Kristel Saan

Kristel Saan (b.1985) is a visual artist based in Tallinn. She acquired a Master’s Degree in Ceramic Design from the Estonian Academy of Arts (2015) and has also studied at Central Saint Martins University of Art and Design (2011) in London and at Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2013) in Vancouver. Saan works with large-scale installations, photography, video works, ceramics and textile pieces. The artist’s work often resembles diverse utopian areas where poetry, philosophical topics, and various unexpected organic and artificial materials intertwine, while one of the main aspects becomes the perception of object, material, and space.


Kristel Saan (1985) lives and works in Tallinn and in Vancouver.


2012-2015 Estonian Academy of Arts, ceramics (MA)
2014 Rhode Island School of Design, ceramics
2013 Emily Carr University of Art and Design, visual arts
2011 Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, fine arts
2008-2012 Estonian Academy of Arts, ceramics (BA)
2003-2007 Tartu University, law (BA)

Solo Exhibitions

2018 I Ate Emptiness Also, sound performance with Sten Saarits, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2018 Zero G Tonic, with Sten Saarits, Draakon Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2018 I Cloud, Stella Soomlaisi Studio, Tallinn, Estonia
2018 I Ate Emptiness Also, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2016 Organically Grown, Artishok Biennale, Theatre NO99, Tallinn, Eesti
2015 My rising sign is Dancer, Estonian Art Academy, Tallinn, Estonia
2014 Domestic Altar EGO, HOP Gallery Tallinn, Estonia
2013 Sunbed, HOP Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2013 There were some, but there was no-one, with Evelin Saul, Vabadus Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2012 Sunbed, XL Art Space, Helsinki, Finland

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 TAVA18, Tartu Light Festival, Tartu, Estonia
2018 Everyday Witchcraft, curated by Merilin Talumaa, Kogo Gallery, Tartu, Estonia
2018 Dead Man’s Skis or How to Describe the Forest to Digital Rabbits, curated by Peeter Laurits, Tartu Art House, Tartu, Estonia
2017 Dead Man’s Skis or How to Describe the Forest to Digital Rabbits, curated by Peeter Laurits, Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2017 X. perience, Du Ruimte, Gent, Belgium
2016 An Honest Mimic, FIELD Contemporary, Vancouver, Canada
2016 Idealists, curated by Karin Paulus, Tallinna Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
2015 The New Flesh, VIVO Media Arts Center, Vancouver, Canada
2015 TASE’15, Estonian Academy of Arts exhibition, Kotzebue building, Tallinn, Estonia
2015 Antics, James Black Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2015 Considering Heterotopias, ECUAD Concouse Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2015 Untitled, Astro Turf Gallery opening show, Vancouver, Canada
2014 The Visitor Vegetable, Skylight Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2014 Open Borders, Estonian Academy of Arts Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2014 Wildly good Estonian Design, Design Night Festival, Tallinn, Estonia
2014 Estonia in Details, European Ceramic Context 2014 satellite, Sandvig Radstue Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
2014 Transparent Kiln, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre, Skælskør, Denmark
2014 Micro Estonia – Macro Estonia, Estonian Ceramist Union annual exhibition, Tõrva, Estonia
2014 Watery World, London Canal Museum, London, United Kingdom
2014 Size Doesn’t Matter?, Design and Architecture Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2014 Size Doesn’t Matter?, Design Flanders Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2014 Just KILn me, Sol Koeffler Gallery, Providence RI, United States of America
2013 Mud and Instincr, Haapsalu City Gallery, Haapsalu, Estonia
2013 80 cups, Estonian Ceramist Union annual exhibition, Amandus Adamson Studio Museum, Paldiski, Estonia
2013 Cymbals, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, Estonia
2013 90 Years of Ceramic Education in Estonia, Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, Tallinn, Estonia
2013 Matter, Creative Incubator, Eesti Design House, Tallinn, Estonia
2013 Pretty Things to Look at, Ayden Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2013 FUCK, Hot Art Wet City Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2012 Modenschau Alexandra Börner & Cristoph Beyer, performance, Helle Saale, Germany
2012 RAUMinbetrieb, Artfestival, Halle Saale, Germany
2012 The Voice of Drawing, IV TallinnDrawing Triennial: DIALOGUE, Kullo Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2012 Food and Vessel, Hungarian Institute, Tallinn, Estonia
2012 Black and White, Estonian Ceramist Union annual exhibition, Design and Architecture Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2012 Tallinn International Flower Festival, Square of Towers, Tallinn, Estonia
2012 Large Vase, Tartu Art Museum, Tartu, Estonia
2012 Food and Vessel, Valga Museum, Valga, Estonia
2012 EKA POP-UP Ceramics, Saaremaa Art Studio, Saaremaa, Estonia
2011 Art by Candle-light, Museums at Night, London Central Museum, London, United Kingdom
2011 Red in process, Charing Cross Viewing Theatre, London, United Kingdom
2011 Central Saint Martini spring exhibition, London, United Kingdom
2010 Design Het, exhibition EST_HU, Budapest Design Week exhibition, Budapest, Hungary
2010 Just Born, Estonian Young Artist Union exhibition, T-Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
2010 AWAY, Estonian Ceramist Union annual exhibition, Draakon Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

Curated Exhibitions

2014 The Visitor Vegetable, Skylight Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

Workshops, Courses and Residencies

2015 Motion Picture Industry Orientation Course, Vancouver, Canada
2014 2nd European Woodfire Conference, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskør, Denmark
2014 ENGAGE! Participatory Design Workshop, Adrianne Gagnon Providence RI, United States of America
2013 Residency with Siman Li, Mission Artists United, San Francisco, United States of America
2013 Sculpture and Installation Workshop with Ruth Beer, Vancouver, Canada
2013 Ceramic Surface Design Workshop with Justin Novak, Vancouver, Canada
2012 Woodfire Workshop at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Skælskør, Denmark

Awards and Scholarships

2014 Adamson-Eric Young Artist Award nominee
2014 Estonian Innovation Institute travel grant
2012-2018 Estonian Cultural Endowment Visual and Applied Arts Foundation scholarships
2013 Ilmar Palm Ceramic Award
2013 Archimedes Dora T7 scholarship
2011, 2015 Erasmus scholarship

Selected Publications in English

Leah Collins, An art fair where the physical plane meets the new, digital flesh, CBC Arts, 30.10.2015.
Flawless Magazine, Killer Women, 2014/5.
Reet Varblane, Kristel Saan/Evelin Saul. There were some but there was no one, Kuhuminna.ee, 27.06.2013.
Estonian World, Young Estonian Artists: Kristel Saan, 05.08.2013.
Juho “Poesiloe” Pöysti, Kristel Saan: Sunbed, Müürileht/Wader, 27.12.2012.

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