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About earth and the rest: an animal-self, a stump-self, a plant-self, a fungus-self, a nest-self

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2022, oil on canvas, various dimension

At the center of the paintings are the layers of earth, rich in life and colour, from which everyone else grows: plants, fungi, insects, mammals etc. Our future depends on recognizing their agency. Humus and other soil horizons contain both history and future potential. Time accumulates in the soil – various living organisms and minerals have taken part in building the layers of humus over the centuries. Soil is a kind of cultural layer – the denser it is, the more connections between organisms and biodiversity. At the same time, soil also carries the future, the development of the entire community depends on it. The bacteria, fungi and insects who live in the soil are an important part of the ecosystem, creating and decomposing future possibilities. The richer the soil, the more relationships, communication between species and specimen, the tighter network which can be destroyed by human interactions.

What can we do together?

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In my current work I explore the possibilities for co-creation with my non-human neighbours. Donna Haraway's term sympoiesis (making-with) has turned to be useful while looking for ways for inclusive creation. I am experimenting with three approaches: 1) commnicating with othe species using art, for example painting for the passerines; 2) exploring how other species can be invited to creative process, emphasizing their agency;  2) collecting artifacts made by others for example leftover nests of wasps, and empowering these in paintings.

2022--2023, studio view

Spots of habitat

Nature experience is multisensory. How to represent it in visual means? Traditionally, in painting, nature has been represented seen from afar and above, creating a distance between the viewer and the object or painiting significant objects. In this work I tried to represent the forest without objects, representing the multisensory experience as a whole. During a year I have documented my walks to the local forest in Karula. I painted a 20x20 cm tile of each noticed image. Each tile represents a spot in the rich habitat of old-growth forest. What we see as spots of colours are meaningful characteristics in the habitat for the others.

with Jarõna Ilo, 2022, ceramic panel, 140 x 360 cm

Letters to my neighbours

These are letters to my non-human neighbours, to tose with whom we share house, garden and forest: great tit, blackbird, snails, hen, hare and others. The letters were a mean to explore the possibilities of communication with other species and the act of communication itself. I also researched the features of species, draw parallels to my own life and discuss the topics related to posthuman ethics.

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2021, installaton

Tree stumps

A Stump in Karula
A Stump in Karula

2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 195 cm

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A Stump in Karula
A Stump in Karula

2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 140 cm

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A Stump in Karula
A Stump in Karula

2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 195 cm

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A Stump in Karula
A Stump in Karula

2018, oil on canvas, 70 x 90 cm

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A Stump in Järvselja
A Stump in Järvselja

2018, oil on canvas, 70 x 105 cm

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A Spruce in Järvselja
A Spruce in Järvselja

2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 150 cm

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Alders in Karula
Alders in Karula

2019, oil on canvas, 70 x 163 cm

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A Spruce in Karula
A Spruce in Karula

2019, oil on canvas

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Old-growth forest is one of the ecosystems, which is declining due to the global economic pressure. Snags, old or lying dead trees is a habitat for a lot of species which can not live elsewhere. The series of paintings portrays old tree stumps which are habitat for a lot of species (mushrfunghi,  lichens, insects, snails etc) living there, depicting the links between them and valuing the biodiversity and vitality therein. Instead of a view of a stranger from far away it aims to offer inside close-ups of the key value habitats. These kind of old stumps can not be found in every forest, these are the stumps from nature reserves Järvselja and Karula national park.

2019, oil on canvas, various dimension

Landscapes

Four-Laner
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A Pile
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Here was a Bog
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Forest Morphoses
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Landscape can be perceived in different ways, such as by viewing. If we see landscape as a view, we may ask, is it a spectacles staged by someone. Landscape design and presentation is a powerful tool to create an image of a country. Some landscapes are never seen by the people driving on the roads or travelling on hiking trails, while others are highlighted. Recreational consumer landscapes direct us via information boards, boardwalks and observational towers. Many industrial landscapes providing the resources necessary for a comfortable life are hidden away. Some landscapes are valued, others are deemed to be quotidian or unpleasent.

 

There are also other ways of perceiving landscapes: hearing, smelling, touching - working and living in landscapes. When we are active in a landscape, we perceive it more richly. It is known that we value that which we are familiar with. Having never seen a silver-washed fritillary or a brown hawker, a person will not notice their absence in another landscape, nor their disappearance.

2019, oil on canvas, various dimension

Green

Estonian summer is green. Sometimes boringly green. If to focus, it turns to be green enchantingly and rich with nuances. But maybe not for long. Green will decide our routes of existance.

 2018, oil on canvas, 160 x 195 cm

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