2006 Reactive Glass River in EU Parliament by Meeli Kõiva

389In the end of February, glass and light exhibition “Reactive River” by Meeli Kõiva was held in the European Parliament in Brussels. The exhibition was dedicated to the 88th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. In the exhibition, Meeli Kõiva-Vällo demonstrated her 15 meter long glass installation which, in association with innovative light fluxion, gave an amazing result. An abstract video made by the artist supported the compostition of glass and light. The Estonian composer Margo Kõlar had composed a special opus for the exhibition in Brussels.

The glass pieces were created in cooperation with Glaverbel Baltic, who supported the production of the glass in two Estonian glass factories: Andres Klaas & Dekoor and Marepleks. Glass sticks used in the composition were from the company Schott.

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Meeli Kõiva-Vällo cooperation with these world-famous glass companies started in Tampere in the 1999 GPD conference. GPD glass conferences have been extremely valuable to the artist. “In GPD conferences you can get the idea where the world of glass manufacturing is going, also you can get many connections which otherwise you would have to collect for years” says the artist.

393The exhibition was received positively and warmly by the European Parliament. Parliament members Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Zita Gurmai and Marianne Mikko spoke in the opening gala. Rasmussen, the ex- prime minister of Denmark and current leader of European Socialists, gave a speech about the how small countries should attract attention. He pointed out the innovation in Meeli Kõiva’s creation and emphasised that small countries have the possibility to excel through their high culture and that the glass sculpture ‘belongs in the 22th century’.
391The deputy of The Republic of Estonia in European Parliament Marianne Mikko, who was also the initiator of the exhibition, said “I’m glad that the first Estonian artist who is performing in the European Parliament is a woman.” In the opening speech Mikko told that she tried to find an art which at best represents the Estonian contribution to the 21th century. Therefore the key words were future, dynamism and active women participation in society.
In addition to real glass, Meeli Kõiva-Vällo uses a unique light conducting plastic in her work. Many of the unique materials have been specially created for Meeli Kõiva-Vällo. At the moment she is doing research in Seattle on fibreoptics.
Meeli Kõiva-Vällo says, “I deal with science to be ahead of our time. Something that has not been done yet is exciting. Dealing with scientific innovation offers new feeling that helps to develop the entity.” These studies have in addition to the creative purpose a rational purpose. “All these studies are made for the benefit of the glass industry – cities are becoming more full of glass and it is necessary to lighten the buildings as well as make them more interesting.”

By Triin Rebane