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Like stones in flowing water

Curator Tamara Luuk

Ingrid Allik, Naima Neidre and Tiiu Pallo-Vaik


The exhibition “Like Stones in Flowing Water” will be opened in Tallinn City Gallery on Thursday, 10 September at 6 pm. It speaks of the consistent yet admirably changeable work of three artists, which is simultaneously both modest and powerfully self-assertive. Curator Tamara Luuk has invited these three particular artists to make a joint exhibition, indicating that poetry, intuition, beauty and harmony also walk their sunny path today, refusing to let it grow wild.


Tiiu Pallo-Vaik, Naima Neidre and Ingrid Allik, the three artists at this exhibition, are like colourful, polished stones that become ever more radiant in the passing of time. Obstructing or redirecting this passage with their physicality is out of the question – they are too fragile. Also unthinkable is being randomly rolled here and there by the flowing water. For this, they hold too much weight.


Tiiu Pallo-Vaik has gone through several creative stages in her career, from abstract images, portraits and landscapes to diffused abstractions based on natural forms. She is well familiar with the lightness of watercolour and pastosity of oil paint, and she has experimented with collage and poetry engraved on the picture surface. Her recent paintings are covered with crackle lines created with a fine pen and oil paint. Their sharpness makes the painting itself look surprisingly soft. It is reminiscent of the Japanese Raku pottery technique mastered by Ingrid Allik. It also evokes the automatism of a fine etching or an ink line, carefully commanded by Naima Neidre in her prints.


Naima Neidre’s greatest artistic achievements are undoubtedly related to her long career in printmaking. There is thorough craftsmanship, feminine patience and firm sensitivity characteristic of the Golden Age of Estonian printmaking in her work. For some time now, Neidre has been dedicated to colour, and her unique and bold approach to watercolour makes her the biggest surprise in this exhibition. The fragility, tenderness and vulnerability that used to seem inseparable in her work with lines have been replaced by the spectacular strength of colour and image, guided by playful intuition.


All three artists love little things and stories that unveil the grand gestures of nature. Ingrid Allik is insurmountable in capturing these. Her extensive experience in teaching and working with young people, combined with her interest in Japanese culture, are the basis of her openness and willingness to experiment. Rather than striving for maximum impact with a striking image, she builds her complete installations on the mutual pull of objects and materials. Although she loves stones, she herself is more like a constantly moving wave that embraces everything from time to time. Ingrid is a binding element, a unifying flow in this thoroughly poetic procession of the three artists in an exhibition that doesn’t have a loud voice. Rather, it is a suggestive, harmonious-sounding hum.

Tiiu Pallo-Vaik (1941) graduated from Tartu Art School and the State Art Institute in painting. She was awarded the grand prix at the Baltic Watercolour Triennial and the Kristjan Raud prize and medal as well as several other awards.


Naima Neidre (1943) graduated from Tartu Art School and the State Art Institute in printmaking. She was awarded first prize at the Riga Miniature Print Triennial, first prize at the Tallinn Print Triennial  and the Kristjan Raud prize and medal.


Ingrid Allik (1958) graduated from the ceramics department of the State Art Institute and has worked as head of the department. As an expert in Raku ceramics and author of a book on this technique, she currently works as an assistant professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She was the first to be awarded Ceramic Artist of the Year in Estonia.