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Maryliis Teinfeldt-Grins

  • Contemporary Art
  • MA
  • How to read a Landscape?
  • Tutor: Linda Kaljundi, Hannes Palang
  • Artistic research

The center of my artistic practice is landscape, surrounded by topics such as remembering and countryside landscapes. The mediums I work in are mainly embroidery, tapestry and poetry in Kadrina dialect. For the past two years, I’ve been researching the ability and skill to read a landscape. The object of my research is a village lost in time, Koplimetsa. The aim of the interdisciplinary academic study, which brings together cultural geography, art practice, memory research and ethnography, is to learn to read and analyze a specific Estonian landscape through artistic research. 

The landscape of Koplimetsa is a good example of changing power systems and it’s impact on landscape and the ability to understand it. Estonia is a country where within one hundred years the society has been revered several times. There are five different stages in the Estonian landscape: ancient, manor, farm, Soviet and postmodern landscapes. Due to the rapid changes in the landscape it is extremely hard to read it, to understand. 

Why it is important to study changes in landscapes is that it provides insight into how and what changes. In this way, it’s possible to understand, preserve and critically analyze our heritage. My research demonstrates how much change one specific Estonian landscape has undergone, making the identity narrative of this place intermittent. The story of Koplimetsa has been lost over time.

In the course of creative research, I allow myself to wonder, think, ask and document as a contemporary artist, stepping into the shoes of human and cultural geographer,  psychologist, anthropologist, local history researcher, archaeologist, geologist, biologist and ethnologist.  I use interdisciplinary research methods, such as observation and participation practice, and interviews. In the course of creative research, I document one landscape made during different seasons with photos, videos and drawings. I work with memory institutions and archives like the National Archives of Estonia, National Archive, Estonian Literary Museum, Museum of Estonian Architecture. 

During my creative research, several works of art were produced, as well as plans for the future ones. However, in this work the artworks are not hierarchically higher than the artist’s

creative research experience itself. I value the results of the creative research as a whole. Thanks to its richness in knowledge and information, it’s possible to base my artistic practice on the outcome by working in one research field in a longer time period creating a network of works and further knowledge.