The invited artist for this year's exhibition in the ROOM series is Krista Leesi. The museum initiated the series in 2018, inviting contemporary artists and designers to explore the museum’s collections – material artefacts that have shaped our everyday environment in one way or another. This edition of the series presents installations inspired by the museum’s collections and complemented by material and keywords chosen by the artist.

“When the museum asked me to create an exhibition based on its collections, I was looking to put a new upholstery textile I had just designed to practical use. The museum suggested I use it for restoring an old sofa, model M-222 produced by Standard and designed by Are Kala. So the fate of the herringbone textile was decided. The flying squirrel was chosen due to its visual similarity to the houndstooth (or pepita) pattern,” says Leesi.

Researching the collections in the museum database MuIS, the artist was immediately intrigued by the wood carvings of Amandus Adamson, a robust and archaic bentwood armchair by the painter Karl Pärsimägi and also decorative bird sculptures in wood by Arseni Mölder from the early 1960s. These examples prompted her interest in wood as an authentic and traditional material widely used in everyday environments and the various ways of handling it.

In creating new works for the “Room” project, Leesi was inspired by the surroundings of the museum building as well as everyday life in 2019. Leesi’s attention was equally captured by similar motifs and techniques used by different artists in different eras; her room features works by Tamara Vaskova, Mall Tomberg, Minni Patune, but also by Anton Koovit, Nils Hint and many others. The room put together by Krista Leesi incorporating pieces from the years 1870 until 2019 is an intriguing, eclectic compilation, suggesting the anticipation of a warm and pleasant gathering.

  Photos by Paul Kuimet, Jüri Seljamaa, Krista Leesi