Estonian artist Laivi is working in the WIELS residency, Brussels

February 20, 2023
Author Echo Gone Wrong

In January, Laivi began her six-month residency in WIELS, the art centre in Brussels.

The residency for Estonian artists is made possible by the partnership between WIELS and Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art.

The duration of the WIELS artist in residence programme is six months and its aim is to support artists’ professional development. The residents have access to workshops, panels, and feedback discussions. The artist has the possibility to live in an apartment in Brussels and work at a separate studio space. With the support of Estonian Ministry of Culture, CCA pays the participants monthly scholarship.

Laivi (Laivi Suurväli, 1988) is an artist working with the medium of fashion. The keywords of her practice are desire and longing, addiction and glorification, production and offer, preservation and destruction and the price of the value. Laivi’s practice is characterised by material-based and experimental approach to textiles which is expanded from clothing and accessories to sculptural installations and large scale works on canvas. She has BA in fashion design from the Estonian Art Academy and MA from the Aalto University in Helsinki. She has been participating at contemporary art exhibitions since 2014 and had several solo shows since then. In the beginning of 2021 Laivi received the annual prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment’s visual and applied arts foundation.

In the residency Laivi continues with archiving the memories which she has also dealt with at her past exhibitions. She is collecting the objects and fragments in Brussels and adds these to the canvas, in addition to the phrases and sentences she has noted at the regular meetings of the residents and mentors. “I have moved around a lot and in different ways during the first weeks in order to map the city,” Laivi says, “She has spontaneously collected found objects, some pieces from the streets: someone’s lost note, an abandoned sticker, a lonely confetti. At the same time I have also collected photo memories. It is discovering and getting to know the city, collecting the memories, keeping a diary and phrasing the impressions simultaneously.”

Since 2018 the programme has hosted Estonian artists Paul Kuimet, Jaanus Samma, Anna Škodenko, Tõnis Saadoja, Tanja Muravskaja, Anu Vahtra, Eva Mustonen, Ingel Vaikla, Sandra Kosorotova and Krista Mölder. Residents are selected via an open call.

WIELS’ partner in Estonia is Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA). The residency of Estonian artists in WIELS is supported by Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Read more about Laivi from the Estonian artists database.