Through wind and fire 10/12/2008

10.12.2008 – 30.01.2009
This year’s last exhibition in SEB Gallery is overflowing with wind and fire, flaming passion and blazing colours.

Sirje Protsin, an artist residing and working in Tartu spreads out in front of the public her figural compositions born in the symbiosis of wind and fire over the two last years. Namely the wind with its unpredictable strength, and fire with its passionate flames characterize most vividly Protsin’s state of soul and her creative activity in the recent years. With expressive painting style and colour contrasts the artist brings out also the other main elements – water and earth through the symbols of fire and wind.

The metaphor of wind speaks about the harmony of existence and place, an artist in time and space here and now, his/hers life and destiny. To counterbalance this the fire expresses everlasting change, life and movement. The fire is bright, scorching, burning, destroying, illuminating,
warming – all at the same time, whereas the wind is transparent air – stormy and tempestuous, yet at the next moment mild and soothing.
In case of both elements we can talk about opposition, contrast that, too, characterizes Protsin’s style of painting. The paintings called “Of Fire” and “Of Wind” contrast each other with their shades of colour, perception of figures and energy – just like day and night.

Sirje Protsin loves colours and knows how to handle them on canvas – the colour combinations enriched with delicate nuances of a broad spectrum reflect life, genuine emotions and movement. The human body and colour together visualize the artist’s thought, perception and questions – unknowing whether answers to them will be found. Protsin’s hand is characterized by the principle of contrast – she opposes pasty and non-transparent surface of the painting to thin and glazy; dramatic feelings conveyed with vigorous brush-strokes and bright colour to peaceful and harmonious colouring. The red colour symbolizing passion, energy and vitality has found its place in many works. Johannes Saar has characterized Sirje Protsin’s use of colour as follows: „Protsin’s self-confident and unconstrained style of painting gives away vast experience as a painter rooted in the historical Pallas school of painting. That’s where the impeccable gradations of light and dark colour originate that run like the scales of music from one end to the other.“

Sirje Protsin draws her inspiration from different sources. She is a frequent visitor of dance shows, observing the moving figures, exalted feelings interpreted into the language of dance formations; the artist also gathers suggestive energy from various visual materials.
Yet she does not copy them one-to-one but interprets and creates a new reality by changing and working the human figure, disarranging reality into unreality. Searching for inspiration in nature and the world around us the creative work of Sirje Protsin is greatly autobiographical, depicting a Woman who is searching for her place and finds it in constant

Dance Of Life 28/02/2007

29.02.-01.04.2007 Vanemuise Publikugaleriis ja
2.10.-19.11.2007 Eesti Rahvusooperi Publikugaleriis


/…/ The abstract and the specific

Music and dance versus thinking and pictorial reality. The openness of the dancers touches the soul deeply: the expression exposes man’s more intimate side. Protsin believes that this theme will be sufficient for her entire life. A photographer observes and records, a painter recreates an impression. The experience evokes the colours and the poses sharpened by differently placed emphasis.

Different art forms come to life together, a new paradigm is born. Delicate ballet has been discarded over the futuristic-dadaist tension and subdivision of tempo. Hence the disharmony of colour, an attempt to overcome the strive for perfection, balance and good taste, which has disturbed many painters of the Pallas school in realising the ideas of the avant garde.

The artist purposely abstains from over-processing the painted surfaces, leaving parts of the picture “empty”. These are like pauses filled with the music of stillness. At the same time, a head or bust receives detailed attention (Dance III, XI, XIII, XV).

Special attention should be dedicated to pictures where the composition is determined by the hands or hand movements (Dance III, V; Turning III, Embrace). The painting style is in the spirit of spontaneity and inspiration, but reason remains in control of everything.

The prerequisite for the productivity of such an approach is sincerity. The beauty of Protsin’s female figures can be distinguished with the words “mannerism-theatricality-glamour”. A platform that significantly expands the interpretation of the paintings.

/…/ Precision of sensation

Protsin’s occasional utmost accuracy in depicting the body actually constitutes precision of sensation. The playful sensuality, the counterinfluence of symbols and allusions may be surprising.

L. Parhomenko, art critic

ICH BIN EIN MALER 07/05/2004

Estonian Painters Association`s Annual exhibition ICH BIN EIN MALER
Tallinn Art Hall, Vabaduse 6
Avatud 07.05.-06.06.2004

Õhustik peaks testima maalikunstnike kui Ego-kesksete loojate võimet koostööd teha,
teist arvestada. Tallinna Kunstihoone on taas (ajutiselt) kunstnike kätes,
territoorium mis pühitsetud vaid valitud kuraatorite ja kujundajat salatoiminguteks,
on nädalaks transformeeritud üle kolmekümne kunstniku ateljeepinnaks, teiseks koduks.
Irooniliselt plusspoole pealt: ära jääb tarbetu kulu lõuendile-alusraamile, tüütu transport
ja hilisem hoidmine kusagil ateljeenurgas.
Projekt dokumenteeritakse videos ja slaididel, võimalusel kaasneb kataloog.
Juba avamisel on võimalik näha nn. musta materjali salvestust töönädalast.
Seega uurib näitus eelkõige kunsti representatsiooni küsimusi: millal on
kunst uudis meie ühiskonnas, kuidas portreteerida maalikunsti 21.
sajandil, millal kunst kommunikeerub vaatajatega, millal kriitikutega?
“ICH BIN EIN MALER” – sümboolse pealkirjaga näitus uurib sümboolse
Berliini müüri langemise võimalusi kriitikute, maalikunsti ja vaatajaskonna vahel.

Osalevad 32 kunstnikku 33 taiesega:
Maire Koll, Peeter Allik, Kaarel Vulla, Ashot Jegikean, Mall Paris, JüriArrak, Sirja-Liisa Vahtra,
Otto von Busch, Urmas Muru, Owe Büttner, Maarit Murka,
Sirje Protsin: Valik. 220x180cm Selection Oil on canvas
Toomas Altnurme, Tiit Jaanson, Sorge/Margus
Tiitsmaa, Erki Kasemets, Toomas Sarapuu, Andrus Rõuk, Evald Okas, Mati
Kütt, Ilmar Kruusamäe, Reiu Tüür, Laurentsius/Lauri Sillak, Anne
Parmasto, Jaan Elken, Helina Loid, Raoul Kurvitz, Andres Tolts, Mari
Roosvalt, Jüri Kask, Leonhard Lapin, Tiina Tammetalu.

Memory Print- Tartu Lastekunstikooli Galerii 02/02/2004

06.02.- 23.02.2004
Memory – the reflection of previous experience in the consciousness, the ability to obtain, preserve
and reproduce experience which can be revisited through associations.
These are coded memory prints drawn onto the canvas.
The past, the present and the future have been intertwined.
This is a spiritual, autobiographical memory where I perceive and am aware of subjective time.
The human body and colour help me to visualise the thought, perception, questions – not knowing, if these will be answered…

Somewhere Away 2003 Draakon Gallery, Tallinn 15/03/2003

17-03.- 29.03.2003
To be outside time
to escape time’s requirements
wherefrom? whereto? where? –
curiosity and urge to exit oneself,
to express and share… I am my own tempting research object.
How not to drop myself or let myself be dissolved?
To accept myself the way I discover myself at a given moment.
If a puddle is a mirror, I’d have to jump across the sky!
This exhibition is a polite, proficient school of sensation, where my paintings serve to compliment my students.
And more – I paint out of a spiritual necessity, for friends to watch and students to see
(these works undoubtedly ooze methodical tolerance).

A Self- Spinning Wheel in Sammas Gallery, Tallinn 08/09/1993

In 1992 fire consumed most of my paintings. In the tragedy
of my art`s ruin and the rambling existential feeling of my
own survival I tried to treat my desperation with black humour.
Wishing to recreate my works, I found myself in the absurdly merry situation of inventing the Wheel.
Meeting unforeseen possibilities of expressing the processes of life, I took to the bicycle as a means.
There is a well- known formula of art: “I know that it is not the thing it represents,
but I can clearly see that it is just the thing it represents.” I delight in making the mind an object for observation.
My interpretation of wheels is hidden between the wheels. The bicycle`s relations to the phenomena
of life can be direct and indirect, permanent and temporary, relevant and irrelevant,
accidental and inevitable.
As it is impossible to ride these bicycles in reality, I invite you along to think, to dream, to laugh—
for a make- believe ride.
I am like everybody else— a homo ludens.
Anybody can invent their own bicycle; my work is a vision of my bike.
September, 1993