Merike Estna’s exhibition “The Memorial”



Embassy of Estonia

44 Queen’s Gate Terrace

London SW7 5PJ


Merike Estna, who is known for challenging the perception of painting, presents her new series “The Memorial”, consisting of works that focus on overlapping patterns of present and past. She has been working in this technique for the last six months, but this time the visual patterns familiar from applied arts are covered by a new layer, with the old pattern gently appearing through, leaving the impression of a vague memory. In her new work Estna mixes not only temporal dimensions but also different techniques, seemingly blurring the line between digital printing and painting. The paintings presented have been created especially for this exhibition and form a whole, with each piece telling a certain part of the story.


Merike Estna (born in Estonia 1980) lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. She has graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in painting and from the Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2009 with the Master’s degree in art practice.


The work of Merike Estna is largely invested in the processes of painting, as a way of approaching the artwork as an integral part of life rather than about life. In her process-based work, Estna is embedding patterns and colour combinations from the crafts and applied arts, which have not traditionally been accepted in the visual language of painting. Thus, her work is challenging the masculine territory of painting and questioning the strict visual separation between painting and craft discourses. Initially subjecting canvases to such patterns and application-based treatments, Estna gradually progressed to cover clothes, objects and entire spaces with cotton-wool colours, gradually expanding her research into colour and the acts of painting, the possibilities of experiencing and looking at things.
Selected projects: The seed can be initialized randomly, duo with Ana Cardoso, Murias Centeno (Porto, Portugal 2016); (Not) Every Thread Ties Down / Your Split Ends Are Showing curated by Leo Cohen and Lucy Rollins, DKUK (London, UK, 2016); Freundschafsspiel, curated by Didem Yazici, Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg (Germany, 2016); DOMESTICMINDCRAFT, solo, Karen Huber Gallery (Mexico City, Mexico); Corporate Jungle, solo, Temnikova & Kasala gallery (Tallinn, Estonia 2015); Genialmythcraft, solo, Palermo Galerie (Stuttgart, Germany 2015); Blue Lagoon, solo, KUMU Art Museum (Tallinn, Estonia 2014).


She was awarded Konrad Mäe prize, Estonia, 2014 and has been teaching at Estonian Academy of Arts since 2013 and at Tartu Art School since 2016. Works in public collections include: Kumu Art Museum, Estonia; Tartu Art Museum, Estonia; Loviisa City Collection, Finland.


Supported by Embassy of Estonia in London, Estonian Contemporary Art Development Centre (ECADC), Regional Development Fund and Temnikova & Kasela Gallery.

ECADC, Embassy of Estonia and Temnikova & Kasela gallery will host a special viewing of the exhibition during Frieze Week.



Merike Estna