (2002) and has spent some time during her studies at the University of Central England (UCE). She has participated at numerous jewelry exhibitions in Estonia, Europe and the US. Katrin Veegen has been awarded the Ede Kurrel Prize, and her exhibition LAURELS was selected as the A-Gallery´s Best Exhibition of the Year in 2007. In 2017, Veegen established her own brand, under which she creates small-scale jewelry series and unique artisan jewellery from her studio at Hobusepea street.

Kristiina Laurits

“Like food, jewellery has the ability to create the illusion of a full stomach. To be convinced, all you need to do is smell and taste. Pure, symbolic materials, like bread, have always been alluring. Their constantly changing qualities and abilities to change their angles of reflection have always been captivating. My jewellery juggles great narratives like faith, hope and love without shame. And, also suffering is part of this party”. – Kristiina Laurits

Kristiina Laurits studied in Estonian Academy of Arts, department of jewellery and blacksmithing (BA 1997, MA 2003). At the year 2000 she visited the jewellery department of the Escola Massana school in Barcelona. She has participated in more than 80 jewellery exhibitions in Europe, China, USA. Her works are in public collections in Estonia and US. Since 1999 she is a member of Estonian jewellery group Castle in the Air. In 2017 Laurits published the artist book THE HAPPY FEW. Jewellery and Objects. Currently, she works as a freelance artist in Tallinn.