This spring has been different for the whole world. During the lockdown I had my perfect “quarantine nest” were to go to work alone, in a peaceful environment.
Põhjala tehas https://www.pohjalatehas.ee/ is the new community-based culture factory at Kopli district. Quite remote, beautifully reserved old rubber shoe factory has already café, design shops several events happening and a lot of different studios acting behind the doors.
I got my studio room already from the autumn, and the factory has been changed a lot since then, renovating is still continuing. I got to move finally in to my IV floor Own Room since February. Also, since a LOT of artworks and art materials has been accumulated through the decades of making art and art classes, I started to rent a tinier room next to my studio as a storage. And artists know very well how important is archiving, storaging all the materiality that comes along with art practice. I need the empty space. The big empty table. Empty walls. There is the potentiality of becoming. Empty view of the wasteland. It is perfect. My very own Ivory Tower.
I was mainly doing my doctoral studies, we had intense series of seminars this year, despite the situation, nothing really was cancelled. I also had a lot of meetings with my students through Zoom (it was the Zoom Spring) – so a lot of time spent behind computer and sometimes with books. And we had home studies at home, too – whole family behind the screens, yes!
I organised the diploma work project of the VHK Art School students, from their first ideas until the presentation of practical and textual work, and supervised many of them. This was difficult challenge for making it in distance, but as the group was strong-minded and the concepts worth executing, we managed to make a really nice exhibition in our newly half-renovated shoolhouse, where the students made guided tours to the visitors after the assignment.
I started to sketch, and prepare the plates for the etchings for the upcoming exhibition Ruinenlust at Lasnamäe. Breathing in G. B. Piranesi landscapes and borrowing his compositions, I switch the views of Roma to the photos of the building ensambles of Lasnamäe, adding tropical flora and fictive creature from the future. As I finally got the printing press settled and the working table, I have done some proof prints – and all works incredebly well.
I also finished a custom artwork for a bar Nymf https://www.facebook.com/pg/numfbar/about/?ref=page_internal just recently. I painted reused paintings and repros over with bright colors – it was fun and technically really challenging work, got a lot smarter, indeed.
Just when all the spring obligations where about to finish, I made a studio warming event with my neighbor-door artist at Põhjala, Ede Raadik. The day was specially hot, and we renovated and cleaned my room until the really last minute, but it was nice open-doors night. Sometimes the Ivory Tower, my Own Room is open. Come, let´s have a talk!