NewsPRESS RELEASE 06.05.2011
Jewellery artist HAIVI RAADIK
Haivi Raadik is an artist whose work is characterized by the graceful coexistence of tradition and innovation. Her ascent to the ranks of one of the leading jewellery artists was fast, impressively so – she made her debut in 1959 at the national applied art exhibition with embossed bracelets that drew so much attention that she was picked then and there to represent the country at the Estonian applied art exhibition in Finland the following year.
The innovative element of her work was expressed not so much in the choice of material as in the form and meaning of the jewellery. The definition of jewellery itself presumes that it is created for a person, and in this sense Raadik's work does not go beyond classical boundaries. Yet Raadik's jewellery can be viewed as autonomous works, three-dimensional small forms through which the artist gives expression to her imagination. This also explains her fondness of necklaces, which for a jewellery artist are certainly the most spacious territory for self-expression.
Melting techniques and the resulting intricate textures are the best match for Haivi Raadik's impulsive and emotional artistic personality. Sculptural relief, soft painterly game of light and shadow, and the use of discrete precious stones as accents (jewellery with masks and figures, 1968) all suggest the artist's ability to be simultaneously jeweller and artist. The ten years that followed were very fruitful. Her set of jewellery from 1969, “Kevad/Spring” was one of the earliest treatments of nature in Estonian jewellery art and was so inspirational that it launched a whole school in Estonian metal art. The necklaces from the beginning of the next decade “Pihlakas/Rowan“ (1972), “Kibuvits/Wild Rose“ (1972), “Kukehari/Sedum”, “Ploomipuu/Plum Tree“ (1973) capture the fecundity of nature in silver; she transformed ordinary blossoms and ripe fruit into grand and luxurious jewellery. The luxuriance and monumentalism of simplicity are emphasized by the artist's superb sensibility for composition and form. The conventional boundaries of jewellery are probed by the awards-cum-bracelets on livestock motifs “Hobune/Horse”, “Lehm/Cow” and “Lambad/Sheep” (all from 1976), but even in these humorous pieces, the artist's command of the material can still be felt.
Although it seems a contradiction at first, the artist is not only drawn by whimsical nature forms but also geometry, its rationality and elegant proportions (necklace and earrings with aquamarine stones, silver, 1968). Her oeuvre has room for both of these universes, sometimes even in intertwined form. Raadik's games with form are most vividly manifested in the rings with pyrites and malachites (1975) and these can be viewed as sculptures. In a manner unique to her, Raadik synthesized a smooth silver surface with the natural texture and shape of the stones, joining two disparate worlds into complementary halves of a whole.
The timeless luxury, self-dignity, technical refinement and singular artistic style that emanate from Haivi Raadik's jewellery can be enjoyed and valued today and place her work in the vanguard of Estonian art.
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