Award-winning series of paintings from the student of the University of Tartu
A painting student from the master's programme of the University of Tartu Elo-Mai Mikelsaar received the second place for a part of her painting series "Must stsenaarium" ("Nightmare Scenario") at young artists competition Young Painter Prize 2013. The painting belonged to Mikelsaar's bachelor's thesis which she defended at the Chair of Painting in spring 2013.
A record number of young artists — 92 —participated in the competition this year. The jury which consisted of leaders of several acknowledged art institutions, art critics, curators and artists from different Northern European countries chose 15 finalists, three of whom had studied painting at the University of Tartu: Elo-Mai Mikelsaar, Mihkel Maripuu and Paavo Käämbre.
The jury gave the first prize to a Latvian artist Zane Tuča for her work "Stillness". Due to the equal division of points, two second places were awarded — to the master's student from the University of Tartu Elo-Mai Mikelsaar and Mykolė Ganusauskaitė from Lithuania.
Elo-Mai Mikelsaar, the author of the awarded work "Must stsenaarium" characterises her work by stating that the aim of the painting technique was to be as chaotic as her personality allowed her to be. The work is a self portrait that reflects personal fears and nightmares. She got inspiration for creating the painting series from the economic crisis as well as the approaching end of the world.
"Must stsenaarium", the 6-part painting series that was painted by Elo-Mai Mikelsaar as her graduation work in 2013, is painted with a rare insinuating power. It is a synthesis of abstract and reality which in nine cases out of ten creates a negative déjà vu effect, especially in a context of portraits. The author has solved the whole series with masterly skills that connect the intellectual and the picturesque," said Jaan Elken, the Professor of Painting at the University of Tartu when describing Mikelsaar's work. Elken added that a second place in an acknowledged international painting competition gives moral capital to the Chair of Painting of the University of Tartu and strength to carry on.
The supervisor of Elo-Mai Mikelsaar's work was Rauno Thomas Moss from the Chair of Painting of the University of Tartu.