Sirja-Liisa Eelma

Sirja-Liisa Eelma (1973) is a conceptual painter, whose visual language is characterized by minimalist structures. She often works with repeating and slowly changing images in order to analyze themes like lack of intimacy, the physical experience of pause, silence, and delineating the visible and the invisible. Eelma’s practice relies on the mutual impact of the time factor and the spatial context in painting, her works evoke contemplation and meditative quietness.




1992–1996 Estonian Academy of Arts, painting MA

2018–… Doctoral School at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Artistic research The paradox of emptiness. Painting practice, through the (exhibition) space to the transformation of the surrounding state. Supervised by Alari Allik, PhD


Teaching experience:


2021–… Estonian Academy of Arts, fine arts faculty, department of painting, visiting

associated professor

1995–2016 Estonian Academy of Arts, visiting lecturer (department of photography,

department of painting, EAA Open Academy)

Selected solo exhibitions:

2023 The Skin of Reflections, Tartu Art House, Tartu, Estonia

2022 Black Mirror (together with Tiina Sarapu), Draakon Gallery, Tallinn

2021 Repeating Patterns (together with Mari Kurismaa, curator Tamara Luuk), Tallinn Art Hall


2020 Postcard in Five Stills, Hop Gallery, Tallinn

2017 Sandwiches Around the Clock, Tartu Art Hall, Tartu, Estonia

2017 Appetizer, Hop Gallery, Tallinn

2016 Whatnot, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn

2014 Emptying Field of Meaning, Draakon Gallery, Tallinn


Selected group exhibitions:


2022 Growing Out? Growing Up? Contemporary Art Collecting in the Baltics, Zuzeum, Riga, Latvia

2021 Colour as an Idea. Thoughts from the Colour (idea & spatial design by Kristi Kongi),

ARS Project Space, Tallinn

2018 Aesthetics of Boredom (curator Peeter Talvistu), Tartu Art House, Tartu

2015 Metamorphoses of the Black Square. Interpretations of Malevich’s Work in Estonian Art

(curator Elnara Taidre), Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn

Artist in residence programs:


2019 Hôtel Chevillon, Grez-sur-Loing, France / 1-month residency

2012 Väino Tanner Foundation, Mazzano Romano, Italy / 2-month residency

2006 RaumArs A-i-R, Rauma, Finland / 2-month residency

2006 KulturKontakt Austria, Vienna, Austria / 3-month residency

2005 NKD – Nordic Artists’ Centre in Dale, Dale i Sunfjord, Norway / 6-month residency




2023 Kristjan Raud Art Award

2021 AkzoNobel Art Prize, nominee

2016 Konrad Mägi Award


Visiting Associate Professor