The Sistine Madonna, 2021
Acrylics and gouache on canvas. All the paintings are part of Volmer’s Bachelor’s Thesis called “The Sistine Madonna”. This series won the Young Artist Prize, issued by university upon graduating. It is based on her stepfather’s biography and consists of two parts, which are paintings and textual material. Additionally, photos of stepfather’s tattoos and a handmade amulette depicting human skulls is also presented at the exhibition. The main themes of the Thesis are life in Estonian prisons during the eighties and nineties along with a person’s change for the better. Eventually he moves on from his criminal past and starts a new life. The textual part of the Thesis was completed before everything else — it came to be as she sat with her stepfather behind our kitchen table and she asked him to talk in detail about his past life while she wrote everything down. The paintings, on the other hand, show scenes from his current day-to-day life. Life is not black and white and she wishes more people would not judge ex-felons and instead be open to give them a second chance.
“In the kitchen” is the main painting of this series and shows an everyday scene in Volmer’s parents’ kitchen on an ordinary evening. Stepfather is sitting on a sofa behind the computer. He is relaxing and blowing out smoke from his electronic sigar. He is surrounded by some of family’s pets, whom he is very fond of. It is a hot Summer day, as he took of his shirt, revealing his tattoos – something he does only in the presence of the family or very close friends.