Merike Estna (b. 1980) lives and works in Tallinn. A participant in the performance art scene associated with Academia Non Grata alternative art school in the early 2000s, Estna later acquired formal art education at the Estonian Academy of Art where she attended Painting BA and Interdisciplinary Arts MA classes. Estna relocated to London in 2007, where she completed an MFA Art Practice degree at Goldsmiths College in 2009.
Estna’s practice is primarily focused on the processes of painting, approaching the artwork as an integral part of life rather than it being about life. Borrowing patterns and colour combinations from applied arts and crafts, vocabularies which traditionally have not been accepted in the visual language of painting, her work challenges the masculine territory of painting and questions the strict separation between the two discourses. Initially applying patterns and treatments to canvases, Estna gradually progressed to cover clothes, objects and entire spaces as her research into colour and acts of painting expanded.
Estna’s recent exhibitions include “Ghost of the Future, Filled With Memories of Past”, Moderna Museet, Malmö (2019); “Mother of Pearls”, Karen Huber, Mexico City (2019); “Dawn of the Swarm”, Bosse & Baum, London (2018); “Disposable Gloves Guide”, kim? Contemporary Art Centre, Riga (2018); "Soft Scrub, Hard Body, Liquid Presence", with Maria Metsalu, curated by Maria Arusoo, Art in General, New York (2017–2018); "Fragments from the shattered toe", curated by Thomas Cuckle, Kunstraum, London (2017); "Red Herring", Chart Social, Copenhagen (2017); "Doublethink: Double vision", curated by Alistair Hicks, Pera Museum, Istanbul (2017); "The Seed Can Be Initialized Randomly II”, with Ana Cardoso, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2017); "Memorial", Estonian Embassy, London (2016); “The Seed Can Be Initialized Randomly”, with Ana Cardoso, Múrias Centeno, Porto (2016); “Domesticmindcraft”, Karen Huber gallery, Mexico City (2016); “Genialmythcraft”, Palermo Galerie, Stuttgart (2015); “Corporate Jungle”, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2015); “Blue Lagoon”, KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn (2014).