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)