Contemporary Art Gallery of Viimsi Artium hosts a twin exhibition by the top Estonian animated filmmakers Olga and Priit Pärn. On the first floor of the gallery, there is an exhibition of drawings Stay Still -Let me Look!, which gives an insight into the visual design of four animated films. The exhibition It Flew Away, which is open on the second floor, gives an idea of the essence of a good illustration.
STAY STILL – LET ME LOOK
Olga Pärn & Priit Pärn
A privileged glimpse into the visual design of four animated films.
When the film is set in motion, it keeps scrolling until it is over. Surely there have also been moments where you would like to say, “Stay still – let me look”. But of course, it is easier said than done.
This exhibition features drawing from four animated films.
Specifically, from four cartoons:
HOTEL E, 1992
LIFE WITHOUT GABRIELLA FERRI, 2008
DIVERS IN THE RAIN, 2010
PILOTS ON THE WAY HOME, 2014
These films have a total of about 162,720 frames. Our exhibition has 50 images, 50 moments ripped out of the whole, which make up about 0.0307% of the total number of frames from these four films. Each individual image is 0.000614% of the total number of frames.
To choose the best images for the exhibition from such an abundance of frames, one had to catch moments where one could say, “Stay still – let me look”. It wasn’t easy, but we did it! Of course, after such a marathon, there was no problem with the choice of a title for the exhibition.
IT FLEW AWAY
Olga Pärn & Priit Pärn
Almost any text can be illustrated. It is a pleasure to illustrate a well-written text, but a poor text can paradoxically be even more inspirational. A picture can trigger and amplify emotions associated with the written text, deepen its meaning, question, or contradict it, or even make it appear laughable and silly.
An illustration needs to be complementary to the text, otherwise it would be pointless to do illustrations. It does not make sense to illustrate a haiku or a novel that are self-sufficient genres. It could be hard to believe, but to illustrate books for children is a real challenge. In this case, the illustrations need to be particularly fascinating – far more interesting than the narrative itself. And so competition with illustrators will motivate children’s authors to become better writers. You either improve your writing or otherwise find another illustrator. So far we have proceeded from the premise that some texts require to be illustrated. However, we might also ask “Do illustrations in certain cases need a text to complement them? “. The answer is that in certain cases they don’t. For example at an illustrations exhibition. Lack of context makes it impossible to understand the hidden clues that refer to the text that is now unavailable to the viewers.
Are these pictures tombstones on the texts graveyard? In fact, we can offer a less morbid interpretation. Maybe it is just a matter of growing up, maturing and becoming independent? The all-encompassing text is like a broody hen sitting in the nest box day after day. But the day comes when the “eggs are hatched” and the illustration is finished. Its wings are strong enough to take flight. And it flies away and lands wherever it wishes.
Why not on the wall of the ARTIUM art gallery?
Therefore, we thought that IT FLEW AWAY would be the most fitting title for this exhibition.
Priit Pärn, born 1946 in Tallinn, graduated from the Department of Biology at the University of Tartu in 1970. He has been active as a caricaturist, illustrator and graphic artist since the end of the 1960’s. Over the past 40 years Pärn has had over 40 solo exhibitions in various European countries.
From 1976 on he has worked as an and animated film director. For his films he received more than 80 prizes at international top festivals. He also received the „ASIFA Life Achievement Award“in 2002 and 7 other life time achievements awards from different festivals.
From 2006 Priit Pärn has been making animated films together with his wife Olga Pärn.
Priit Pärn has also worked as a teacher of animation over the past 32 years. He has taught at film schools over the world. In 1994, Pärnfounded the Animation studies in Turku (Finland) and 2006 at the Estonian Academy of Arts. Priit has created illustrations for more than 40 books for children and adults alike He has been working for years with different magazines and newspapers both as cartoonist and illustrator. From 2019 he is Professor emeritus of Estonian Academy of Arts. From 2020 he is Professor of Free Arts department of Tartu University.
Olga Pärn, born in Minsk, graduated from Belorussian Art Academy in 2000 as graphic artist. From 1996 till 2003 Olga Marchenko(maiden-name) worked at studio Belarusfilm as art-director and animator. From year 2003 till 2005 she studied in „La Poudriere” (France, Valence). From 2006 Olga is living and working in Estonia. From 2008 her family name is Pärn. In collaboration with Priit Pärn she has made 6 award winning films as co-director and co-artist. Among 36 prizes received are 11 Grand Prix from different prestigious festivals. Olga has been teaching at Animation department at Estonian Academy of Arts from 2007. She has conducted several workshops of sand animation and painting on glass in animation schools in Europa and Japan. From 2020 she is Professor of Free Arts department at Tartu University.