by Riin Kaljurand
My interest lies in paint itself. Paint as medium is as tangible and formable as clay and can be manipulated and approached as sculptural material. My paintings are collaged from dried layers of acrylic or household paint by manipulation–by scraping, folding, cutting and building up the surface. Of personal fascination for me beside its surface is paint’s physical quality and its formability. Dried paint is highly flexible and formable and can be used multiple ways. Some of my paintings are built up by collaborating collage techniques and traditional knitting. Paint can also be manipulated in different drying stages. For example, a layer of acrylic paint left for drying overnight gives it a quality which allows it to be drawn into. Because I approach paint as sculptural material I choose to hang paintings further from the wall to give them object like, sculptural format. They often take on three-dimensional forms with varying textures and colours. Colour of paintings are usually taken from original photos from ‘Soviet Woman’, but it is not as intense. For me paint is not embellishment on canvas, but rather a physical material in its own right.
I was born in former Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, what was a part of Soviet Union. The era has always fascinated me with its paradoxes and peculiarities. Imagery of my paintings is taken from Soviet Estonia’s magazine ‘Soviet Woman’. According to communist ideology of work and importance of working, in this magazine women are represented as hard working comrades of Soviet society. ‘Soviet Woman’ created and propagated femininity according to communist ideology. Judith Butler has said: ‘Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed’.
Photographer: Margus Valt, www.margusvalt.com.
Artist: Riin Kaljurand