Mark Antonius Puhkan "ANNUAL GROWTH RINGS"
My first solo exhibition “Annual Growth Rings” includes my drawings of recent years. Some of you may have already seen them in my Instagram gallery (@mapuhkan) where I regularly upload my works. In a sense, it is a visual diary, with the common thread of changing seasons and life moments running through it. Most pictures are inspired by a significant event of life, which in the works move from the personal level to a universal form. I appreciate all impulses that life offers, both the beautiful and the painful ones. Above all, I am inspired by intact nature and wildlife. With my work, I want to erase the constructed boundary between man and nature, and bring out the connections and lines of force which bind us all. I often give a visible form to things that cannot be seen otherwise: sounds, smells, touch, thoughts, time, energies, possibilities, micro and macro levels of things. Several drawings have been built up like visual poems trying to express what is either impossible or very difficult to explain in any other language. I invite viewers to read this visual language with openness and patience. I’d like to encourage you not to look for what I have written in the image, but let the personal associations that may emerge at the moment carry you.
A few words about annual growth rings. If you take a cross section of the human soul, I believe you will also find annual growth rings there, just like in a tree. Year by year, experiences, lessons, skills and overall mental capacity accumulate. The annual rings contain the sum of the whole course of life so far. An individual sees his or her annual rings when looking back in memories. The more rings there are, the more difficult it is to look into the innermost rings – the ones towards the core, the childhood. Some places in the memory rings get eaten by bark beetles, and others come back to you when an unexpected external impulse like a woodpecker makes the whole trunk resound. A certain moment may resonate with something deep in you, which has been forgotten or grown unknowingly. Let life be the woodpecker that sharply bores into us as we draw the growth rings under the bark in our trunks. May the trunk resound in unison in all its rings and holes.
Mark Antonius Puhkan (born 1994) is an Estonian
artist whose main media are drawing and relief printing. He received
his BA in Graphic Art and MA in Contemporary Art from the Estonian
Academy of Art. He works as a lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Art
and as an illustrator for the Estonian daily newspaper Postimees. He
has illustrated the jubilee publication of “Truth and Justice I”
by A. H. Tammsaare (2018) and published a graphic novel “People of
the Antenna House” (2019). He has participated in several group
exhibitions both in Estonia and in other countries.
The exhibition is supported by Estonian Cultural Endowment.