Mar 13 at 14.00
Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art
Jan 29 – Feb 27, 2022
Tue – Sun 3pm – 6pm
Tallinna mnt. 3b, Rapla
The UN has declared 2022 the Year of Glass: https://www.iyog2022.org/
To celebrate this undertaking, the Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art launches its annual programme by proudly presenting a brand new exhibition of glass installations. Kati Kerstna’s “Accessories” applies glass and illumination in order to – literally – shed light on environmental issues.
We regard our surroundings as accessories; whenever something gets lost or broken, we just exclaim “Oh s#!t, not again…” then shrug and go shopping for the next umbrella, handbag, shawl, or pair of gloves. Yet, no shopping trip can replace a species that’s gone extinct, and it takes decades – or centuries – to grow another full-fledged, functioning habitat.
Here, I present three new installations, made specially for the exhibition:
“Down” is a metaphor for our situation within the modern world and the ongoing climate crisis – a situation each of us might not even fully comprehend.
“Values” I and II turn the spotlight on biodiversity; I’m hoping to draw attention to, but also to evoke pride and joy in, our local, endangered, yet still fairly well-preserved natural riches.
“Agreement. Once, in Paris” expresses the importance of reaching agreements, and the inevitability of keeping one’s promises.
The installation “Agreement. Once, in Paris” was awarded the IRMA Collaborative grant for 2021.
Why glass? For me, glass – with its transparency and reflections, its play of light, can add a touch of magic to even difficult topics, impart them with a kind of visual poetry, thereby hopefully sparking curiosity and caring instead of apathy; bringing about goodwill and a wish to participate. In today’s context, I dare even say – glass could give us an incentive to move with the times.
Kati Kerstna represents the voice of environmentalism among Estonan glass artists – raising the question of whether it’s possible to be simultaneously an environmentalist and an artist working with an energy-intensive material such as glass. Solutions she’s come up with include using recycled glass, relying predominantly on cold techniques such as engraving and cutting, building wood-heated glass furnaces for which even the clay for the bricks is sourced locally, incorporation of non-permanent materials such as papier-mache, ashes and soot, as well as later repurposing her artworks as materials for new creations, but also for greenhouses and plant support – but also directly dedicating her works to topics such as pollution, deforestation, and global warming . She utilizes electronics and mechanical devices to create kinetic sculptures. Light always plays an essential part in her own installations, but also when she’s designing an exhibition with other participants.
She is known as an organiser and designer of numerous exhibitions home and abroad (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Germany, Russia) and also as a long-time organiser of the Haapsalu hot glass symposia.
The Exhibition is supported by: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, IRMA Collaborative,
EKDesign, the Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art.
Special thanks to: Toomas Kukk (magazine “Estonian Nature”), Inguna Audere ja Michael Rogers (IRMA Collaborative), Merle ja Erki Kannus (EKDesign), Kairi Orgusaar (the Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art)
On Friday, 11th of November at 6pm a group exhibition by Egle Ehtjen, Kelli Gedvil, Kristen Rästas and Sten Saarits ‘It’s Lonely in the Metaverse’ will be opened at Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art. The exhibition remains open until 11th of December, Tue–Sun 3–6pm. A bus will go to the exhibition’s opening from Tallinn at 17:15 and will drive back to Tallinn at 21:00. Register for the bus by writing to kelli [dot] gedvil [at] artun [dot] ee
Four artists will create an audiovisual participatory exhibition in the hall of the Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art, exploring the soul of the ‘metaverse’, a recently popular medium that uses various spatial and virtual reality technologies. Platforms for virtual worlds are a hot topic both in the crypto world and, increasingly, in the ‘normal world’, through ‘fear-of-missing-out’ advertising campaigns promising new social, investment and entertainment environments on the internet. Behind the exaggerated promises of the future, however, today’s meta-worlds besides their edgy commercial undertones are lonely, not that interactive, and full of digital gambling and collective tokens. ‘It’s Lonely in the Metaverse’ is the interpretation by the four artists of the significant contrast between the advertising hurricane and the virtual landscapes that fall into its shadow.
Egle Ehtjen (b. 1990) is an artist who often combines traditional media such as ink and watercolour with digital manipulation and animation. Previously more concerned with characters and narratives, she has recently been leaning towards abstraction, finding inspiration in nature, the esoteric twilight and things that are hard to put into words. Kelli Gedvil (b. 1994 Viljandi) is an artist who works mainly in installation, video and web-based medium. Her latest exhibitions “4EVER” and “Purifying Your Skin” have explored the behavioral patterns of self-presentation in various virtual communities and how they affect the physical body with emphasising the involvement of the viewer through interactiveness. Kristen Rästas (b. 1992) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work incorporates video, conceptualism, virtual reality, and mixed media sculpture. His recent projects get inspired by classical landscapes, which the artist attempts to represent through digital technologies, creating artificial natural environments that explore the connections between contemporary human alienation and possible realities reflecting escapism. Sten Saarits (b 1987) is an interdisciplinary artist who works mainly with time basedmedia. Saarits’ installation art practice, which emphasizes repetitions of themes and situations, is characterized by a drive to turn mental spaces into material landscapes to depict the states of mind, typical for the daily endeavors in a modern society, in a new form. His practice revolves around giving focus to hidden, unnoticeable or non-perceivable agencies within our environment.
ehtjen.ee, stensaarits.ee, kristenrastas.com, kelligedvil.com
Graphic design: Henri Kutsar
The artists would like to thank: Markus Tiitus, Alexei Gordin, Ian-Simon Märjama, Hendo Kidron, Leegi Kiis, Marek Gedvil, Tiina Vändre, Laura Suur, Anna-Liisa Männik, Ingrid Algma, Ingrid Kääramees, Linda Zupping, Jüri Ruut, Mirko Känd, Erko Ever, Kristjan Koskor, Anni Koskor, Katarina Koskor, Ander Koskor, Kennet Lekko, Estonian Academy of Arts
This exhibition is funded by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Location: Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art. Tallinna st 3b (3rd floor of Espak building), Rapla.
The Unforgettable Ones
March 13 – April 10, 2022
The paintings on this exhibition capture reflections of a woman’s emotions, fragments of her daily life, and her inner musings.
Mara Ljutjuk always held a deep respect for women, especially the ones who’ve played a role in her own life. They have been, for her, a source of inspiration, fascination, and surprises. She is continually amazed by their contradictory nature – a mesmerizing mixture of vitality and sensitivity. She says women are endowed with an incredible capability of being both enchantingly mysterious and determinedly resilient. They make an exciting subject for the artist by virtue of their complex and powerful inner world.
Mara Ljutjuk finds the unique beauty hidden in EVERY woman, and says this beauty blossoms fully when a woman can realize her skills, fulfil her needs, and achieve her goals. Women have also been given the greatest gift of all – the capacity to LOVE.
Some women live like a candle burning bright, some with reserved tenacity. Both have their ways of imprinting their unforgettable mark on those they share their journey with, of bringing something singularly original into the world.
Mara Ljutjuk was born in 1978 in Tallinn. She graduated from the EAA painting department in 2001, and studied there for her M.A in education sciences. She further studied at the Valencia Universidad Politechnica in 2007. She’s a member of the Estonian Artists’ Association and the Estonian Painter Association since 2006. She’s participated in numerous group exhibitions since 2000, and had her first solo exhibition in 2004. Besides painting, she has been curating and designing exhibitions and events, including her grandfather Evald Okas’ Museum programme, and the festival “I Don’t Understand” at the Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn. She was awarded the Gallery G Art Prize in 2019, and was nominated for the Konrad Mägi Art Prize in 2020.
Mara is a mother of three children (2009, 2012, 2015). She lives and works in Tallinn. Her paintings are simple in their form and narrative in their content, while offering something for each viewer to identify with. Her motives might appear familiar because of their connection to aspects of our surroundings, relationships and nuances of life. With a sensitive touch, she captures fleeting moments, fragments of life, scenes that speak either directly or metaphorically about our daily, cyclical wanderings.
Dec 18 at 16.00
Aivar Tõnso “A RESOmatic Still Life”
Dec 4-19, 2021
Sound artist Aivar Tõnso combines the practice of spatial sound with the expansion of electronic synthesizer by different resonating materials. He is interested in the experience of movement within a spatially dispersed auditory artwork. Instead of one fixed listening point, his approach is concerned with discovering sonic events at different points in space. While in his site-specific sound environments the visuals are contributed by the naturally occurring surrounds, his works in gallery settings become enhanced by the sculptural properties of materials. Aivar has been pursuing this approach ever since the first installation of the series “A Garden of Divergent Sounds” at the Tartu Art Hall. By now, he has reached a milestone where materials begin to affect the choice of sounds. Tõnso feels this is a liminal area, where care must be taken to avoid a situation where the visual aesthetics and sculpturality start to dictate and constrain the potential of sound in its creation of imaginary worlds in the listener’s mind. What remains most important is what happens at the meeting point of material and sound; in this gray area, a no man’s land, matter goes through excitement on an atomic level, and electronic sound gets transformed; uncontrolled processes take place – from the resistance of matter to the birth of new r(i)esomatic divergences.
For this exhibition, a 14-channel sound environment has been created using materials such as aluminum honeycomb panels, honeycomb cardboard, laminated plastic, reboard panels, resonance speakers, and more than 200 metres of audio cable.
Assistance was provided by Raivo Raidvee (installation), Maria Aua
(video) and Jaan Evart (graphic design). A big thanks also to Timo
Toots, whose earlier collaboration gave rise to a number of ideas present here.
Aivar Tõnso is a musician, sound artist and an interdisciplinary
cultural event curator. He’s known for electronic music projects
Hüpnosaurus, Kulgurid and Kismabande. Curated projects including
Hea Uus Heli festival and Ulmeplaadid records company. Creatively, he is interested in site-specific installations of spatial sound. He has furthered this interest with the Üle Heli festival, solo
projects, and MA studies at the EAA.
Recent sound projects:
2021 exhibition “Garden of Divergent Sounds 2” with Raul Keller, Taavi Suisalu, Katrin Enni and Sten Saarits (ARS Project Space)
2021 exhibition “Garden of Divergent Sounds” with Timo Toots, Eike Eplik and Tencu (Tartu Art Hall)
2021 film music for Maria Aua’s documentary “Rauaniit” and Ivar Murd’s experimental film “Küte”
2020 12 channel sound piece for the exhibition “Slow Light” (RCCCA)
2019 site-specific sound piece “Nordic Portal” (TAB 2019 /Musicity
2019 site-specific sound performance “Heliküte” with Mihkel Tomberg
(VKG viewing platform / festival Mägede Hääl)
2018 sound installation “Mirage 2.0” (Tartu Light 2018 festival indoor exhibition Vacuum as a Way of Thinking)
2018 sound installation “SEGA mets” (Maajaam, international techno art festival “Wild Bits”)
2018 exhibition “Cannot Believe the Eyes” with Maria Aua (Virtsu, Tööstuse st popup gallery, EV100 art programme)
2017 Tartu Arch Bridge first ever light and sound design (with Sten Saarits, Martin Rästas, Liisi Küla and Roman-Sten Tõnissoo)
2017 sound installation “Heart of Stone” (Museum of Stoneworking, Culture Night 2017)
Nov 3 at 18.00
Fall exhibition of the Estonian Painters’ Association
at the RCCCA
Oct 15 – Nov 7, 2021
Open Tue-Sun 3pm – 6pm
Tallinna mnt 3b, Rapla
Artists were invited to reflect on the topic of modernity and contemporaneity – a question plaguing artists in provincial areas worldwide – from Helsinki to Rapla – am I up to date? Even the Rapla County art centre bears the word “contemporary” in its name. Perhaps only New York is free from the pressure of keeping up.
“Contemporaneity” or “modernity” are not an issue in the art metropoli of the world – art being created there sets the bar for what is considered cutting edge. and they also offer the best opportunities for new art to reach its intended audience. But the audience requires novelty, demands to be surprised – and thus, a metropolitan “accent” evolves based on the colloquial artistic speech patterns in big art centres; this “accent” then becomes the normative grammar for the periphery.
The Estonian Painters’ Association used to hold its annual shows in our local metropolis. Nowadays, we’ve been relocated to Tartu, then Pärnu, Rapla, Võru and elsewhere. It is a bitter commentary to the policies of local art institutions that the medium of painting now finds itself homeless, permanently on tour. Looking on the bright side, painting has acquired widespread popularity through this process; “painting” still remains synonymous with “art” in the eyes of the public.
If we view the international painting scene through the lens of art fairs and biennials, the outstanding feature seems to be heterogeneity – we see interpretations of the Modernist heritage, retrospective revivals of past phenomena in art, the search for identity by artists of the so-called Third World – a colourful mixture of anything and everything.
A fresh injection of blood doping from art hand-picked by cultural anthropologists serves to satisfy the metropolis’ decadent cry for novelty, while these movements resonate in the most isolated, secondary corners of the planet. Zeitgeist is present, even in North Korea.
The current exhibition was deemed a valuable platform by a variety of personalities – from grand old names to Sunday painters. The dominant voice seems to be that of painters who habitually reflect upon their position as artists – those whose work emerges from inner impulses. Perhaps this makes them more convincing as creators?
Participants: Stanislav Antipov (1976), Paul Beaudoin (1960), Ove Büttner (1959), Jaan Elken (1954), Mauri Gross (1969), Ivi Arrak (1938), Kristiina Jakimenko (1991), Ashot Jegikjan (1955), Eva Jänes (1942), Ly Kaalma (1972), Kristiina Kaasik (1943), Liis Koger (1989), Gennadi Kurlenkov (1954), Maret Suurmets Kuura (1982), Anna Kõuhkna (1994), Mati Kütt (1947), Tarrvi Laamann (1973), Laurentsiust (Lauri Sillak,1969), Eneli Luiga (1994), Ene Luik-Mudist (1959), Helle Lõhmus (1962), Anne Moggom (1957), Lilian Mosolainen (1961), Marju Must (1987), Marko Mäetamm (1965), Karl Kristjan Nagel (1977), Ulvi Oro (1971), Tiiu Pallo-Vaik (1941), Anne Parmasto (1952), Per William Petersen (1955), Sirje Petersen (1959), Lii Pähkel (1969), Saima Randjärv (1954), Tiiu Rebane (1970), Piret Rohusaar (1961), Mari Roosvalt (1945), Uno Roosvalt (1941), Rait Rosin (1981), Leho Rubis (1975), Andrus Rõuk (1957), Toomas Sarapuu (1994), Karin Strohm (1986), Kuzja Zverev (1961), Karl-Erik Talvet (1991), Tiina Tammetalu (1961), Jane Tiidelepp (1971), Margus Sorge Tiitsmaa (1963), Maris Tuuling (1968).
Curator and exhibition designer: Jaan Elken.
In collaboration with: Tiiu Rebane (EML), Linda Elken, Riin Pallon (RCCCA).
Thanks to: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Development Fund of Rapla municipalities
August 17, 10.00-13.00
Merle Kannus (b. 1972) opens her personal exhibition at the Rapla County Centre for Contemporary Art on March 18, 2021. The display gives an overview of the author’s recent creations from the last 5 years, and focuses on the human being – both individually and in relations with others of its species. The choice of works underlines the contrast between solitude and togetherness, and also the difference between voluntary and forced communication.
As a sign of the times, forced separation finds an expression in portraits of the author’s friends. The positive aspect of solitude is the topic of the installation “Gray Sky” and the rest of the gamut of human interaction is covered by autobiographical series of images titled “Weed,” “Small Conflicts,” “Pre-Time” and “Where All the Women Are Strong, All the Men Are Good-looking, and All the Children Are Above Average.”
The exhibition stays open until April 11, 2021.