2010 Moment of Balance – Mare Saare, Eeva Käsper, Tiina Sarapu

538Exhibition of glass art A Moment of Balance has brought together into the exhibition halls of the Tartu Art Museum three artists who at first may seem very different but who are united by their shared love of a material – glass. Artists who have studied glass art and use glass in their work in Estonia, have some time ago left behind the earlier function of usefulness and the limitations dictated by decorativeness, so characteristic of the earlier material-centered attitude (the so-called applied art). In the free work of glass artists the main purpose is to forward a message. The present exhibition project is concentrated on the idea, expressed in glass as a very praiseworthy material.

537Mare Saare is in her work like a traveller who with an open heart constantly chooses new routes, trying to comprehend the essence of the world.
The installation The End of the World is not Coming made up of unique blossom-like objects is a continuation of a blossom series started a few years ago, which the artist calls The Fragiles. The bases of the objects have been made of melted ground glass, the nucleus in the technique of pâte de verre. From the opaque surface covered with sand, which seemingly is not fertile, vital glistening glass buds nevertheless penetrate reminding the wonder of life. They have the effect of flowers in a desert or on the surface of the moon, some with calyxes empty inside but some filled to the brim, full like the chalice of suffering. The glass bases bearing the buds are all broken and jagged at the edges, hinting thus at the devastating effects of limitless sacrifice.
In the present springtime, Mare Saare’s enchanting blossoms invite us to notice the annual wonder of nature – the ability of it to wake again and start the eternal circle of life.

Eeva Käsper’s work grows out of memories and personal experience, getting inspiration from childhood, special states of conscience or from the world of the senses so hard to describe. Glass with its ethereal and elusive qualities, its transparence and the world of light and shadow, is a praiseworthy material for this.
In the present project titled Lullaby stretched glass threads of several metres and objects, created in kiln casting technique, meet in one spatial installation, the idea originating from the Japanese art of folding paper – origami. The artist has invented a complicated and extremely time-consuming author’s technique and perpetuated an initially elastic paper object in a rigid material – glass. In the unique structure, very precise in form, born thus the optical possibilities hidden in glass have been used. Although the author has given her work an interpretation of her own, the installation in its total eff ect is also exceptionally open to other interpretations.

539Tiina Sarapu’s work is characterized by a minimalist language of form. Perfectly accomplished form is nearly always very simple, letting the idea dominate over it. Having in the recent years mainly presented herself as an installation artist, Tiina Sarapu has often alternated the meanings of an initial idea, setting it in different contexts, creating thus illusory spaces, visualized sounds, stretching limits of perception. A pervading image, suitable for expressing different ideas, has been a glass sheet of the shape of a rectangle, which she has flexed according to her wish into books, music paper – and scales in this project. As a conceptual artist, she uses glass to express the idea of life’s palimpsestic nature, being interested in oppositions hidden in glass as a material. Thus in the present spatial installation Everything is at Stake polarities are balanced like on scales: body and spirit, listening and talking, freezing and thawing, etc. And the scales stand in balance. Disbalancing them, reversing the notions or refusing an old opposition, is left for the visitor to decide, if he or she so wishes.

540Sand becoming glass and glass becoming sand again is an eternal circle. Glass is a primeval material and thus simply urges the artists to take up aeonian themes.
Mare Saare is like a demiurge of glass, who creates the world anew and anew with her art, Tiina Sarapu points at moral choices, Eeva Käsper invites us to remember and stop moments. Thus these three sensitive women are at the same time philosophers, seeking answers in their art to all-human questions. The moment of balance is short-lived, carpe diem.

Reeli Kõiv
curator of the exhibition