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PRESS RELEASE 17.07.2006

Pins and needles, besides meaning a state of heightened expectation, is of course that feeling you get when a hand or foot goes to sleep from being in the same position too long. Being in the same position all the time may also signify a kind of prejudiced mindset, which is the subject explored by artists in this summer’s series of exhibitions organized by the Estonian Textile Artists Union, the common theme being embroidery. The nature of embroidery - a needle passes through material and sees how the “other side” lives - is explored by artists in both the literal and metaphorical sense.
The exhibitions are taking place in five venues around Tallinn. The work of 24 Estonian and 18 Lithuanian artists is on display from 14 July to 13 August at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Lina Jonikė and Jaanus Samma attempt to “pin” down more precisely the meanings of photographs. Tiina Puhkan and Audronė Petroševičiūtė exploit the canvas-like possibilities of embroidery. And Loreta Švaikauskienė uses the needle as a tool in creating three-dimensional forms and Ülle Saatmäe as a part of miniature sculptures. Beauty is in evidence, as are dread, irony, semantic shifts, master craftsmanship, craftiness, and a high-wire act when it comes to taste. That’s not all: exhibits also features the work of traditional women’s handicraft associations in documenting the life of women (Eelike Virve), and more belligerent patterns (Piret Valk’s soldier’s greatcoats and Krista Leesi’s contemporary military updates of the Bayeux tapestry).
A jury consisting only of men - ceramic artist Urmas Puhkan, smith Heigo Jelle, theologist Tiit Pädam, film-maker Mait Laas, and stylist Andro Kööp - selected the work of the Estonian artists.
The Lithuanian curators of On Pins and Needles are Monika Žaltauskaitė-Grašienė, Lina Jonikė, while Kadi Pajupuu pulled the strings in Estonia.
The satellite exhibitions of On Pins and Needles include Acupuncture, featuring the work of Estonian and Lithuanian textile students at the Eesti Health Care Museum. At the HOP Gallery on Hobusepea tänav, Inga Likšaitė displays her supple stitched graphic art.
The Estonian Handicrafts House at Pikk 22 features Embroidered Lives by women from Võru County, a culturally distinct part of southern Estonia. These are textile wall coverings conceived in the course of an Estonian Academy of Arts project entitled Käsitööga tööle! (ESF measure 1.3 project no. 1.0301-0144) and based on women’s drawings and stories.
Crown of Thorns runs from 28 June to 30 July in the south hall of St. John’s Church (Jaani kirik) in Tallinn. This exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Society of Friends of Estonian Church Textiles, introduces the work of Gudrun Willenbockel (Germany) and Estonian textile artists - Anu Raud, Maasike Maasik, Reet Talimaa, Elna Kaasik and others.
The exhibitions are supported by the Estonian Artistic Association, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia's visual and applied art and folk art endowments, the Estonian Folk Art and Handicraft Association, the Lithuanian embassy in Estonia, and a number of individuals.

The other exhibits in On Pins and Needles which opened on 14 July:

Eesti Käsitöö Maja (Estonian Handicraft House) “Embroidered Lives”
HOP Galerii Inga Likšaitė, Lithuania
Estonian Health Care Museum “Acupuncture”

We hope this sharply honed series will be as keenly appreciated as ever,

Kadi Pajupuu
member of the management of the Estonian Textile Artists Union

More information: 
Kadi Pajupuu, +372 51 11711
Ketli Tiitsar, +372 627 4602, +372 552 8904,  

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