The Haapsalu Days of White Glass came to a traditional finale with an exhibition at the Evald Okas Museum. The best of works created during the international symposium are on display, giving an overall impression of emotion and spontaneity, at least in the eye of a participant. The show records moments of the recent intense play with fire and hot glass.
Having been part of the thing, I get a strange feeling of looking at fossils in amber – traces of activity from the past. I recall people shouting “More! More!” any time a well-worked piece landed in the annealing kiln; the spirit of co-operation – readyness to assist a fellow artist, if only by opening a door.
The exhibit has been shaped by exotic visitors as well as artists we know; by the museum’s own atmosphere; and of course, by the milky white glass – an unaccustomed material for many, provoking new inventions, drawing attention to shape and decor instead of glass artists’ favourite games with optics and depth. The white substance has been used in a number of ways, sometimes combined with clear glass. Both the results of professional and amateur glassblowing can be seen (the author of this story can’t refrain from mentioning her own breath present in a few pieces), as well as cast and painted works; installations, powerful forms next to fragile ones; irony as well as drama.
The dangerous sharpness and fragility of glass are brilliantly exposed in Sung-Hwan Hong’s (Korea) installation “Helmet” – shards in a watermelon shell; the same qualities are exploited by Kairi Orgusaar in the kinetic “Souls.” The natural beauty of free-blown forms is visible in the works of Kai Saarepuu, Sofi Arshas, Eeva Käsper, Virve Kiil, Kairi Orgusaar, Sue Parry (England) and Cicy Ching (Hong Kong). More juggling has been going on with experimental forms by Merle Kannus, vases by Kai Koppel, suspended pots by Virve Kiil, beads by Maret Sarapu, and objects by Vesa Varrela. Lachezar Dochev (Bulgaria) has combined skirt shapes with lace, mold-blowing was demonstrated by Barbala Gulbe (Latvia); an expressive/sensuous mixture of free and mold-blowing by Renate Korinek (Austria).
Erki Kannus’s “White Thing in Haapsalu” looks hilarious next to Robert Tannahill’s (Canada) tragic masks inspired by the White Lady. There’s an original approach in “Tricot Suspendu” by Nicolas Morin and Catherine Sintés (France); a nuanced ocean “In Tears” by Cicy Ching (Hong Kong), cast pieces by Remigius Kriukas (Lithuania), Anda Munkevica (Latvia) and Sue Parry; shocking characters “Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter” by Merle Kannus.
Part of the show features previously created works: Toomas Riisalu’s breathtaking “Hedgehogs Go to Heaven”, Liisi Junolainen’s beads, Viivi-Ann Keerdo, Gunilla Lifvergren (Sweden), Kaja and Eero Vaikre – they all add a touch of refinement and preparation to the generally spontaneous, “straight-from-the-furnace” look.
The show stays open till August 14.