I must admit I love the Baltic Sea. It is so cold and unapproachably beautiful, unforgiving and demanding to extreme. The weather is the same, very trying and changeable, forcing people to appreciate a relatively few good sunny days. Maybe, for this reason, a lot of people from this region have grown up thinking “outside the box”, as a normal everyday thing. Which is why, I was not surprised to find a very unique approach to recycling art in Estonia, Tallinn.
Once upon a time, during War II, Tallinn was in the middle of a successful German naval military campaign. For most of the Second World War, the Baltic Sea was practically a “German lake” with “lots going on”. As a result, after the war a huge variety of “memorabilia” could be found in the Baltic-Estonian waters. The War “souvenirs” such as naval mines, especially, were in great abundance. Additionally, during the Soviet occupation period, a few military factories situated on the Estonian coastline, produced naval mines. After the restoration of independence in the 90’s, a lot of military objects were only partially dismantled by the Russian forces, leaving horrid shells of once terrifyingly deadly weapons.
One type of these “shells” found its way in recycled art. A second life of naval mines has begun…- as pieces of furniture. Rusty “sea monsters” in the hands of the versatile sculptor Mati Karmin, have become unusual interior design objects, which capture imagination. Armchairs, fire places, miniature toilet cabins and many more you can find on the artist’s website.
At first it was just “dead” mines:
And then they have been resurrected:
The mines look quite peaceful now, don’t you think ?
I take off my hat to you, Mati Karmin! Well done!