NewsPRESS RELEASE 25.03.2019
WHAT HOLDS ME. Estonian Contemporary Ceramics
Curator: Pille Kaleviste
The title “What Holds Me” brings together the thoughts of 27 Estonian ceramic artists about their homeland and the different ways of interpreting it through ceramic art as one of the most attractive vanguards of contemporary material-based art. The exhibition was first shown last year at the Latvian Railway History Museum as a satellite exhibition of the 2nd Latvia International Ceramics Biennale, organised by the Mark Rothko Art Centre. The main theme of the Biennale was the centenary of the Republic of Latvia.
With the title “What Holds Me”, curator Pille Kaleviste wishes to give artists enough freedom to interpret the topic as diversely as possible. A call for participation was made to the members of the Estonian Ceramists Association as well the alumni and master students of the Estonian Academy of Arts. Considering the format of a travelling exhibition, the artists had to realise their works within the restricted dimension of 25 × 25 cm.
The final selection of works was made by the curatorial jury which included Leo Rohlin, Maria Valdma and Üla Koppel. Twenty-seven items were selected to present a multi-faceted picture of contemporary Estonian ceramic art, at the same time displaying the versatility and rich potential of material-based art. Looking at the participating artists and their works, we can see that the artists have brought to the exhibition themes that many have been dealing with in their artistic practice for some time already. Such an exhibition format certainly offers artists an opportunity to approach their former work from a new angle – or perhaps even try something completely new.
In addition to the works, the theme “What Holds Me” is also explored by a soundtrack that uses the titles of the works. As a precondition for applying to the exhibition, artists were required to give one-word Estonian titles to their works.
In applied art it is quite common that compilers and curators of exhibitions are also applied artists themselves. Being practicing artists and therefore well-versed in the specifics of ceramic art, they are able to find fascinating innovations and technical solutions in their field as well as a balance between the concept and a sense of the material.
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