Photo reportage from the exhibition 'Free and Held' by Maret Sarapu at the Draakon gallery

February 24, 2023
Author Echo Gone Wrong

Through five artworks, the artist maps quotidian rituals and symbols, activities and stories that ensure our mental sharpness, emotional well-being and sense of safety in everyday life. That is, focal points that help us make sense of life, prevent crises and find strength in the everyday.

The conceptual center of the exhibition is simultaneously poetic and practical – on the one side, it allows the viewer to make their own everyday life more poetic and start consciously and playfully mapping out activities, events and ideas that provide support and strength. On the other side, this kind of poetization has a thoroughly practical effect – conceptualization and structuring of our routines grounds us and plays a significant role in achieving emotional well-being and maintaining our joie de vivre.

The works explore both the sense of freedom and being free as well as the process of striving towards freedom. How to create still points that act as a source of power for us in a demanding and seemingly endlessly rushing world?

Empowering rituals may include a routine cup of tea in the morning, a talisman we always take with us when travelling, a dream we return to for comfort, or a person we call first after receiving important news. This sphere can also include mental images / rituals we use to calm / activate ourselves (“when I’m restless, I imagine entering a dark forest” / “when I can’t sleep, I listen to an audio book” / “when I’m irritated, I imagine I am the sea”).

At the exhibition, the artist displays installations and objects: wall panels with nature motifs, mosaic trophies, glass “breaths” and sand boxes reminiscent of Japanese gardens on walls and around the exhibition space.

Alongside these objects, the exhibition includes a set of postcards, inviting the viewer to discover their own everyday and internal landscapes through exercises of creative writing. Hopefully, viewers find ideas and tools to better hold themselves (and through that others as well).

As part of Free and Held, three thematic creative writing workshops led by Berit Kaschan took place at Draakoni gallery. The workshops were held on three consecutive Tuesdays – on 14, 21 and 28 February from 18.00 to 20.00.

Maret Sarapu (1978) is an artist based in Tallinn. She has graduated from the Department of Glass Art at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA 2002, MA 2005) and taken part in numerous courses and art residencies both in Estonia and abroad. In her work, Sarapu is mostly inspired by everyday life and often uses nature motifs and repetition. Recently, her experiments with form and concept have led her towards methods like automatic and stream of consciousness writing. Often, the aim is to achieve mental well-being and find harmony between intelligence and emotions. Her alternating process (thinking, writing, working in the studio) and collaboration with material lead to results that give both the artist and the viewer a possibility to make conclusions and generalisations.

Curators: Kaisa Maasik and Berit Kaschan
Graphic design: Pamela Sume

The exhibition is open until 4 March.

Thank you: Karel Koplimets, Maarin Ektermann and Prologue School, Sven Sapelson, Tiina Sarapu, Kairi Orgusaar, Kaie Vakepea.
The exhibition is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and Liviko AS.

Free and Held
Exhibition by Maret Sarapu
Curators: Berit Kaschan & Kaisa Maasik
Open: 07.02.-04.03.2023
Draakon Gallery, Pikk 18, Tallinn.
Mon-Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 11.00-17.00

Photography: Karel Koplimets, Maret Sarapu