Art & History

Incredible collages of women as hard-working comrades of Soviet society

Dublin-based visual artist and painter Riin Kaljurand was born in the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia, an era that has always fascinated her with its “paradoxes and peculiarities”. Suffice to say, her geographical origin hugely influences her art.

She moved to Ireland a decade ago, and found there was always a part of her that wanted to return to education and continue studying her craft. Four years ago, she decided to go back to college to pursue studies in Fine Art Painting, and graduated with an honours degree from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Through both her earlier experience as an artist and through continued learning in college, she has discovered her own unique style which takes from many aspects of her upbringing and heritage. The imagery of her work is directly taken from Soviet Estonia’s women’s magazine ‘Soviet Woman’, which created images of femininity according to the communist ideology of work – women as hard-working comrades of Soviet society.

Explaining her technique Riin said: “My paintings/collages are made from acrylic and household paint skins using a collage technique. I manipulate these pieces during different stages of drying – by scraping, folding, cutting, drawing into and building up. For me the most enjoyable and exciting part of my work is inventing new ways to create art.

“For example, recently I have started to make acetate structures by vacuum forming traditionally considered feminine objects like combs, brushers, cosmetic items, polishers, files, toys, etc. I then fill these forms with paint, and when it has dried, I remove these sculptural paint objects from acetate structures and incorporate them into my paintings.”

Via direct submission | All images courtesy of Riin Kaljurand

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