Estonia – Communication through street art
You wouldn’t think that Estonia is a country where there is a lively street art/graffiti scene. Indeed there isn’t so much, but there definitely are some active street artists. Some weeks ago three different Estonian street artists came together for a live painting session. Their names are Mimiko, Kairo and Pintsel.
A somewhat rather particular but remarkably positively vibed event labeled ‘Breaking Barriers’ took place in Sillamäe in Estonia. This particular Estonian town is known for its largely Russian-speaking community. The beautiful and tidy-looking town of Sillamäe, whose appellation would stand for something like the bridged hill, brought together the locals in order to celebrate the beginning of autumn. Also to offer them, as the proverb goes, bread and circuses. The great variety of entertaining activities, in addition to the highly dynamic ambience, even astonished the few lost-looking Estonians. The reason for them to be here? What else then the basic people-uniting form of creation – street art.
In the sweet strawberry-scented spray cloud and under the logo of Stencibility, a live painting session was held out by three Estonian street artists – Tartu based Mimiko and Kairo, together with the Tallinn based brush-loving artist Pintsel. They gave their contribution to the kind act of connecting people through visual delight that offers us this spray-canned form of art. In despite of the barrier that might still exist until this day between Estonian and Russian speaking communities, no communication problems occurred during the painting session. The act of creation simply doesn’t need words: the visual aspect offers the possibility of mutual understanding between each other. Even if words are shared, like the „очень красивый“ that a fellow just told me, pointing towards the wall-in-progress, the optimistic tonality in the message does not make one ask for explanation.
In the golden September sun, the mellow smoothing sound of spray in the background, various elements start appearing on the plain white wall. Their status of development is changing rapidly and promisingly. As the figures start to take shape, recognizable styles start to emerge. Kairo, whose techniques until the near present has involved acrylic and brushes, recently started spraying and paints one of her signature works. A large scaled human face appears, sending out a peaceful vibe with its calm expression. In contrast to the serenity, cheerful smiley faced food emerges from the can of Mimiko, who seems to know well how to put an affectionate smile on the spectators face. To balance these different colours and emotions, Pintsel adds his rather graphical black-and-white urban-related elements to the mural, making all the painted objects interact with each other. Once again a successful collaborated live painting session has planted its seed into the grounds of an Estonian town not yet familiar with street art.
Article & photo by Salme Liivrand.