“MEANINGS. Tapestries from the methodical archive of the textile department of Pallas” in Gallery Pallas

MEANINGS. Tapestries from the methodical archive of the textile department of Pallas.

The exhibition MEANINGS opens the furthermost doors of the methodical archive of the textile department of Pallas and introduces a selection of tapestries from the last 25 years.

Tapestry weaving is a third-year course in the Pallas textile curriculum and each year new students start with a different theme. By that time, the students have completed more than half of their studies and are experienced in working with composition, colour and material. This allows the students to focus on meaning in addition to weaving, and to find the most suitable way for expressing the message of their work. Alongside course works, several graduation works are exhibited. The tapestries depict people and events, encounters and dialogues important to the authors, their households and hometowns. However, the protagonist of the tapestry is always the author, being sometimes visible and invisible at other times.

The works from the end of 1990s have certain picturesque qualities, the sketches combine playful brushstrokes, graphic lines and laconic clarity of collages. The earliest tapestry exhibited is from 1996 by Alide Zvorovski – a bizarre centipede chair on ardent red background. The early 2000s add a new mean of sketching to the students’ array of techniques. The first to choose photorealistic direction in tapestry is Triinu Pungits with her work “Marilyn”. From then on, the game rules change, boundaries disappear, and the sketches develop layer by layer alternately on paper and digitally. The students explore their surroundings, Tartu’s townscapes are a recurring theme for several years. Family photos and discovering one’s roots through multiple translations from one material to another gain importance, some works deal with socially critical subjects. The possibilities of digital sketching have added more details to the tapestries, that test the weaver’s skills. In her work “The Dress”, Eva Mustonen takes it a step further by first knitting the summer dress of her memories and then weaving the dress wearer onto the tapestry. During following years, the focus shifts to materials, thus several non-traditional form-seeking works were born. Material, being the one that influences and defines, almost becomes a co-author of the works.

Last few years, the students have successfully participated in the international American Tapestry Alliance Student Award competition. In 2020, Marge Allik won first prize for her series Ice I-III included in this exhibition. Human relations, separation and feeling connected play a big part in last years’ works. Mari-Triin Kirs’s work “Home”, consisting of several small details, brings forth a memory of a tulip bed, Anett Niine’s “Sisters” depicts relations between two sisters, Liisi Tamm’s series “Women talk” makes the spectator wonder about the meaning of conversations. Yuuki Vähi’s tapestry “Late Night Coffee Break” balances on the borders of reality and unreality with its sparkling objects, inviting the observer to dive into a dreamlike world of unexpected images.

MEANINGS exhibits the works of following authors: Marge Allik, Helen Kangro, Anett Niine, Liisi Tamm, Kail Kuresoo, Ester Must, Yuuki Vähi, Mari-Triin Kirs, Anneli Kurm, Helene Põdra (Puusep), Anastasia Rikk, Marielle Sari, Mairi Sild, Marta Tuulberg, Ilja Uhlinov, Birgit Uibo, Therese Ostrat (Sild), Maarja Leola, Liina Tiidor, Leelo Moor, Hertta Võido, Kairi Lentsius, Liis Somelar, Sarah Lend (Kopli), Ingrid Kõiv (Amarouche), Kristi Haav, Terje Salupuu, Mari Käosaar, Katre Kesküla (Piho), Eva Krustok (Sikka), Maarja Tamjärv, Thea Ilusmets, Margit Kullas, Eva Mustonen, Riin Palumets, Kaisa Reimand, Helen Valk-Varavin, Evelyn Reemann, Anu Raat, Siiri Kukk, Miina Leesment, Mariliis Alev, Katrin Trumm, Rane Riis, Diana Hints, Liis Pihlik, Kaidi Ploomipuu, Kaili Kalle, Marju Paal, Eva Jakovits, Helena Toots, Anniki Tropp, Hanna Korsar, Epp Katus, Triinu Pungits, Signe Friedenthal (Vilde), Mari Vaaderpall, Hanna Roosi, Heike Viigileht (Sepp), Alide Zvorovski.

Throughout the years, tapestry weaving has been tutored by professor Aet Ollisaar, and assisted by Kaire Kukk, Veinika Västrik, Liina Kool and Marju Roos.

Exhibition design by Madis Liplap

Curators: Aet Ollisaar and Madis Liplap

Due to the current pandemic situation, the exhibition can be viewed through the windows of Gallery Pallas or shortly also via video and virtual tour.



For more information:
Professor Aet Ollisaar
Head of Department, Pallas UAS Department of Textile
+372 506 7281

Gallery Pallas
Tue-Sat 11-18, Riia 11, Tartu
+372 734 9954

Works by Mairi Sild (on the left) and Yuuki Vähi (on the rigth)