In 1971, the promising 33-year-old poet Miervaldis Kalniņš suddenly left the Riga Young Writers’ Association, took his guitar and went to Siberia, to the same places that had not so long ago meant death to many deported Latvians. Only a few friends knew of his plans: Miervaldis had copied Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago”, attracting the KGB’s attention. Miervaldis led a team of construction workers for more than twenty years in the Sayan Mountains near Mongolia.
Kristaps Epners adds: “Miervaldis was a friend of my father, documentary film director Ansis Epners. As I was sorting my late father’s archives, I stumbled on the letters that Miervaldis had sent to his friend over many years. One of them contained the addition of two fragile flowers from Siberia: a yellow wild lily for my father and a blue forget-me-not for me. I received this flower thirty-eight years later.”
Kristaps Epners (b 1976) lives and works in Berlin and in Riga. He has a master’s degree from the Art Academy of Latvia. Besides Latvia and Estonia, his works have been shown in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Russia. On two occasions (2017, 2019), Epner’s has been nominated for the most prestigious art award in Latvia, the Purvītis prize. This is his first solo exhibition in Estonia.
Gallery name: Tartu Art House
Address: Vanemuise 26, Tartu
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 12:00 - 18:00
Open: 27.08.2020 - 20.09.2020