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Estonian jewellery artists. CASTLE IN THE AIR

October 28, 2016 - November 14, 2016

From October 28 until November 14, 2016
at Art gallery PUTTI

Exhibition of Estonian contemporary jewellery artists


One can gaze on castles in the air for a long time, but mainly they dissolve along with the clouds from which they formed; they have substance only for a second. Almost like a mirage, they are an illusory heavenly spectacle from a place somewhere in our stratosphere, if not in the cosmos proper. The group of jewellery designers from Estonia now have built a new castle in Art gallery Putti – a dark and poetic one, perfect in its imperfection.
The group of jewellery artists called õhuLoss (Castle in the Air) currently consists of six jewellery artists who rarely collaborate on individual works but relish the opportunity to stage joint exhibitions all the more. The ensemble with an ethereal name has a fairly permanent roster – Piret Hirv, Kristiina Laurits, Kadri Mälk, Eve Margus-Villems, Villu Plink, and Tanel Veenre.
There is something mysteriously and captivatingly dark about “Castle in the Air”. Not only because of the person central to the group, Kadri Mälk, and her inclination toward the more romantic, poetic, and dark side of the world. Not only because of the colours of the materials they use -intensifying to dark brown and black, but also thanks to a certain unspoken knowledge of “the real things” that the group seems to share: things that really matter, that have true value.
The exhibition display is a wonderful and mystical backdrop for the jewellery pieces – burnt, blackened pieces of boards and furniture. “Burnt wood or to be more precise, an object made of burnt wood stands for destruction, fragility, the evolving of something new, the exposure of the important. And in addition, fire is an important tool for jewellers and blacksmiths,” says Lembit-Kaur Stöör, one of the architects involved in the exhibition design.
CASTLE IN THE AIR was founded in 1999 by Kadri Mälk, its members came from the ranks of Estonian Academy of Arts graduates. Of these artists, Kadri Mälk could be called the most melancholy and dark. She is the one who draws deepest on romantic inspiration, particularly in her brooches. Gold, silver and precious stones, black coral and jet, dark enamel or patinated silver serve as material for her jewellery. Piret Hirv is at her purest in her brooches, using silver, iron and wood, sometimes employing pigments. Her iconography is based on nature and the human form. Kristiina Laurits also specializes in brooches, with a repertoire that also includes necklaces, combs, cufflinks and purely decorative objects. She unites fine goldsmithing with natural materials such as fur, fabric, wood, vanilla pods or salt crystals. Eve Margus-Villems likewise works with different materials: iron and ivory, marble and horn – both inorganic and organic substances. She serves these up in as raw and original state as possible. It seems as if jewellery made by Villu Plink comes into existence through the constant fluctuation of ephemeral materials. Plink’s newer works deal with the topics of war and the violence of conflicts. Tanel Veenre can`t be put in a certain category as a jewellery artist, as the range of the materials and techniques at his command seems inexhaustible. His work is already known for Latvian audiences as he presented his solo exhibition in Art gallery Putti in November of 2015.

Eve Margus-Villems

I can’t say whether my works contain a power that would make anyone turn their head. There is such a desire, yes. What impels the selection of a specific material? It isn’t even important – hard or soft, light or dark. Tension – is a wire taut or has the material been pushed to the outermost limit that the last atoms disappear. When material disintegrates, there is a momentary feeling of liberation – it broke, ergo I have to start from scratch. Tension, crossing a limit and lightness – it is like walking on teardrop water. Surface tension.

Kadri Mälk

Dēvēta par igauņu rotu grand dame, Kadri Mälk ir viena no respektablākajām un arī starptautiski pazīstamākajām igauņu mūsdienu rotu māksliniecēm. Viņas rotām piemīt melanholijas piestrāvots poētisms un izteikta spiritualitāte. Sākotnēji viņa studējusi glezniecību, taču tad sapratusi, ka izmēru un arī fizisko sajūtu ziņā tas nav viņas medijs. “Rotas ir intīmākas, tuvākas dvēselei.” Tiesa, gleznieciskums Kadrī rokrakstā ir saglabājies joprojām, viņas rotām dažbrīd atgādinot abstrakta ekspersionisma miniatūras. Kadri glezno ar melno krāsu – visās iespējamās tās tonalitātēs. Un akmeņiem – viņa studējusi gemoloģiju Pēterburgā, vēlāk arī Lahti Dizaina institūtā Somijā un slavenajā Brend Munsteiner juvelierdarbnīcā Vācijā. Kopš 1996. gada viņa ir arī Igaunijas Mākslas akadēmijas rotu nodaļas profesore.

Kristina Laurits

The happy few have learned to dream while awake, which makes them unreachable for reality and gives things their true content. Visualizing the world through jewellery allows us to experience the unreality and elusiveness of reality. Concentration of senses in one small form makes it special, but does that make it happy? I don t know…at least not yet.

Piret Hirv

To see the incomprehensible. If only the unknown could be endowed with form! To create time. Between presence and absence. To find a way out. In an endless repeating of oneself.

Tanel Veenre

The entirety of Tanel Veenre’s current series is constructed around the rolling drama of two force lines: this time it is the relationship between memory and forgetting, between the concealing and revealing function of jewellery.
/Tamara Luuk/

Villu Plink

As a jewellery artist, I work in the border area between wearable jewellery and not wearable jewellery. Not everything can be worn physically, however with some pieces people connect on spiritual level. It depends on each person’s abilities. This is the area that fascinates me. about exhibition “Castle in the air” (link)

Arterritory about exhibition “Castle in the air” (link)

Klimt02 about exhibition “Castle in the air” (link)

Klimt02 interview with the artists (link)

Estonian contemporary jewellery at «Putti» gallery

The opening night


October 28, 2016
November 14, 2016