You will be left empty-handed unless you are prepared to accept what fortune delivers


The themes that Veenre explores have always been existential.

These Veenre works, too, embody the Veenrian qualities of thinking from the heart, a refined link between thought and emotion.

The method Veenre uses is fragmentary – an observation of the unknown in the light of the known.

Here we see him use bricolage to describe various processes of association, borrowing and abstraction. The truths we know are consensual, but they must also be compatible with each other. The fragment is appopriate if it fits in with the whole. And perhaps only a fragment is capable of catching something important among the endless realities that can otherwise go missing in systematic combinations. These works lack linearity: one pattern does not evolve out of another but becomes superimposed over another with a natural gracefulness.

And Veenre’s jewellery are truly unusually spatial in Estonian jewellery art.

But if you look at these pieces from a bug’s perspective – or from that of the Milky Way – those conventional, consensual truths still shine through.

A sceptre made from an animal’s leg (a ceremonial object, ruler’s staff that is one of the historical elements of a king’s regalia), a cherub’s sword, dagger and wreath made from violin tuning pegs – what a nonchalant flourish Veenre uses to merge Old Testament themes and iconoclastic self-mythology.... 


Mythology has been present in Veenre’s past work as well, even works that did not directly deal with it. Myths are the embodiment of destiny and time, which a person can do nothing about, no matter how virtuous and noble their efforts.

Colour is also present in Veenre works, but it is always refracted, slightly faded, dusty, aged or distressed. I would say that the jewellery are the colour of fragility. And the selection of materials is uniquely wide-ranging: a piece of a ski, fossils, fishing bobbers, acyrlic resin, stones – and cosmic dust.

What does the Tanel Veenre phenomenon lie in exactly? Is he a fortunate one – everything just falls into his lap? Yes and no.

Natural talent, work, work and more work, plus something that is hard to define but quickly comes to one’s lips when thinking of Veenre – yes, good fortune. But fortune leaves you empty-handed if you are not prepared to accept it. It is all about being prepared, attuned. Veenre is not purely Sunday’s child, however. The undercurrents in his work, some deeper, some shallower, signal that even while still a young man, he realizes that the lack of resolution to the core questions in life is an eternal problem. There are no readymade answers. And it is up to you and you alone whether you are ready enough to pick up the gauntlet you dropped for yourself.


Prof. Kadri Mälk, Estonian Art Academy