75! Ene Ustav's painting exhibition in the Omicum atrium
From 25 October, Ene Ustav's third solo exhibition is open in the Omicum atrium, celebrating the artist's 75th birthday! Ene Ustav is an Associate Professor of Gene Technology at the University of Tartu, and her paintings have decorated the Omicum atrium in several different exhibitions before. The exhibition will remain open until 4 December.
A newspaper article about the exhibition was published in Tartu Postimees on 28 October 2022 (in Estonian).
Ene Ustav writes about herself and the exhibition:
A little about myself.
My childhood passed in the special silence and peace that reigned in Rõuge, on the farm on the edge of Ööbikooru, where my aunt on my mother's side worked alone at the time. There was a city home in Võru and there was a place of retreat where you rarely met other people. It was the post-war era, there were no toys and you had to invent and make them yourself from pine cones and other surrounding nature, with one of my younger sisters as a playmate. There were suitcases of drawn paper dolls and invented clothes for them, there was time for self-sewing doll clothes, there was time for embroidery lessons, there was a constant search for reading material. Such pre-school self-realization was probably very favorable for later creativity development. In relation to painting, the fact that the well-known graphic artist and art teacher Günter Reindorff and his wife spent several summers in a row at my aunt's place, capturing the places we also know, where we used to go for wild strawberries, remains in this period. I remember our pride when a famous artist gave my sister a notepad with his drawings, and me an Italian charcoal pencil and a special soft eraser!
The school years in Võru followed. I chose chemistry studies at the University of Tartu. I had also researched the possibility of studying art in Tallinn, and I knew that a folder with about a dozen works was required. However, since there was only one place to take part in painting groups in Võru in the house of pioneers, this option was rejected. And luckily, because then everything that followed could not have happened - a happy meeting with my coursemate Mart, our marriage, our four children, now nine grandchildren and already the first great-grandchild! We have lived together and worked together for many, many years, and growing old together has its own great value in life. We enjoy the children's activities, our summer home, the park, the company we have developed and so many other interesting things around us.
It's never too late to start painting! I would dare to say this, based on the experience of my first small painting exhibition in the corridor of the 4th floor of UT intitute of technology in December 2017 and the subsequent exhibition with 33 paintings in the atrium of IMCB and Omicum from November 3, 2020 to January 3, 2021. Thus, this exhibition, which opens on my 75th birthday, is already the third.
The need for self-fulfillment and some inner urge to act in the field of art have also sought a way out before. I took a peek at Kaljo Põllu's art office in Tartu, where most of the graphics were done. Next to raising children, I tried to send works to the Fine Art Distance Learning Course. I did some works in the area of sketching figures together with Enn Tegova's students. I started painting more seriously at the beginning of 2017, shortly before my 70th birthday, joining the already established school/friendship in Robert Suvi's studio in the painting studio "Suvi". The abundance of colors, companions with a wealth of experience, big plans that I could only fulfill a little at this point, all this created an inner feeling of happiness and confidence in my abilities to continue in this direction. Our Wednesday painting sessions are inspiring in every way, and no one wants to miss them without a reason. We have been able to travel and go painting together - we spent a week in Gmünd, Austria, twice in France, Berre Les Alpes. This spring, in May, we were able to paint together in Greece for 10 days. A new trip is planned to Portugal.
2019 the fall painting camp in Berre les Alpes in the South of France culminated with our studio exhibition in the city's ancient vaulted gallery-grotto, where we presented more than a hundred different paintings to the viewers. At the opening of the exhibition, the Estonians and the French were mediated by my daughter's deskmate form school, Stien Raffa, who has acquired a wonderful sounding French in more than ten years in France. Thanks to this, it was possible to give the French, most of whom do not have much knowledge of Estonia, a good overview of what is happening here and also of the activities of the 2024 European Capital of Culture in Tartu. It would be great if the Berre les Alpes choir sang in 2024. here in Tartu!
My total number of works is approaching half a hundred. The pictures I have painted so far are for my children and their families. There are pictures of Tartu, there are views of a country house, there pictures from lake Peipsi and also the sea. And of course flowers, because Andresjärve's endless perennial flower beds and the entire park we built have been very inspiring! However, painting has been just a hobby for me until now, as at the time I started devoting myself to the mysteries of science a little late in addition to raising children, and there have been so many interesting and important hypotheses to verify in the understanding of papillomaviruses that it has been difficult to deviate from this path!
At the same time, I am happy that starting from the new year I can only acquire new tricks and gather knowledge in the field of painting every day! I am already waiting for this pensioner's new year and a crisp winter, a new spring with the abundance of green colors, a new purple glow of apple trees and the blooming perennials. I'm waiting for a new summer and a new frenzy of colors! Until then, let's enjoy the beautiful, still colorful late autumn!
And let's be healthy!
The curator of the exhibition is Sulev Kuuse and the exhibition is open until 4 December (Mon–Fri 9:00–17:00).
Photo: the opening of the exhibition on 25 October. Author: Sulev Kuuse.