Sirja-Liisa Eelma: “The Skin of Reflections” at Tartu Art House
Tartu Kunstimaja, Tartu Art House
Sirja-Liisa Eelma’s solo exhibition “The Skin of Reflections” in the large gallery of the Tartu Art House.
This exhibition introduces Sirja-Liisa Eelma’s paintings completed in 2022 and 2023. The new artworks form a continuation of Eelma’s painting series Black Mirror, which was partly displayed at the exhibition of the same title by Sirja-Liisa Eelma and Tiina Sarapu in the Draakon gallery in summer 2022.
Sirja-Liisa Eelma’s large-scale painting series are based on the slow transformation of repetitive images. Even if seemingly alike, every image is unique and made during the process of painting; the artist fills the surfaces of canvas square centimetre by square centimetre with a brush of the same width. Not only is the image forming the fields of pattern repetitive in the current painting series, but the paintings themselves are also similar in terms of their compositions being free of hierarchy. And yet, the similarity is deceptive: each painting and each shape varies slightly from the others, just as no breath or heartbeat is exactly like another.
The artist adds: “There are just the two of us in reflection. Me and the mirror image. The author of the painting and the viewer in the exhibition hall face the painting as a mirror. A painting is a surface, a piece of canvas covered with paint that may pose a challenge to the third dimension (depth), but not necessarily. Besides the illusion of depth, I am enchanted by the idea of surface. There is both immediacy and the potential for more, as well as unpretentiousness and generosity in being what one actually is.”
Sirja-Liisa Eelma (b 1973) graduated from the Department of Painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) in 1996. Since 2018, she has studied in the doctoral school of the Estonian Academy of Arts and currently works as a visiting associate professor in the Department of Painting at the Estonian Academy of Arts. In 2016, Eelma was awarded the Konrad Mägi Prize; her painting series “To Write One’s / Your Name” was nominated for the AkzoNobel art award in 2021. Her last solo exhibition in the Tartu Art House was held in 2017.
Thank you: Kaarel Eelma and Maris Karjatse.
The exhibition is being supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
The exhibition will be open until 26 March.