Young artists have taken centre stage at Tallinn’s European Capital of Culture with an exhibition they’re calling Eksperimenta.
It is a collection of works from artists aged between 14 and 19.
800 students from a dozen countries have taken part in this first edition of an event that aims to foster creative thinking by bringing together contemporary art and art education.
Participants were given an overall theme that allowed them free artistic interpretation in any kind of media, from sound and video installations to classic painting and sculpture.
Eksperimenta’s Kerli Kehman said: “The main theme is ‘space’ for the first Eksperimenta and the reason we chose this theme is because it’s wide enough and universal enough and still gives each country and each artist enough room to interpret this topic in the way that they prefer.
“Many of the works are dealing with personal space but as we can see in the Slovenian exposition for example they are dealing very much with political issues and social issues.”
The Slovenian exhibit was considered “the most interesting curatorial work” and got an award given by the international jury.
“What is interesting about this work, as the author said, is that she is not trying to make a political statement,” said Kehman. “She is just expressing her observations about people and those people who were under Socialist regime that when they talk about it still it’s (a) kind of a warm and safe memory for them. They felt protected in a way under this regime.
“Here we have an artwork about youth suicide which is number 3 cause of death of children by the age of 19 in Slovenia. What this artist is trying to express is the pressure that young people are under nowadays. Pressure from the parents, from school to achieve good grades and also to be popular among friends.”
Estonia has showcased the work of 16 youngsters who made it through to the final selection.
18-year-old Diana Kull is one of them. Her egg-shaped sculpture reflects her vision of an imaginary world.
She said: “My inspiration was from myth that says that the world was created from one egg. This is my vision of this egg. Every colour in the world has been scaled down to white and everything living has been made into this two figures.”
Mihkel Kaarma focused his artwork on space as a physical and philosophical concept linked to interplanetary connections. The drawing “Amen” is his vision.
“I got my inspiration from a book talking about sacred geometry and while reading it I had a sort of enlightment and I started to feel the oneness of everything and maybe that’s what my work is about,” the 19 year old explained.
Curator Mari Kartau worked with the Estonian young artists for this exhibition. She said: “There are quite many young people who are thinking about philosophical or maybe even a bit esoteric problems. This was actually a surprise for me. I was expecting much more social, critical approaches.”
Artists from Ireland, Finland and Turkey were also among the winners of awards and special mentions given by the international jury at Eksperimenta.
Organisers intend to stage the event every three years. The 400 Eksperimenta works are on show in Tallinn until June 14th.