Wasteland. The Phosphorite War, 5/12

Wasteland. The Phosphorite War, 5/12

ceramics, smoke machine with a LED lamp
47 × 52 × 30 cm

Work from the series Wasteland. The Phosphorite War

For Laura Põld it is important to know the history of the materials as well as to study traditional handiwork and building techniques as a way to preserve certain experiences and memories. Wasteland. The Phosphorite War (2021-2022) is Laura Põld’s series of small fountains, volcanoes and water basins made of ceramics, ultrasonic misters, smoke machines, LED lights and fountain pumps.

The Phosphorite War was an environmental campaign in the late 1980s created to fight against plans by the central government of the Soviet Union to open large phosphorite mines in Estonia. Interestingly, this ecological movement triggered a nationalist movement across the Baltic states, which later led to the restoration of the independence of all three countries. Now in times of energy crisis and climate alertness the mining wastelands of the past envisioned by Põld emerge once again.

The works from the series are included in the Kogo Gallery project (E)Motional Landscapes representing artists Kristi Kongi and Laura Põld at Liste Art Fair Basel 13.6–19.6.2022.

About the artist

Laura Põld’s practice combines interdisciplinary and traditional craft skills with sculpture-based mediums. Through these lenses, she examines posthuman and more-than-human ways of being, caring, community building, and sheltering. She creates large-scale assemblages, constructions and installations from these sources, which playfully disrupt and subvert the typical understanding of art venues.

Laura Põld (b.1984 in Tallinn, Estonia) is an Estonian artist living in Tallinn and Vienna. Her formal education includes the study of ceramics at the Estonian Academy of Arts (BA), painting at the University of Tartu (MA) and sculptural conceptions and ceramics at the University of Art and Design, Linz (MA). She is a Visiting Associate Professor of installation and sculpture at the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), Tallinn, Estonia.

Her recent solo and duo exhibitions include: Translating and Co-labouring, (AV17) Gallery, Vilnius, LT (2023); Fibers in the Cave, solo presentation at Art Brussels with Kogo Gallery, BE (2023), Common Threads, Polar Bear and Elephant with Andres Tolts, Kogo Gallery, Tartu, EE (2022); Doing What They Do Best, Kunstraum Memphis, Linz, AU (2021). Recent group exhibitions include: Down the Rabbit Hole, MO museum, Vilnius, LT (2024), Emotional Landscapes, Arka Gallery, Vilnius, LT (2023); shelter – sanctuary, The Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), Tallinn, EE (2023); Art in the Age of the Anthropocene, Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, EE (2023); (INTIMITÄT) Feelings are Facts, Kunstverein Eisenstadt, AU (2023). Recent art fairs include: Ways of Being, solo presentation at viennacontenporay 2023, Zone1 section with Kogo Gallery, Vienna (2023); Fibers in the Cave, solo presentation at Art Brussels with Kogo Gallery, BE (2023), Emotional Landscapes, duo presentation with Kristi Kongi at Liste Art Fair Basel with Kogo Gallery, CH (2022), duo presentation with Anna Mari Liivrand at Esther Art Fair with Kogo Gallery, NY (2024).

Põld has been awarded a number of prizes and scholarships such as the Köler Prize Grand Prix (2016), the Grand Prize of The Cultural Endowment of Estonia (2018), the ISCP New York studio grant (2019) and the Claus Michaletz Preis (2021). Laura Põld is one of the recipients of the Estonian artist’s salary during 2023–2025.
Her works are in collections of Art Museum Bayreuth, DE, European Central Bank Art Collection, Frankfurt, DE, Art Museum of Estonia, EE, Tartu Art Museum, EE, Zuzāns Collection, LV, Gmundner Keramik Collection, AU and Mark Rothko Centre, Daugavpils, LV.

More works by this artist

Installation (steel, tufted rugs, plywood, varnish, paint), 131 × 132 × 132 cm, 2022
Installation (steel, tufted rugs, plywood, varnish, paint), 182 × 229 × 4 cm, 2022
Installation (steel, tufted rugs, plywood, varnish, paint), 115 × 142 × 4 cm, 2022
Tufted rug, rope, felt, 135 × 180 cm, 2022
Tufted rugs, rope, 38 × 68 × 37 cm, 2021
Tufted rugs, plywood, varnish, 205 × 60 × 3 cm, 2021
Tufted rugs, plywood, varnish, 95 × 80 × 90 cm, 2021
Low fire ceramics, 2018
Low fire ceramics, 2018
Cotton, wool, hand-tufted, 190 × 130 cm, 2022
Hand-tufted rug with fringes, 150 × 90 cm, 2022
Steel, wool, 80 × 60 cm, 2022
Steel, 80 × 60 cm, 2022
Tufted wool, burlap, rope , 280 × 480 cm, 2022–2023
Wool, acrylic, burlap, felt, 110 × 105 × 2 cm, 2023
Wool, acrylic, burlap, felt, 145 × 192 × 2 cm, 2023
Tufted rug, 400 × 90 cm, 2021
Ceramics, 34 × 24 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 38 × 26,5 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 35 × 23 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 30 × 40 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 31.3 × 21 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 32 × 22 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Ceramics, 30.2 × 20 × 2.5 cm, 2019
Ceramics, 31 × 22 × 2.5 cm, 2020
Burlap, tufted wool and acrylic, 70 × 80 cm, 2022
Burlap, tufted wool and acrylic, 105 × 70 cm, 2022

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