edges of wind and light

Artists have searched for order and geometry, mainly in the man-made environment, and have perceived chaos and unpredictability in the natural world. At least in contemporary times, when the provident hand of the Creator is no longer apparent in the state of things, and mortal scientists are eagerly trying to restage the beginning of everything – to create a tiny Big Bang with the help of the Large Hadron Collider. Of course, nature is governed by its own internal order and lucidus ordo. Perhaps its forms are not so strictly square nor its lines so straight, but rules and patterns appear in larger currents, and scopes of time impress us with their superiority. And often just the slightest disturbance, a tiny tremor that transgresses the general order, creates a tornado out of a breeze, or heaps an even sequence of waves into an unexpected freak wave. While the domes and columns of architectural masterpieces are constrained within their perfect proportions, nature offers us dynamic spectacles where disorder is an inevitable part of order.

We see modern artists observing wastelands with strong social messages, the loneliness of individuals in the masses, and also mountain views of cool beauty or pastureland flickering past car windows, as if they were extensions of the landscape genre. In most cases the position of the author as observer, cameraman, recorder is apparent, even when impassiveness and randomness are stressed. Peerna's approach to her subject is remarkable on account of her capacity for involvement and empathy. The artist is not just an observer or admirer of nature, she is also a kind of insider – like one who has been ordained, who will not be beguiled by surface eddies, but who knows and understands the cogs of the mechanism that keep everything else going. Peerna enters very directly into her subject and then appears to dissolve into it, so that in spite of her undoubtedly personal and original insights, the interpreter withdraws somewhere else, behind a curtain. This inevitably leads us to believe that the artist, perhaps quite unintentionally, approaches an almost godlike or at least objective position... Becoming a psychic, a medium, who transmits to us some higher artistic truth.

Peerna writes the titles of her work in English. "The Edges of Wind and Light" sounds bold, pretentious even. Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (Michel Gondry's film starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) were my first spontaneous cultural associations. Of course, this is only at the level of catchwords, but a certain ethereality and austerity are qualities that you cannot miss in Peerna's work. And, thinking of the natural world of her homeland as a source of nostalgia for the artist who has lived in America for the past twelve years, let us add August Gailit's "The Austere Sea" to the list.

In any case, the simple, yet axiomatic thinking that appears to accompany the perception of Peerna's "own" elements is impressive. In her whirlwinds and games of light and shadow, she seems to touch the abstract, philosophical or mathematical essence of these phenomena. Such vivacity and spontaneity are not limited only to emotions, but crystallise into barely articulable and yet clearly defined mental constructions and perceptional units. To speak of the "edges" of light and wind hints at the author's conscious interest in what is happening on the borders. Might it be the border between town and country? For Peerna, originally a "daughter of country folk", the powerful image of a megalopolis like New York plays an important role. It seems to me that some of her whirlwinds have acquired an urbanistic shade – driven by primordial forces and at the same time confined between rectangular high-rises, elegant and in a way abstract. And intelligent. In the case of natural phenomena, this is at first a frightening, but eventually an exciting quality.

               —Vano Allsalu, windEdge curatorial statement at kunstikeskus.ee, 2010