The next Tallinn Applied Art Triennial will be curated by Stine Bidstrup, a Danish glass artist and art historian, whose curatorial concept focuses on the phenomenon of translucency both in contemporary craft and in a broader social context. The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial opens at Kai Art Center on 28 May 2021.

The main exhibition of the triennial titled “Translucency” is built around Stine Bidstrup’s curatorial concept and features around twenty artists. A quarter of the participating artists will be selected among Estonian artists during curatorial visits to Estonia in summer 2020.

Merle Kasonen, the chairwoman of the triennial, highlighted the curatorial concept’s resonance in various fields of applied art as well as its broader implications in the contemporary world. “As Stine pointed out, depending on the context, translucency can reveal what is hidden or conceal what is seemingly visible,” added Merle Kasonen.

For example, the curator expanded on how wide use and promotion of glass (and transparency) indicates power and economic surplus, but when transparency is proclaimed as a sign of openness in architecture or politics or elsewhere, it is more often than not a sign of opacity, of not being able to see what is really going on. Looking in and looking out do not take place on equal grounds – transparency on the surface can, in fact, hide hermetic power structures and hierarchies. However, opacity, too, can be of value and at times, truly necessary,” explains Stine Bidstrup, whose curatorial concept centres what is in-between the two extremities – translucency.

Stine Bidstrup is a Danish glass artist, educator and art historian whose work and research explores optical phenomena, and interprets and brings ideas about utopian, architectural visions to life through glass sculptures, installation and video. Her curiosity revolves around the power of perception and power of context and point of view in constructing our understanding through vision and how the human eye and mind are always engaged in myriad determinations and negotiations.

Bidstrup holds art degrees from The Rhode Island School of Design and The Royal Danish Academy of Art School of Design and a degree in art history from The University of Copenhagen. She has taught in Denmark and internationally. She maintains a studio in Copenhagen, goes to Småland Sweden to blow glass, and is represented by Heller Gallery in New York and FUMI Gallery in London.

The 8th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial opens at Kai Art Center in Port Noblessner on 28 May 2021 and will remain open to visitors until 15 August 2021.

Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is an international art event established in 1997, organised by NGO Tallinn Applied Art Triennial Society. The triennial contributes to the development of fields of applied art and contemporary craft.

Anu Almik


The 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is coming to end, the main exhibition at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design is open until 23 July. The last exhibition of the satellite programme, “The perfect landscape. Earth, wood, fire, water”, by ceramic artist Karin Kalman is open until the beginning of August.

Karin Kalman. The perfect landscape. Photo: Tiit Rammul

The exhibition, displaying wood firing, opens on Monday, 17 July at HOP Gallery (Hobusepea 2). The artist will exhibit a collage of works burnt in different firing kilns. The emphasis is on the interplay of unglazed surfaces, the work of fire, the use of different clays together and, for contrast’ sake, interposing these with white delicate porcelain pieces. The second part of the exhibition is made up of a series of wheel-thrown porcelain cups, fired over several years in different wood or gas kilns, displaying the widely divergent results one can get while using the same glazes.

The exhibition “The perfect landscape. Earth, wood, fire, water” will be open until 1 August.

The main exhibition of the triennial “Ajavahe. Time Difference” is open to visitors until 23 July, Wed–Sun, 11–18. This Saturday, 15 July at 12.00 everyone is welcome to take part in the last guided tour, led by inventor and textile artist Kadi Pajupuu. The tour is in Estonian and about an hour long. Entry with museum ticket, which also grants access to the new permanent exhibition on the second floor of the museum.


Anu Almik


In May the satellite programme of 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial features five new exhibitions.

Photo: Andrey Kulpin

Sofia Hallik: Born-Digitals vol.2
12.05-02.06.2017, Draakon gallery (Pikk 18)
Mon-Fri 11-18, Sat 11-17

Sofia Hallik is a jewellery artist who is interested in the way суberspace and digital technology influence jewellery.

“Born-Digitals vol.2” was initially planned as a sequel of the first exhibition “Born-Digitals”, that was on show earlier this year. However, works from the first exhibition went missing, and thus the author decided to portray the essence of the lost works via their digital phantoms, namely through videos, photos, comments, screenshots that still remain in the cyberspace. Even though we may never see the pieces in their physical form, their digital imprint allows us to virtualize the material form of the jewellery.

Photo: Ken Oja

Sandra Kossorotova: Precarious State of Mind
15.-30.05.2017, Hop gallery (Hobusepea 2)
Thu-Tue 11-18

Sandra Kossorotova is a designer and artist who’s artistic practice focuses on the relationship between socio-political powers and the human bodies.

In her solo show Precarious State of Mind the artist explores mental health as socio-political and ideological issues, rather than personal and biological problems. The show features new digitally printed textiles by Sandra Kossorotova. The fabrics were produced during her graduate placement at the Centre for Advanced Textiles at the Glasgow School of Arts.

Estonian Academy of Arts’ glass art department students: Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Vol 2
16.-20.05.2017, Estonian Academy of Arts’ foyer gallery (Estonia pst 7)
Mon-Sun 10-20

The second year students of the Estonian Academy of Arts’ Glass Art Department present their works, approaching the essence of the human soul in various ways – they look into desires and obsessions, reflecting back at us again and again.

Participating artists: Elvira Beljajeva, Marie Järva, Eva-Maria Mirzojeva and Gerti-Carmen Tein.

Photo: Mariliis Kapp

Estonian Academy of Arts’ ceramics department students: TIME Keepers
19.-31.05.2017, Jahuladu (Rotermanni 8)
Mon-Sun 10-20

What is time? Does time exist? Does it really flow? How differently do we perceive time? Is physical time objective? Time has great social importance and value. Do we perceive it as a limited resource? The second year ceramics students of Estonian Academy of Arts interpret the meaning of time.

Participating artists: Cathy Saarm, Merilin Tartes, Mariliis Kapp, Mart Vaarpuu, Joosep Pihl.

Photo: Liina Lelov

Estonian Academy of Arts’ jewellery and blacksmithing students: Observa(c)tion
19.05-04.06.2017, Russian Theatre (Vabaduse väljak 5)
Tue-Sun 14-18

The second year students of the Estonian Academy of Arts’ Jewellery and Blacksmithing Department present a multi sensory inquiry into people’s behaviour patterns and daily rituals. Is this a hidden or public observation, are we observing ourselves or others – these questions will be answered at the exhibition. The works are made of materials like iron, glass, silk, ashes, brass, precious wood, porcelain, precious stones.

Participating artists: Anastassia Nikitina, Claudia Lepik, Liisbeth Kirss, Liina Lelov, Kätlin Kokk, Veronika Ovsyannikova, Sigrid Kuusk, Ljubov Kedrina, Marilin Laas (glass artist), Kaia Ansip, Liisbet Linntamm.

Anu Almik


The Grand Prix of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial was awarded to Belgian artist Octave Vandeweghe for his series of objects “Cultured Manners”. The second place went to Villu Plink and Silja Saarepuu from Estonia and the third prize was won by Lithuanian artists Jurgita Erminaité-Šimkuvienéle.

All three prize winners clearly present the leading idea of the main exhibition, time difference. They all showcase engagement with the past, present and future; all works make visible also the geological time. The jury appreciated the quality of the craft and the merging of idea, materials and a humorous approach.

The series of utensils made of polished precious stones titled “Cultured manners” by Belgian artist Octave Vandeweghe. Photo: Liina Lelov

The series of utensils made of polished precious stones titled “Cultured manners” by Belgian artist Octave Vandeweghe verges on the lines of functionality and beauty. In the words of the jury, it brings together hi-tech and low-tech, synthetic and natural. “The work presents hints to functionality, at the same time being impractical, and it also contains tension between made and found objects,” said the international jury. In the series Ocatve Vandeweghe uses citrine, phantom quartz and verneuil sapphire.

A still frame from the video “Carpet”. Authors Villu Plink and Silja Saarepuu.

The second prize was awarded to Villu Plink and Silja Saarepuu for their video “Carpet” showing the endless process of ploughing a field into a carpet. “It is a whimsical, light hearted, grounded work with multiple layers that also brings together traditional and modern techniques and media,” remarked the jury. This work also received the Purchase Prize of the Estonian Applied Art and Design Museum, which means the video will be bought for the museum’s collection.

Jurgita Erminaité-Šimkuvienét “It’s Only a Question of Time”. Photo: author

The third award was given to Lithuanian artist Jurgita Erminaité-Šimkuvienét, whose amber flypaper is titled “It’s Only a Question of Time”. The jury observed that the essence of this usually dirt-attracting everyday object is well captured and at the time transformed into something precious. “As the amber also contains ancient insects in its bubbles, the theme of capture is bringing different time scales together into a beautiful whole,” remarked the jury.

The jury was made up of Norwegian art critic and editor André Gali, Finnish jewellery artist and manager of Fine Arts in the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences Eija Mustonen, glass artist and Assistant Professor of Sculpture in the art field group at Pitzer College (USA) Sarah Gilbert, philosopher, critic and lecturer Eik Hermann and gallerist, translator and writer Keiu Krikmann from Estonia.

The grand prix included an award fund of 2500€, the second and third prize respectively 1500€ and 1000€.

The main exhibition of 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial “Ajavahe. Time Difference” at the Estonian Museum Applied Art and Design (Lai 17, Tallinn) is open until 23 July. The museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 11–18, closed on Monday and Tuesday and Estonian national holidays.


Anu Almik


The main exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial will be opened in the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design this Friday, 21 April. The opening weekend of the triennial will include guided tours at the main exhibition, but also artist talks. Prior to the opening of the main exhibition everyone is invited to take part in the seminar and extensive satellite programme.

The thematic main exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial features artists from Nordic countries, Central Europe, United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Israel, but also China, Taiwan, USA and Canada. Their artworks reflecting on the concept of time were chosen to the exhibition out of 256 works submitted to the open call. The exhibition includes ceramics, jewellery, glass, textile and blacksmithing, but also video and large-scale installations.

It is also possible to visit the main exhibition in the Estonian Applied Art and Design Museum (Lai 17) with a tour guide. The first guided tours will take place on Saturday, 22 April at 11.00 (in Estonian) and at 16.00 (in English) and on Sunday, 23 April (in Russian). To participate in the guided tour museum ticket is required; the duration of the tour is approximately an hour.

On Saturday, 22 April everyone is welcome to meet the artists taking part of the main exhibition. From 12.00–15.00 the artists will be giving presentations at the Loewenschede tower (Kooli 7).

In addition to the main exhibition the triennial features an extensive satellite programme. This week alone will include 10 solo and group exhibition openings, as well as sound and participatory installations, a glass art project taking place in various cafés in Tallinn, a seminar on art mediation and many other events. To get more information on the opening weekend programme, see here.

Anu Almik


With the aim of improving the visibility of applied art and design, a seminar “Modes of mediating applied art and design” will take place on the day of the opening of the triennial, 21 April. Everyone interested is welcome to pre-register!

Bringing together artists, critics, curators and communications professionals and other esteemed experts, the seminar seeks an answer to the question of how to mediate applied art to a wider public, offer relevant feedback to artists and raise the overall design literacy in society.

The presenters include André Gali, a Norwegian art critic and editor (Norwegian Crafts Magazine), Sarah Gilbert, a glass artists and educator from United States, Karin Paulus, an Estonian critic and journalist, Liz Farrelly, a critic, editor, curator and educator from United Kingdom and Hanna Kapanen, a curator of educational programmes from Finland.

The registration form and more information about the seminar can be found here.

Anu Almik


The full programme of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is now made public. In addition to the main exhibition, it includes a seminar on communicating applied art, an extensive satellite programme, artists’ talks and guided tours.

The main exhibition of the triennial, titled “Ajavahe. Time Difference” opens on 21 April at the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design and will remain open until 23 July. The exhibition includes 49 works by artists from 19 countries. These works were chosen out of 256 open call submissions by an international jury. The selection features ceramics, jewellery, glass, textile, blacksmithing, but also video and large-scale installations.

The opening day of the triennial, 21 April will start with a seminar dedicated to discussing communication in the field of applied art, taking place in Cinema Sõprus. The registration for the seminar is now open. The audience is also welcome to join our artists’ presentations event and guided tours.

The satellite programme consists of 26 exhibitions, performances and installations that take place in galleries, cafés, open studios and other exciting locations all over Tallinn. The satellite programme launches already in the end of March and will run until the beginning of August.

The goal of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is to contribute to the development of concept-based applied art and design and introduce it to a broader audience.

Anu Almik


Out of the 256 applications submitted to the open call the jury chose 50 artists to participate in the main exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial, “Ajavahe. Time Difference” opening on 21 April, 2017. We welcomed works that related to the topics of time, tempo, different notions of and approaches to time. The open call received applications from 32 countries, the final selection includes artists from 19 countries: Estonia, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Israel, USA, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, China, Switzerland, Taiwan and France.

We are happy to publish the list of artists chosen by the jury:
Naama Agassi, Ulla Ahola, Monika Auch, Beverly Ayling-Smith, Sofia Björkman, Chloe Brenan, Lin Chang-Rong, Eunmi Chun, Sara Chyan, Johanna Dahm, Hilde A Danielsen, Patricia Domingues, Jurgita Erminaitė-Šimkuvienė, Sabin Garea, Ellen Grieg, Adam Grinovich, Dainis Gudovskis, Kay Guo, Anita Hanch-Hansen, Maarit Helistvee, Nils Hint, Trine Hovden, Katrin Kabun, Pille Kaleviste, Joshua Kosker, Eero Kotli, Riikka Latva-Somppi, Thérèse Lebrun, Krista Leesi, Felieke van der Leest, Jaakko Leeve, Ivo Lill, Nanna Melland, Johanne Ness and Hanne Overland, Silja Saarepuu ja Villu Plink, Lucy Sarneel, Debra Sloan , Céline Sylvestre, Aet Ollisaar, OTSE! and A5 (Nils Hint, Annika Kedelauk, Rainer Kaasik-Aaslav, Annika Pettersson, and Adam Grinovich), Yuka Oyama, Ruudt Peters, Annelies Planteijdt, Edu Tarin (in collaboration with Klein & Becker GmbH & Co), Octave Vandeweghe, Tanel Veenre, Estela Saez Vilanova, Lin Wang, Hedvig Winge, Kiyoshi Yamamoto.

Members of the jury are art critic and editor André Gali from Norway, artist and educator Sarah Gilbert from USA, philosopher, critic and lecturer Eik Hermann from Estonia, gallerist, writer, translator and lecturer Keiu Krikmann from Estonia and jewellery artist, Program Manager of Fine Arts of the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences and lecturer Eija Mustonen from Finland.

Commenting on the decision-making process, the chairman of the jury, André Gali said: “Obviously we looked for qualities like good concepts relating to the theme of «Time Difference», innovative use of materials, exciting shapes and colours, but also how the works would relate to each other as a whole. We looked for diversity, in scale, in material, in artistic approach and attitude, and we looked for works that can evoke interesting conversations between themselves and with the viewer.”

The main exhibition of the Triennial on the theme “Ajavahe. Time Difference” will take place from 21 April 2017 to 23 July 2017 at the Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design in Tallinn, Estonia. A Grand Prix and two equal second place prizes will be awarded. The winners will be announced at the exhibition opening on 21 April 2017. The exhibition prize fund is 5000 euros. Additionally, the programme of the triennial includes a seminar, satellite exhibitions and a day of artist presentations.

Anu Almik


Open call for the main exhibition of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial was closed October 10th. 256 works/series of works were submitted altogether by 243 artists/designers from 32 countries. In the coming days an international five-member jury is going to gather in Tallinn to select the works for the main exhibition amongst the submissions.

Members of the jury are an art critic and editor André Gali from Norway, an artist and educator Sarah Gilbert from USA, a philosopher, critic and lecturer Eik Hermann from Estonia, a gallerist, writer, translator and lecturer Keiu Krikmann from Estonia and a jewellery artist and lecturer Eija Mustonen from Finland. The selection of the works is anonymous and the applicants will be notified about the jury’s decision by 21 November 2016.

Individuals and groups from all fields of applied art and design were invited to take part in the open call for the main exhibition. Works in both digital and physical form that deal with topics relating to time, tempo, different notions of time, and approaches to time were welcome.

The main exhibition of the Triennial on the theme “Ajavahe. Time Difference” will take place from 21 April 2017 to 23 July 2017 at the Estonian Museum of Applied Arts and Design in Tallinn, Estonia.

Anu Almik

One of the favourite visuals of Marje and Martin

The visual identity of the 7th Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is created by Marje and Martin Eelma from the graphic design studio Tuumik. We asked them a few questions about how the triennial’s visuals were developed. And they also share a couple of their own favourites.

The visuals for the Tallinn Applied Art Triennial is really colourful and eye-catching. How did you arrive to that? Is there a story behind it? What were you inspired by?

We started off with the theme of the triennial, “Ajavahe. Time Difference”. When we got the initial brief, it featured a description of the Italian jewellery artist Giovanni Corvaja’ painstaking years long work “Golden Fleece” that seemed to defy all (contemporary) rational thinking – he is creating fur-like ritual objects of gold. The objects are made of gold wire with a diameter of 1/5 of a single stand of human hair and they feel soft as fur. This took our breath away and made us think how different the concept of time can be for people. The theme of the triennial also spoke to us, time is something we think about often. Images from our own past also started popping up: Marje studied in Tartu and had to go back and forth between Tallinn and Tartu, either by train or bus, so she always wondered about the many lit windows she passed in the complete darkness 90 km/h and the stories they could have told.

When we were creating the visual identity, we thought about the passing of time, how we perceive things differently, to what extent it is possible to go deeper when the tempo alternates – you notice bigger things when you move faster, details when you go slower. If the tempo is set for you by someone else and it is not what you are comfortable with, a certain shift occurs – you see your surroundings, but it seems different, your perception of reality is warped. Your own state of being changes how you see the world.

At first we were playing around with colourful surfaces, divided them into bigger and smaller sections, trying to convey different speeds with surfaces of different colour and size, according to the amount of information they displayed. Then we moved on to using a programme that worked in a way that you could shake, rotate or move around your tablet without even knowing what happens with the colours and shapes on the screen. The colours and shapes began shifting, the programme shook up reality and a whole other world appeared. We liked that it really related to the theme of pace, the passing of time.

Tuumik is a recognised graphic design studio, so you can surely choose your own clients. What inspired you to work with the triennial?

For us the number one concern is the people we work with, but also the project itself – is it necessary, does it have an idea behind it? It has to be consistent with our own view of the world. And the concept is also really important for us when creating the visuals. We also take on clients from outside the field of culture, although this field is particularly close to our hearts. It is important that we would find the work exciting.

We do not want to take on too many similar projects, it would not be interesting to us. We try to find projects that are new to us and we have not done art events like the triennial before. We were attracted to the fact that it is an international event. The participants seem fascinating and by working with them we can definitely get a more thorough picture than just by going to exhibitions. We love it when we get to know new things while working on something.

One of the favourite visuals of Marje and Martin


Anu Almik