Today I packed up my 2 abstract paintings, “QUADRANGLE” and “RELIEF” for the “ESTONIAN ARTISTS IN EXILE” exhibition which will be held at KUMU, the National Museum of Estonia, in Tallinn. I have the honour of being invited to participate in this very special exhibition of 50 Estonian artists from all over the world living outside Estonia.
There are only 2 artists’ works from Vancouver. The other is ENN ERISALU, now deceased, whose work is also in the permanent collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
So, I’m really the only Estonian artist from Vancouver attending the opening reception in September.
There were huge emotions involved in this process of packing up these paintings which were painted in 1968 and 1969. My mind wandered back in time when handling the canvasses, which I had stretched and framed myself.
One of the frames was a bit battered from being moved so much and stored badly. I repainted it with black Gesso. “RELIEF” was framed with a metal kitchen counter moulding for some reason.
I looked at my old signature bearing a different surname, Bratt, which I could no longer identify with.
The years on the back of the paintings took me back to my hectic daily life with children, outside work and my studio space in the basement of the house in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver.
The craziness of that time is what catapulted me into painting the images I painted; “hard edge abstract”, which now have been sought out by the curators of the National Museum of a small country which sang its way to freedom from Soviet occupation in 1991.
I thought about being amongst all the other Estonian Artists in exile and their lives and how they happen to be where they are today. Each one of us has a story. People often tell me that I should write a book. I’m quite sure that all the other artists’ friends tell them the same thing.
My abstract paintings, which represent a metaphysical method of working out the concrete, are going “back home”.
It is the ultimate honour to be in KUMU, the National Museum of the country of my birth, Eesti!