Tallinn Light Biennale

I had the honor to be invited to participate in this year’s (and first ever) Tallinn Light Biennale that took place from November 24th to December 1st. It featured two indoor exhibitions and several public space installations with Estonian and international artists. My Light Box Drawing series Ship Life was part of the exhibition Luminous Utopias at Helios alongside big names such as Paul Friedlander and Kurt Laurenz Theinert and our domestic stars like Flo Kasearu, Meeli Kõiva and Kiwa Noid.

Kinetic light art by Paul Friedlander

“An Alternative Approach to Unifying String and the Standard Model of Particles” by Paul Friedlander: detail

Paul Friedlander’s kinetic light sculpture titled “An Alternative Approach to Unifying String and the Standard Model of Particles” definitely stole the show. I could not get my eyes off his work, he wrote the program himself for controlling the colour combinations and brightness of the lights, all of which could be manipulated by the audience with the help of a touch screen. At the Gala he even did a little impromptu performance demonstrating the simplicity of his idea. He is truly the mad scientist and I’m very glad he decided do turn his passion into art, absolutely ingenious!

Three detailed views of Kati Kerstna's installation at Tallinn Light Biennale

“In The Eye of The Beholder” by Kati Kerstna

One of my other favorites was a multi-layered work of drawings on glass revealed by LED lights by Kati Kerstna. The sheets of glass were superposed inside a box and side-lit by twinkling lights, revealing portraits with changing expressions one after the other and sometimes several at once. (Boxes, LED lights, drawings…? Yes, it’s all sounding very familiar. Have I ever mentioned that I tend to like works that remind me of mine? I think that’s a good thing, no?)

Light Pillar installation with video projection in the background. Photos from "One Beam of Light" by Light Collective. Photos by Anastasia Parmson

Exhibition view on the left and on the right a detail from “One Beam Of Light” by Light Collective

There were many other interesting installations and artworks up and even more things to see all around the city centre, including video mapping and architectural lighting projects. The most impressive was the official Gala in Helios with a concert by the composer Sven Grünberg and a spectacular light show by Kurt Laurenz Theinert. Helios is a large building and during the Gala it was packed; my works have never had this much exposure so it was very humbling and also pretty awesome. You can see photos of the Gala and other Light Biennale events here.

Light Box Drawing called Untitled (Action Stations) exhibited at Tallinn Light Biennale

Untitled (Action Stations) by Anastasia Parmson

Now the exhibition has closed, my light boxes have been packed away and I am contemplating organizing myself a home-made “studio retreat” (switching off my phone and all social media outlets and locking myself in my studio for a week). Hopefully I will have more occasions to show my work again very soon!

Exhibitions and Murphy’s Law

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As I have just announced in my second Newsletter – the recently mentioned exhibition project proposition for Rundum Artist-Run Space has very quickly turned into my very first solo show and it is opening already on November 14th! So for the past week we have been very busy with my wonderful assistant: cutting, printing, putting together more light boxes for the exhibition. Of course as Murphy’s Law would have it there is still one vital part missing: the LED lights I ordered (before I even knew there was going to be an exhibition) have not yet arrived in the mail. If they won’t be in my mailbox by tomorrow morning then I don’t even know…

And of course it turns out that everything is either happening all at once or not at all because this week I was also contacted by the curator of Tallinn Light Biennale inviting me to show some work there, which is pretty amazing news! So the last day of my Rundum show will also be the day they start putting up exhibitions for the Light Biennale.

This means that between organizing my first solo show and worrying about missing LEDs I am also trying to figure out when and how I could conjure up some site-specific projections to install in the awesome Helios cinema building in Tallinn Old Town where a big part of the Light Biennale will be held. It will have to be something easy to make and to install as the festival opens already on November 24th and I won’t even be around for the installation process. Instead I will be heading to Berlin for a few days to meet up with my course mate from Strasbourg University and attend a workshop on web documentaries.

This is all very exciting and nerve wrecking and exciting and I am really looking forward to the next few weeks… In the meantime if any of my readers happen to be in Hong Kong or Tokyo right now perhaps you could FedEx me a few meters of LED strip?


First sneak peak of the new light box series!

Big Glove (Ship Life series) – drawing in a light box, Anastasia Parmson 2013

Here is a sneaky-peaky of one of my light boxes (with Tallinn city lights in the background)! This one is called “Big Glove”, it is part of a series of light box drawings entitled “Ship Life” that retrace moments of my time spent onboard one of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ships in the Antarctic waters. This work could perhaps evoke the bleak and cold environment of the Southern Ocean with its snow-white shiny backdrop and the images reduced to a bare minimum.

Between assembling the boxes, getting some other artworks printed and encountering various technical difficulties in-between all that I am also putting together an exhibition project for a freshly opened artist-run space Rundum situated in the old town of Tallinn. As well as doing research on some upcoming juried shows and open calls; meeting new interesting people from the local art world; slowly putting together my website… Interesting times!