News- Awards and Exhibitions 01/06/2024

Kristjan Raud Prize nomination 2021
Konrad Mäe Painting Prize nomination 2022, 2021 and 2019
Estonian Artists Association Annual Exhibition Public Choice Award 2019

Flow of Light
Sirje Petersen
Draakon Gallery
July 25, 2022 open until August 19, 2022.

Light shows us colours.
What’s out comes in and what’s in gets out.
Openness and closeness.
Light helps us to see details
and light makes darkness go away.

Everyone has a place and a space in this world,
sometimes it is warm and cosy, sometimes cold and bleak.
Sometimes it is noisy, sometimes it is too silent.
Always changing – in light and in shadow.

No-one can grow in darkness.
It becomes possible in light.
Darkness may seem endless but a ray of light can always lit it up
and make everything alive.

There is no absolute reference system. Everything is relative, even the flow of time.”

Sirje Petersen

Exhibition is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Exhibitions in Draakon gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko Ltd.

Red Thread. Sirje Petersen
Haus Gallery 12.05.2021

Renowned artist Sirje Petersen primarily deals with human and humanity in her work. We can meet the reflections of a person’s inner world in her paintings, where figure and color play an important role as a means of expression. By purifying the painting of extra details and adding perceptible nuances from personal experience, she achieves a multidimensionality in her work, almost to the extent of abstraction.

This exhibition is presented with the support of:
Estonian National Culture Foundation 
Estonian Cultural Endowment for Fine and Applied Arts
Tartu Cultural Endowment
Pallas University of Applied Sciences

Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow- University of Tartu, Institute of Social Studies 08/12/2017

On Wednesday, December 13, at 3 pm, the painter Sirje Petersen will open the exhibition “Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow”, where the walls of the former maternity hospital and our current university building have 18 oil painting Petersen’s different creative periods since 2008.

Petersen took a few weeks to think about what an exhibit could be in a house with a special atmosphere. “Both myself and my children have been born in this house, and this is meaningful to me yesterday,” she described. “Today we are dealing with the sharing of wisdom and teachings in this house with young people, and we are sure that this work will continue here tomorrow.”

Petersen added that the premises of the institute are a bit of an exceptional exhibition arrangement, since the distance to the walls is around three meters, which does not leave the viewer just a lot of resignation and remote observation space.
So he had to relate to different parts of the room and find exactly the works that could fit in both the message and the format and color.

Professor Margit Keller, Head of the Department of Social Sciences, said that the Institute has a lot of fun at the exhibition, which in the same way relates specifically to the work of Sirje Petersen, whose colors and depicted people call for reflection. “For example, they can offer different, humorous interpretations according to which corridor or whose door they are located. On the other hand, we will discover our working environment in a fresh way. It will start to speak differently about art, “she said. “In the usual routine space, a new, visual and physical experience is emerging – which we have perceived as an exhibition floor in the past, but still quite rare. It could be inspirational and I believe that we will start organizing exhibitions more often. ”

The whole of Petersen’s work is strongly related to the emotions and memories of both yesterday and today, which will get together on the canvas tomorrow. “In my case, the rule is that everything is inexplicable and everything is not to be explained, the viewer must always have the opportunity to interpret the work in terms of his own point of view,” says Petersen.

Sirje Petersen’s artistry began in 1980. She never had the freedom of a freelance artist, Petersen has always worked as a lecturer in various educational institutions. Currently, she is a part-time associate professor of painting at Tartu Art College.

Her last bigger personal exhibition consisted of 12 large-format paintings at the Noorus gallery with Per William Petersen’s creations.

Sirje Petersen WORDLESS MESSAGE Per William Petersen TIME 11/01/2017

12 – 28 January 2017 Tartu Art College Gallery Noorus, Tartu, Estonia

Engrossed in curiosity to fill their works with their thoughts, moods and abstract concepts, in order to find the „head and tail“ of both the soul and the tendencies of the society. To visualise thoughts, mix them with the gifts of memory and experiences and thereby conserve something transient, something volatile. To see something for the first time – all this amounts to what artists Sirje and Per work on in their shared studio, and what they showcase in this exhibition!

Communicating a certain message sometimes requires many words. Sometimes, however, too many words can shadow the content, because the message may be hiding behind the words not in them.
Words can alter their meaning when reaching the recipient. Word, a victim of time, is often changed to fit current trends.
In this exhibition viewers are free to interpret the message through their perception and experiences and to compare and verbalise what they see. Sirje shows that reality does not always have to be ugly!
Esthetics can be used to describe something that it really isn’t.
The only art form that needs many words is literature! Sirje is a painter and she speaks through paintings.

Per William Petersen TIME
Time – short or long – means everything to us because it measures our lives. Measuring, in turn, is very important for us – why else would we always measure litres, meters, cold/warm and even mood.
What makes time mystical is that the amount of it cannot be seen, despite having enough clocks and calendars. Insecurity makes people do inexplicable, freakish and irrational things. Murderous and destructive things, but also life-giving and loving things.
The time that has passed is being subtracted from the time that is left. Despite the impossibility of this calculation, people still keep trying. It’s like looking into space and trying to count all the stars. In the end we feel that the truth is within reach, but still out of our reach. 
Seriousness alone is nothing! Humour alone is nothing! Life is glued together of seriousness and humour, being the material that Per makes and build his art of. His humorous approach illustrates our sometimes absurd world.

Exhibition designer: Madis Liplap.
Sponsors: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Cultural Endowment of Tartu, Estonian Artists’ Association, A. Le Coq, Tartu Art College.

Participation in exhibitions 2016 12/06/2016


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. Serbian art association “Palanski Art”, Tartu Art College and Escola d´Art i Superior de Disseny Pau Gargallo de Badalona. Gallery Noorus
WHITE WATER. Gallery Haus, Tallinn
Masculine Existentialism. Art from Margus Punab’ Collection. Gallery Noorus
Tartu Art School 65 Anniversary. 
Exhibition- Auction.
Gallery Noorus.
THE SEA. Viinistu Art Museum. 06.07.-07.08.
LABYRINTH. Pärnu Art Summer. Pärnu Ciy Gallery 18.06.-23.07.
ALLTOGETHER- Arteground Art Festival 2016. Viljandi Art Gallery 07.06.-08.07.
TALLINN TEEB TARTUT. Jakobi Gallery 30.05 – 17.06.
SPRING EXHIBITION. EKL 16. Annual Year Exhibition. Tallinn Art Hall 13.05.-19.06.
CHANGING AND UNCHANGED. UKM Pärnus 01.04. -22.05.2016
Personal exhibition TWO WORLDS. (with Per W. Petersen Living Together, Truth – Is Acidic) Rakvere Theatre’s Houses  12.02.- 29.04.2016

Contiunuity And Novelty 14/03/2015

The exhibition of the Estonian Painters’ Association   14 March- 19 April, 2015.

The art practices of Western art metropolises have perhaps sidelined painting as the most widely practiced form of art, however, if we include the globalizing world village with the art scenes of China and other Asian countries, the powerful market forces firmly push painting back into the centre as the art-defining activity on a global scale.

The 2015 annual exhibition organized by the Estonian Painters’ Association at the Pärnu Museum of New Art attempts to bring together the work of painters who consider daily painting the essential part of their existence, as well as artists who engage it on a project-basis. A special invitation has been extended to students of painting at the Estonian Academy of Art, the Tartu Art College, and University of Tartu.                            


Spring Exhibition in Tallinn Art Hall 03/04/2013

Postmodernism is indeed the words of pluralism and all promising the declaration, but its democratic nature, however, could be questioned. All kinds of labels under goes a ruthless struggle for power – otherwise very good artists will not be able to assert itself, because they do not possess market economic tricks and can not guess which trend curators’re interested. / .. / CURATOR spring exhibition is a nostalgic reminder of an undemocratic society, but today’s art scene democratization of the test.

03.04.2013 – 05.05.2013
Estonian Artists’ Association Year Exhibition

Solo exhibition Here And Now 14/04/2012

Here and Now

This awareness awakens our thoughts, emotions and body sensation
in a new, conscious, way. Our destiny is to discover all that we are.
Presence is love that can be found only in the present moment. The here and now is the only reality that exists.

Saaremaa Art studio Gallery  from  14.04. until to 18.05. 2012.

SELECTED 02/04/2012

Tartu Art College and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
joint exhibition SELECTED Gallery Aula at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno, Czech Republic
28. March-28. April 2012

A group of Estonian and Finnish artistst-lecturers from Tartu Art College and Saimaa University of Applied Sciences takes part in the joint exhibition. The long-term relations of cooperation between the two schools have also resulted in strong bonds of friendship between the artists.

We wish to value the role of fine arts in society, underlining the importance of fine arts as a medium that functions over language barriers. 
The role of art-culture and art-studies in a society needs to be proven constantly. On the other hand, traditional fields of art such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, stained glass and tapestry have become marginal. These fields do not exist in a traditional way in many European higher education establishments of art, because the aims and the content of art studies are not standardized. The aim of the exhibition is also to create new networks of art teachers. 
Creative fields based on cultural traditions carry the coherence that enables us to create visual creation able to function in contemporary society.

Sirje Petersen, Aet Ollisaar, Heli Tuksam, Erika Pedak, Jaan Luik, Tuuli Puhvel, Kadri Toom, Juhani Järvinen, Sofia Wilkman

Excited Senses 20/01/2012

Starting from the 21th of January an artist Sirje Protsin Petersen will exhibit her works in Tam Gallery. On the exhibition “Excited Sences” she will analyse, with feminine curiosity, the processes concerning cognitivity and analytical mind.
The artist will guide the viewer to listen to colors, see smells, touch the infinity and feel the unknown.

Her works are inspired by fields of cognition, where connections between perception, human mind and thinking will become clear. Analytical mind helps to feel and appreciate the value of things, life and humanity.

Sirje Protsin Petersen portrays the world through esthetical sense, where truth and beauty make a whole and an individual connects with these surroundings. Watching the figural paintings of the artist is an esthetical pleasure, which leaves the viewer a lot of space for fantasy and recognition.

“5 Senses” from Estonia – Imatra Cultural Centre 24/10/2011

The exhibition “5 Senses” by Estonian artists will be opened on November 7, 2011.
The exhibition in  Imatra Cultural Centre, Finland will stay open until December 4, 2012
Will be presented: painting, glass and textile arts from
Sirje P. Petersen, Aet Ollisaar, Tuuli Puhvel ja Kadri Toom .

Imatra Cultural Centre
Virastokatu 1
FI – 55100 Imatra