Bernadette Pilli 16. aprillil 2018

Australia’s gift to EV100, the Living Space exhibition has come to an end.
The exhibition took place at Red Gallery in Melbourne and showcased the works of 6 contemporary artists from Estonia: Britta Benno, Ulvi Haagensen, Mall Nukke, Liina Siib, Helen Tago and Maria-Kriistina Ulas. It was a privilege to have four of those artists Britta, Ulvi, Mall and Maria-Kriistina travel here with the exhibition.

From the left the artists are: Mall Nukke, Maria-Kriistina Ulas, Ulvi Haagensen and Britta Benno

The artists gave talks and facilitated workshops at the gallery. These events were well attended especially by Melbourne artists. Britta delivered a lecture on Contemporary Estonian Printmaking Practices; Mall conducted 2 workshops on Photo-Realism Charcoal Drawing. Maria-Kriistina's workshop on paper-cutting stencils, gave an insight into her technique used to produce larger 2D mobile works. Ulvi not only talked about the development of her work, but also facilitated a performance piece "The Sweeping Game".

The Living Space Opening was a great social event, celebrating the work of the artists and the role of Estonia in the international arts sphere. Melbourne's Honorary Consul, Lembit Marder opened the exhibition. His speech emphasised how the exhibition was an excellent opportunity to celebrate contemporary Estonians and their living space in Australia. And how the arts are one of many platforms by which Estonia's presence can be strengthened internationally, as well as a way of promoting vibrant discussions on contemporary culture.

Many thanks to those who travelled from Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney to view and support the exhibition and artists, and to the many Melbournians who involved themselves in the project.

Thanks to the financial support of the Melbourne Estonian Social Committee, Melbourne Ühing and Austraalia Eesti Seltside Liit. The Estonian Government also recognized the importance of the Living Space project. The Cultural Endowment of Estonia awarded the artists who attended, with grants to assist them in travelling to Australia for the exhibition. The Culture Committee of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the request of the Estonian Ambassador, Andres Unga, to fund the costs of the transportation of artworks. And finally, thanks to the community members who generously donated to the cause.

This was an ambitious project and Katrin Repnau, the curator, and I are very grateful that the Estonian community had faith in our commitment and ability to develop a project worthy of gifting, on behalf of Australia, to the EV100 International Project.


Bernadette Pilli

Project Coordinator