Merike Estna "Corporate Jungle", 4 September – 31 October 2015
Taking its name from the title of a sticker series from an online messenger service Sticker Store, the exhibition sets out to juxtapose what has become a familiar mode of digital image-based communication with the artist’s ongoing exploration of painting as a practice. On view will be a new painting series “Slip Off” and an installation entitled “I’m a bit out of sync but next time I'll do better, I promise” originally conceived for Cesis Art Festival in Latvia.
The latter consists of a painting as a stage covering much of the gallery’s floor surface, accompanied by a sound piece and posters distributed across gallery walls and the city. Employing the brush stroke technique developed in her past few shows — as if to locate the bottom line of painter-as-colour-mixologist, an almost domestic act of repetitive work linking painting to craft — Estna’s floor-as-painting is a testament to skills acquired through both home work like mopping and artistic work of a painter.
Meanwhile, the posters express the thoughts occupying the artist during these activities. She ponders the idea of a surface as a means of communication; the physical surfaces of clothing, interior design, technology or liquids; music as a surface that can be ordered or mixed.
The paintings placed amidst the installation are a mix of ready-made digital imagery designed to encapsulate the complexity and, simultaneously, the standardised nature of language into non-verbal signs. Transferring this idea into the realm of art, Estna’s paintings pull between the abstract and the overly representational; In a way, leading the exhibition to close in the loop, bouncing between the various surfaces on show.