My current painting practice has been very much influenced by my geopolitical origins. I was born in 1979, in the former Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, then part of the Soviet Union, an era which has always fascinated me with its paradoxes and peculiarities.
Much of my imagery is directly taken from Soviet Estonia’s women’s magazine ‘Soviet Woman’. As Judith Butler says: ‘Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed.’ ‘Soviet Woman’ created images of femininity according to the communist ideology of work – women as hard working comrades of Soviet society. Sections of the magazine were dedicated to teaching women skills, that were considered useful, like cooking, health and beauty, and hand-crafting skills like crocheting, knitting, sowing, etc. It even included indispensable life skills like raising children.
The source material I work from dates from 1955 to the 1980s; I usually select photographs which feature women hard at work in traditionally ‘masculine’ milieus like farms, factories and construction sites.
My paintings are collaged from dried layers of acrylic or household paint, which I manipulate at different stages of drying – by scraping, folding, cutting, drawing into and building up. My work is distinguished by a palpable use of surface textures cast as paint. I often manipulate the context of mass-produced materials and convert them into figurative artworks. I also use cosmetic items to make marks into paint. The paint in this way becomes the surface as well as the medium. I often try to make the paint look like some other material, e.g., wool, wood or stone – frequently as a playful response to the materials represented in the source photographs. Some of my paintings are built up by collaborating collage techniques and traditional handcraft, such as basket weaving, knitting and crocheting (jobs that women were required to do, according to the social idea of femininity constructed by the magazine ‘Soviet Woman’).
My biggest influence through out my art practice is contemporary and traditional ceramics. That is the reason; I use gold and silver in my works. In contemporary and traditional ceramics usage of silver and gold is often a must, but in painting usage of silver or gold is not that common.
I also use mass-produced tools, considered traditionally feminine, like icing nozzles and hair combs to create my paintings. To give my work a three-dimensional sculptural form, I make acetate structures by vacuum forming traditionally considered feminine objects like combs, brushes, cosmetic items, polishers, files, toys etc. Then I fill these forms with paint and when paint has dried, I remove these sculptural paint objects from acetate structures and incorporate them into my paintings. I generally choose to hang the paintings further from the wall to emphasise their object-like format.
To begin talking about my work, I find it is most helpful to talk about my history and upbringing. I like to think that true art should be as a result of a person’s journey through life; unique and personal. I was born in the Former Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia. The era in which I was born has always fascinated me with its paradoxes and peculiarities. Suffice to say, my geographical origin hugely influences my art.
I moved to Ireland a decade ago, and I found there was always a part of me that wanted to return to education and continue studying my craft. Four years ago I decided to go back to college to pursue studies in Fine Art Painting. I graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art, Paint from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Through both my earlier experience as an artist and through continued learning in college, I have found my own unique style which takes from many aspects of my upbringing and heritage. The imagery of my work is directly taken from Soviet Estonia’s women’s magazine ‘Soviet Woman’. As Judith Butler says: ‘Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed‘. ‘Soviet Woman’ created images of femininity according to the communist ideology of work – women as hard working comrades of Soviet society.
My paintings/collages are made from acrylic and household paint skins using a collage technique. I manipulate these pieces during different stages of drying – by scraping, folding, cutting, drawing into and building up. For me the most enjoyable and exciting part of my work is inventing new ways to create art. For example, recently I have started to make acetate structures by vacuum forming traditionally considered feminine objects like combs, brushers, cosmetic items, polishers, files, toys, etc. I then fill these forms with paint, and when it has dried, I remove these sculptural paint objects from acetate structures and incorporate them into my paintings.
Based in Dublin
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education and Training
2011-2015 National College of Art and Design (NCAD) Dublin
BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting
Thesis Research: ‘Cover Girls and Working Women- construction of ‘Femininity’ in Soviet Estonia’ – Research thesis into the construction of femininity in Soviet Estonia’s woman’s magazine ‘Soviet Woman’.
2010-2011 Portfolio course, National College of Art and Design, Dublin
1986-1990 Parnu Fine Art School, Parnu, Estonia
Selected Group Exhibitions
Dates 14th - 16th of May 2012
Location National College of Art and Design
Title of exhibition First Year Studies End of Year Show
Dates 23th – 29th of May 2013
Location Light House Cinema, Smithfield
Title of exhibition Kiln Paint
Date 16th of January 2014
Location ‘Pop Up Gallery’, Bray to Tara Street Dart service, Dublin
Title of exhibition #dArt
Dates 12th – 18th of May 2014
Location Hendrons Collider
Title of exhibition 3
Date 31st of October 2014
Location ‘Pop up Exhibition’, Project Space, National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Title of Exhibition We’re Painters not Poster Makers
Date 12th – 21st of June 2015
Location National College of Art and Design, Dublin
Title of Exhibition Degree Show
Date 28th – 30th August 2015
Location RDS Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
Title of Exhibition Student Award Show
Date 9th – 11th August 2015
Location RDS Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
Title of Exhibition 'Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show'
Date 21th - 24th August 2015
Location MART Project Space, Dublin, Ireland
Title of Exhibition 'Saw Dust'
Date 10th – 30th September 2015
Location Dublin, Ireland, Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Title of Exhibition ‘SCOOP Art Auction and Exhibition’
Juried Exhibition: Date 25th September – 23rd October, 2015
Location USA, Cincinnati, Ohio
Title of Exhibition ‘Season 12 FRESH PAINT Exhibition’
2016 Selected Group Exhibitions
Date 4th March - 8th April 2016
Location Wexford, Ireland, Presenation Arts Centre
Title of the Exhibition 'Behind the Margin'
Date 10th - 13th of March 2016
Location Dublin, Ireland, The Fumbally Exchange
Title of the Exhibition 'Perennial'
Date 22 March - 11 June 2016
Location Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) Gallery
Title of the Exhibition Juried '186th RHA Annual Exhibition'
Date 29 April - 1 May 2016
Location USA, Los Angeles, Paloma Street Studio
Title of the Exhibition 'Borderlands'
Date 21st May
Location Facebook, Virtual Exhibition, USA, San Fransisco, 011 Gallery
Title of the Exhibition ' Impossible Possibilities'
Date 25th June - 17th July
Location Denmark, Copenhagen, Galleri Oxholm
Title of the Exhibition 'Ferniserg: SOLO - "POV" af Olav Mathisen and sommerudstilling'
Date 8th July - 10th August
Location, Ireland, Dublin, The Molesworth Gallery
Title of the Exhibition, Veins // Small ..... far away
Curators, Peter Pendergast and Davey Moore
Date 9 July - 13 August
Location USA, Santa Monica, Craig Krull Gallery
Title of the Exhibition 'Paint is a Thing'
2017 Selected Group Exhibitions
Date 30th November - 16th January
Location, Estonia, Parnu, Parnu City Gallery
Title of Exhibition "Parnu Annual Art Exhibition
Date 1st January - 31st January
Location, New York, United Stated of America, Slayer Gallery
Title of Exhibition "No History"
Date 10th – 31st January
Location, New York, United States of America, The Painting Center Online Gallery
Title of Exhibition “Art File”
Date 11th - 16th May
Location, Dublin, Ireland, NCAD (National College of Art and Design) Gallery
Title of Exhibition ‘Bare Magazine’ Issue two launch
Selected Solo Exhibitions
Location RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Title of the Exhibition 'Celebration of Worker!'
Curator: Ruth Carroll
Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair
Date 8th – 12th February 2017
Location World Trade Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands
with Project2.0/Gallery The Hague, Netherlands
Date 2th – 5th July 2017
Location, Killorglin, County Kerry, Ireland
2015 Art Slant Prize, ‘Showcase Winner’. Art Slant.com, June 2015
RDS Concert Hall, Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, 2015
RDS Concert Hall, Student Award Show, 2015
RDS Concert Hall, Student Art Awards, Monster Truck Studio Award, July 28, 2015
2015 Art Slant Prize. 'Showcase Winner'. Art Slant.com, August 2015
2016 Working Artist Grant/Purchase Award for the month of February
2016 Artist Project Initative Painting and Drawing Award Finalist 2015
2016 October, ‘Average Art’, Volume 3, UK
Studio residency, MART Project Space, Dublin, Ireland, June - August, 2015
2015, ‘Art’s New Wave’, Irish Arts Review, Autumn Issue
2015, The Scoop Art Cook Book,
2015, ‘Fresh Paint Magazine’, October Issue
2015, 'Aye Magazine', November Online Issue
2015, tn2, October Online Issue, interview
2015, Archive Collective Magazine, December Online Issue
2015, Floorr Magazine. January Online Issue, interview
2016, July, ' Studio Visit Magazine', Volume 34, USA
2016, August, ‘The International Painting Annual (INPA6)’, Manifest Juried Publication, Ohio, USA
2017, 'Contemporary Art Curator' online Magazine
2017 April, ‘Art Maze Magazine’, Issue 2
2017 May, ‘Bare Magazine’, Issue 2
Susan Butler, 'Cheat Sheet: Summer group shows (and what curators are writing about them), Two Coats of Paint, 'Two Coats of Paint Blog',July 19, 2016
Aidan Dunne, "The tricky ethics of painting human suffering," The Irish Times, July 27, 2016
Deborah Stambler, "Fold, Paint, Displat - Two New Artists at Bergamont Station," The Huffington Post, July 6, 2016
The Cucumbers - Office of Public Works (OPW) Irish State art Collection (2016), Ireland
Affiliations and Memberships
Visual Artists Ireland
Current Representation: PotatoMike, Online Gallery, potatomike.com