Texts by Kadri Mälk, Tamara Luuk and Tanel Veenre
Designed by Asko Künnap and Andres Rõhu
Photos by Tiit Rammul
Tallinna Raamatutrükikoda, 2016
328 pages, in English and Estonian
Testament is a book by and about Kadri Mälk, one of the most unique and renowned Estonian jewellery artists, which features jewellery from the last ten years and is framed by her illustrated life story. The latter is written in a non-orthodox way, to reveal Mälk’s inner motivation, the pains, trials and exaltations of an artist, that can help guide the reader – or rather the viewer – through her life journey so far. The book is text light and image heavy, however the selected images have been used strategically and powerfully to bridge people and landscapes, drawings and jewels, to demonstrate the complexity of what being a creative talent means and the otherworldly dimensions of Mälk’s artistic realm. The quality of the visuals, the photos of jewellery and the close-up images are spellbinding and haunting, the content is intriguing and brimming with life with full consideration of death and afterlife. Testament is Mälk’s way of thanking all the people who she met along this path, an expression of gratitude.
As curator Tamara Luuk aptly describes Mälk’s work: Graceful and subtle, yet wild and independent, is what encapsulates the work of Kadri Mälk, the founder of an internationally-renowned Estonian school of jewellery. For Mälk, an item of jewellery is perfectly sufficient in itself, she does not strive to be outside its intimacy, its value or its closeness. Everything which could be called a tradition allows her to skilfully manipulate uncontrollable power, desperate passions and the will to live with all its acceptances and refusals, subjections and sovereignties.