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PRESS RELEASE 02.04.2009

RELIKVIAAR/RELIQUARY. Exhibition of Estonian Leatherwork Artists` Union



Relic – the alleged remains of the body parts and clothes of Jesus Christ or the saints or their personal items, kept in churches and monasteries and assumed to have a miraculous power.
Reliquary – a container, made of precious metal or timber, artfully decorated, used to contain relics. A reliquary may be designed as a box (casket), cross, model of a building, etc. or the shape of body part of the saint (hand, head, etc.), which it contains.
The (leatherwork) artists are expected to keep these key words on mind when investigating items, hold sacred in the modern world, and the methods for safekeeping and protecting these items to pass them on in time.
Reliquary, as a container used to contain sacred items, doesn’t necessarily stand for a specific container for safekeeping a dear and important object. Our thoughts and acts, having acquired a certain value over time, may also become sacred, forming a reliquary, which is then used by an individual to conceal his/her individuality from the piercing eyes of the world. A proverb or wisdom, enshrined in material, showing us the right way as we travel through our lives, may also be a reliquary. A space in ourselves may be a reliquary. Or a special place in nature. Or a territory, confined by our reason, human hands or mind…


Professional artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden as well as students of leather art of the Estonian Academy of Arts and Tartu Art College participate at this exhibition.
The jury gave prizes to Tiiu Vijar (unanimous decision of the jury for perfect realization, skilful presentation of beauty and qualities of the material), Marje Taska (for depth and impressiveness of the idea) and Helle Kõomägi (for humoristic and fresh solution).
Member of the jury were Merike Alber (Director of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Anne Tiivel (Curator of Leather Art and Glass Collections of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design), Inge Teder (art historian), Illu Erma, Ella Summatavet, Pille Kivihall and Maarja Undusk (members of the board of the Estonian Leatherwork Artists’ Union).


Exhibition design by Mae Kivilo
Contributors: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Skinex Ltd


Exhibition is organised by Estonian Leatherwork Artists’ Union

Additional information:
Tiia Eikholm
Tel +372 558 8938


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