Karl Joonas Alamaa "ÕUNAPUU ALL. HOMMAGE HOOLELE / UNDERNEATH THE APPLE TREE. AN HOMAGE TO CARE


3.06.- 28.06.2022

Moekunstnik Karl Joonas Alamaa teos seob omavahel etnograafilise traditsiooni, Setomaalt pärit juured ja vanavanemalt lapselapsele pärandatud loo tingimusteta hoolest ning eneseohverdusest läbi emaliku prisma, toonitades hoole ja inimliku empaatia olulisust.

Ta inspireerub etnograafiast tuntud „vaeslapse lugudest“, kus varakult ema kaotanud laps läheb õieehtes õunapuu alla oma rasket elusaatust kurtma. Õunapuu poetab lohutuseks õiehelmeid, vaeslaps aga pisaraid.

Kunstnik kirjeldab oma ainest järgmiselt:

Minu vanavanaemal oli üheksa last, kellest kolm lahkusid siit ilmast ome elu alguses. Mees oli alkohoolik ja vägivaldne. Sõja ajal põletasid taganevad sakslased nende Setomaal Kossolka külas asunud talu maha ning alles ei jäänud mitte midagi peale mõne aias kasvava õunapuu. Isa pandi kaheks aastaks vangi venna ristseteks puskari ajamise eest. Pere peamine toitja oli läinud ja ema sai vaid korra aastas palka. Et hoida elus oma kuut last oli ema sunnitud välja vahetama ja maha müüma kogu oma „hõpõkraami“ - seto naise uhkuse, kaitse ja jõu allika, oma hõberahad. Aegamööda pidi ta välja vahetama enda kaitse oma tolleks hetkeks elus oleva kuue lapse kaitse vastu, ära andma kõik materiaalse. Temast ei ole alles jäänud ühtegi füüsilist tunnistust: mitte ühtegi eset, mitte ühtegi fotot, mitte ühtegi kirja.


Vormiotsingute aluseks olid seto võimsad hõberahadega keed, mis teoses üheksariviliseks portselanist hõpõkraamiks kujunenud. Iga rivi sümboliseerib ühte last üheksast, lusikad aga sügavast vaesusest tulenenud tühja kõhtu ja lusikate sõlge meenutav vorm vaesuse peletamiseks viimases hädas ära vahetatud ja müüdud hõberahasid — seto naise uhkuse ja kaitse allikat.

"Õunapuu all - hommage hoolele" on füüsilise jäljeta mälestusele keha ja vormi andmine, tuues tähelepanu sellele, mis tõeliselt ja alati loeb - inimlik võime kuulata, hoolida ning mõista.


Karl Joonas Alamaa (sünd. 2000) on rätsepa taustaga Eesti Kunstiakadeemias moedisaini tudeeriv ja hetkel end kostüümikunsti alal Antwerpeni Kuninglikus Kunstiakadeemias täiendav kunstnik ja disainer.

Alamaa looming kätkeb endas lisaks mineviku uurimisele ka sotsiaalsete ja ühiskondlike konstruktsioonide lahkamist ja vaidlustamist, tegeledes sh soo, moe ja keha omavaheliste suhetega. Alamaa on Hõbenõel 2021 nominent.

Teos on valminud EKA moeosakonna etnograafia kursuse tööna. Teos on sh eksponeeritud moelooja Piret Pupparti kureeritud näitusel "Tuleviku kaasavara", ERMis.


Heliteos: Henryk Gorecki Sümfoonia nr 3 "Kurbade laulude sümfoonia" II ja III osa; esitavad: ERSO, sopran Mhairi Lawson, dirigent Andres Mustonen

Graafiline disain: Eliisabet Kuslap

Foto: Kristina Kuzemko

Autor tänab: Lisette Sivard, Olivia Soans, Piret Puppart, Eesti Rahvuskultuuri Fond

Näituseid HOP galeriis toetavad Eesti Kultuurkapital, Eesti Kultuuriministeerium ja Liviko AS.

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The piece is about the paradoxicality of my great-grandmother's life and how she managed to maintain her humanity in the midst of it all. The piece is inspired by life of Stalin-era Setomaa, in Southern-Estonia, which was a struggle for centuries-old heritage, independent thinking as well as human feelings, forcing many into making great sacrifices for the sake of their closest ones.

My great-grandmother had nine children, three of whom passed away at a young age. Her husband was a violent alcoholic. During the war, retreating Germans burned down their farmhouse in Setomaa, Kossolka village. There was nothing left but a few apple trees growing in the garden.

Father was locked up for two years for making moonshine for his brother's baptism. With the imprisonment of father, the family lost their main source of income and mother was only paid wages once a year. To keep her six children alive, she had to exchange and sell all of her hõpõkraam - a set of silver coins worn as jewelry and considered to be the source of a Seto woman's pride, protection and strength. One by one, she had to give away pieces of her protection in order to safeguard and feed the six children she had. Eventually there was nothing physical left behind when she passed away - no objects, photos, nor letters.

Since my great-grandmother had nine children, there are nine rows of ceramic spoons. The spoons symbolise the missed meals. The porcelain hõpõkraam symbolises the burden of worry physically, weighing around twenty kilograms. All 138 spoons have been glazed with apple tree ashes and Sänna clay. Sänna is a nearby place in Võru County, Southern Estonia.

The dress is inspired by the shirts of Seto women, with the older ones reflected at the bottom and newer ones in the top layers. The lower part of the dress was dyed with apple tree bark and the top was left undyed, letting the golden hue shine through the shell.

The branch of an apple tree from an old orchard which hangs from the ceiling and places all the visitors literally underneath an apple tree.

I have been moved by Estonian folk stories about a young orphan girl who loses her mother at a young age and finds a refuge under a blossoming apple tree to share the worries of her difficult destiny. The apple tree drops its blossoms to comfort her while she sheds her tears.

Similarly, my grandmother was still relatively young when her mother died. Finished with natural and fragile porcelain white, these spoons are like blossoms, shaped like brooches and tears at the same time. The apple tree is a symbol of love and motherhood. Likewise, the traditional brooch signifies motherly love and fertility.

'Underneath the Apple Tree. An Homage to Care' gives body and form to memories without a physical trace, bringing attention to what truly and always matters - the humane ability to listen, care and understand.


Karl Joonas Alamaa (b. 2000) is an artist and designer with tailoring background studying fashion design at the Estonian Academy of Arts and currently completing his studies in the field of costume design at the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp.

In addition to researching the past, Alamaa's work includes dissecting and challenging social and societal constructions, including the relationships between gender, fashion and the body. Alamaa is a 2021 nominee to the Silver Needle award.


Music: Henryk Gorecki, Symphony No. 3 'Symphony of Sorrowful Songs', movement II; performed by: Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, soprano Mhairi Lawson, conductor Andres Mustonen

Graphic design: Eliisabet Kuslap

Photo: Kristina Kuzemko

The author expresses his gratitude to: Lisette Sivard, Olivia Soans, Piret Puppart, Estonian National Culture Foundation.

The exhibitions in HOP Gallery are supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Culture and Liviko AS.


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