acrylic, canvas 200x150cm 2018
A work from Merike Estna's solo exhibition "Dawn of the Swarm" at Bosse & Baum gallery, London.
"Dawn of the Swarm" is a painting installation, incorporating branches, tree stumps, beeswax sculptures that burn like candles, tiles and vessels; these perform as paintings do, and are set alongside a series of canvases and, at times, a serene male nude, a human body. Painting takes whatever form the artist desires and Estna always frames through the medium of painting, whether as a stage, floor, curtain, carpet, clothing, drinks, ceramic tiles.
Nostalgia and a certain romanticism have been fixtures in Estna’s oeuvre since her first works, but now we can see more distinctly the emergence of specific contrasts and oppositions. Her work echos contemporary social concerns with allusions to the digital, the nostalgic and a romantic reverence for the parts of human existence that are currently mutating, melting and slipping away. Estna’s work evokes a playful techno-romanticism that on the one hand raises questions about the ever increasing dominant role, and constant acceleration, of technological progress, which Estna counterbalances with traditional manual and time-consuming techniques.
Text by Maria Arusoo for "Dawn of the Swarm" publication, which accompanied the exhibition, published by Lugemik