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Castle in the air

Exhibition  /  28 Oct 2016  -  14 Nov 2016
Published: 04.09.2016
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Intro
One can gaze on castles in the air for a long time, but mainly they dissolve along with the clouds from which they formed; they have substance only for a second. Almost like a mirage, they are an illusory heavenly spectacle from a place somewhere in our stratosphere, if not in the cosmos proper. The group of jewellery designers from Estonia now have built a new castle in Art gallery Putti - a dark and poetic one, perfect in its imperfection.

Artist list

Piret Hirv, Kristiina Laurits, Eve Margus-Villems, Kadri Mälk, Villu Plink, Tanel Veenre
The group of jewellery artists called õhuLoss (Castle in the Air) currently consists of six jewellery artists who rarely collaborate on individual works but relish the opportunity to stage joint exhibitions all the more. The ensemble with an ethereal name has a fairly permanent roster - Piret Hirv, Kristiina Laurits, Kadri Mälk, Eve Margus-Villems, Villu Plink, and Tanel Veenre.
There is something mysteriously and captivatingly dark about “Castle in the Air”. Not only because of the person central to the group, Kadri Mälk, and her inclination toward the more romantic, poetic, and dark side of the world. Not only because of the colours of the materials they use -intensifying to dark brown and black, but also thanks to a certain unspoken knowledge of “the real things” that the group seems to share: things that really matter, that have true value.
 
The exhibition display is a wonderful and mystical backdrop for the jewellery pieces – burnt, blackened pieces of boards and furniture. “Burnt wood or to be more precise, an object made of burnt wood stands for destruction, fragility, the evolving of something new, the exposure of the important. And in addition, fire is an important tool for jewellers and blacksmiths,” says Lembit-Kaur Stöör, one of the architects involved in the exhibition design.
 
“Castle in the air” was founded in 1999 by Kadri Mälk, its members came from the ranks of Estonian Academy of Arts graduates. Of these artists, Kadri Mälk could be called the most melancholy and dark. She is the one who draws deepest on romantic inspiration, particularly in her brooches. Gold, silver and precious stones, black coral and jet, dark enamel or patinated silver serve as material for her jewellery. Piret Hirv is at her purest in her brooches, using silver, iron and wood, sometimes employing pigments. Her iconography is based on nature and the human form. Kristiina Laurits also specializes in brooches, with a repertoire that also includes necklaces, combs, cufflinks and purely decorative objects. She unites fine goldsmithing with natural materials such as fur, fabric, wood, vanilla pods or salt crystals. Eve Margus-Villems likewise works with different materials: iron and ivory, marble and horn – both inorganic and organic substances. She serves these up in as raw and original state as possible. It seems as if jewellery made by Villu Plink comes into existence through the constant fluctuation of ephemeral materials. Plink’s newer works deal with the topics of war and the violence of conflicts. Tanel Veenre can`t be put in a certain category as a jewellery artist, as the range of the materials and techniques at his command seems inexhaustible. His work is already known for Latvian audiences as he presented his solo exhibition in Art gallery Putti in November of 2015.
 
Tanel Veenre. Brooch: Mythos I, 2015. Gilded silver. Tanel Veenre
Brooch: Mythos I, 2015
Gilded silver
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Piret Hirv. Brooch: Calm, 2016. Silver. Piret Hirv
Brooch: Calm, 2016
Silver
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Kadri Mälk. Brooch: Manfred, 2016. Silver, gem, pearls. Kadri Mälk
Brooch: Manfred, 2016
Silver, gem, pearls
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