Bulldog by Kadri Mälk

Exhibition  /  17 Oct 2020  -  10 Jan 2021
Published: 04.12.2020
Bulldog by Kadri Mälk.
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design
Lai 17
10133 -  Tallinn
Kai Lobjakas, Ketli Tiitsar
Exhibition venue..
Exhibition venue.

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Mälk’s exhibition Bulldog primarily comprises pieces created over the last five years. At its core is a work dedicated to her instructor, Leili Kuldkepp. The bulldog metaphor, which the artist describes as a balanced and intelligent being, ties the pieces together fluidly. While seemingly domesticated, the animal still possesses a degree of innate fierceness and that, which is invisible to the naked eye – qualities that Mälk’s jewelry also emits in bursts. The pieces selected for the exhibition guide the viewer to forge connections between the author’s concepts and her own inner landscapes.

Artist list

Kadri Mälk
Bulldogs are solitary sociable creatures. They are fine as companions and exhibition participants alike. The bulldog’s ancestors were guard - and fighting dogs in Assyria, Egypt, and Rome. They were bred to be tenacious and to hold onto their victims for as long as possible. Thick skin was important for the animal to feel little to no pain. Bulldogs have also been bred to reduce aggressive tendencies and create a strong-willed, good-intentioned canine. Their foreheads may seem quite high when viewed anteriorly, but this is illusory. Their eyes are set rather far apart, which is the mark of a sensual being. Dark and spherical. A nose that is handsomely large and wide like a homeland. A determined jaw. Very few teeth protrude, especially when the mouth is closed. A deep chest. Stocky and wideset legs. Straight bones. Back legs slightly splayed. As is common for ballerinas. Toes that are thick and compact, closely compressed. 

Bulldogs must certainly never be overfed. They may develop skin problems and require dietary supplements. A bulldog will defend anyone if necessary. They are calm, pensive creatures with a well-developed sense of humor. Bulldogs must be trained. One must stockpile patience, persistence, and composure to do so. The bulldog must not be forced, but rather allowed to think before it acts. Bulldogs’ lifespan is eight years on average, though some may live for longer.

Are you writing a report or translating? Neither – it’s poetry. Is that so. Well, finally something new. You’re getting to be more like Professor Kuldkepp with every day, you know – can’t you tell?
An animal performing in exhibitions... do it yourself if that’s what you really want – leave the creature alone! A human is really just an animal by their deepest nature, anyway. Right? In school, we were taught about an interesting creature. Though I can’t quite remember, and haven’t a clue what it was anymore. Forgetting is important to make space for new ideas. Furthermore, vulnerability and uncertainty are intrinsic facets of creative activity – consequential works sometimes arise from crises of self-confidence.
What’s the point of sticking to what’s safe? Happiness could be waiting just around the corner. Misfortune, also. Stay mindful of moments and never lay all your cards down on the table. If you do, then everything will be fine.

/ Kadri Mälk

Kadri Mälk (1958) is an internationally renowned Estonian jewellery artist, though she holds a degree in metaphysics. As the long-serving head of the jewellery department at the Estonian Academy of Arts, she has significantly transformed and expanded the field’s importance in the country, guiding and shaping the style and scope of an entire generation of Estonian jewellery designers. The aesthetics of Mälk’s pieces are dark and poetic, and the topics she undertakes simultaneously mystical, romantic, and keen-witted.

Mälk graduated in jewellery arts from the Estonian State Art Institute in 1986, returning a few years later to work as an instructor and subsequently as a professor beginning in 1996. She has received additional training in institutions scattered across Europe and Asia, exploring the use and polishing of stone. Since the 1990s, Mälk has maintained a steady and wide-ranging presence at exhibitions. Her inclusion on the international jewellery scene has been frequent and substantial, extending from Finland to New York and from the Netherlands to Shanghai. Mälk has received countless awards and her pieces can be found in museums and private collections around the globe.

In addition to teaching and practicing her art, Mälk is an avid jewellery collector and a honed writer, compiling and publishing several books to date.
Kadri Mälk. Brooch: Nine of Clubs, 2020. Shungite, silver, paint, spinels, goldleaf.. Photo by: Tiit Rammul. Kadri Mälk
Brooch: Nine of Clubs, 2020
Shungite, silver, paint, spinels, goldleaf.
Photo by: Tiit Rammul
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Kadri Mälk. Brooch: Nightwood, 2020. Wood, paint, cubic zirconia, silver.. Photo by: Tiit Rammul. Kadri Mälk
Brooch: Nightwood, 2020
Wood, paint, cubic zirconia, silver.
Photo by: Tiit Rammul
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Kadri Mälk. Neckpiece: Kuldkepp, 2019. Fossil ivory, black diamonds (54 in two rows, a 27, a 0,015 ct), beech tree, paint, blood, steel, silver.. 66 cm. Photo by: Tiit Rammul. Kadri Mälk
Neckpiece: Kuldkepp, 2019
Fossil ivory, black diamonds (54 in two rows, a 27, a 0,015 ct), beech tree, paint, blood, steel, silver.
66 cm
Photo by: Tiit Rammul
© By the author. Read Copyright.
Kadri Mälk. Object: Anne, 2020. Black raw tourmaline, almandine, silver oxidized, meteorite iron.. Photo by: Tiit Rammul. Kadri Mälk
Object: Anne, 2020
Black raw tourmaline, almandine, silver oxidized, meteorite iron.
Photo by: Tiit Rammul
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Kadri Mälk. Brooch: Torino, 2020. Silver oxidized, aquamarine, smoky quartz.. Photo by: Tiit Rammul. Kadri Mälk
Brooch: Torino, 2020
Silver oxidized, aquamarine, smoky quartz.
Photo by: Tiit Rammul
© By the author. Read Copyright.