On the occasion of the Estonian Book Year and the 110th anniversary of the birth of the most famous Estonian bookbinder, Eduard Taska, the Estonian Association of Designer Bookbinders, the Estonian Leather Artists’ Union, and the National Library of Estonia are pleased to invite you to participate in the International Exhibition of Artistic Bookbinding and Calligraphy that will take place in the Tallinn Art Hall from September 21st to October 22nd, 2000.
The exhibition has the patronage of the Open Estonia Foundation, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Estonian National Culture Foundation, and the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

The exhibition is open to artists of different fields who would like to express their relation to the book: to the book as a binding, to the book as an object, to the book as a text, employing any possible materials or techniques.

Two collections of poetry that have been printed and numbered specially for this event will be delivered to the bookbinders participating in the exhibition. The poetry has been written by two distinguished Estonian poets:
1st book: Doris Kareva "Days of Grace"  / "Armuaeg"
2nd book: Jaan Kaplinski "If I must Be At All…." / "Kui üldse olla…."

Both collections are printed in an edition of 200 copies on Svecia 1777 paper in format A4. All poems are presented in both English and in Estonian. The final size of the binding or object will be chosen by the artist according to the concept of design.

Calligraphers will also use the texts mentioned above. They will receive photocopies of the poems.

Each participant will receive two collections of poetry, one by Doris Kareva and the other by Jaan Kaplinski. The artists are asked to use at least one of these collections in their creative work. Spatial as well as plain illustrations may be added.

An International Jury will gather on May 15, 2000 to select twelve bindings and three calligraphic compositions the authors of which will all receive non-monetary awards of equal value. All participants will receive a diploma.

After the exhibition, the objects will be returned to the artists.

Applications should be sent to Sirje Kriisa, President of the Estonian Association of Designer Bookbinders, at the address of the Organizing Committee by December 30, 1999.

The exhibits, the biographies of creative output, and the technical descriptions of the objects will be accepted at the latest by May 5, 2000 address of the Organizing Committee:

National Library of Estonia
Department of Binding
Tõnismägi 2
15189 Tallinn
Republic of Estonia


The poetry of Doris Kareva and Jaan Kaplinski, the poets admired in Estonia, renders the reader endless linguistic associations. Enjoy them and let the images overcome you. Create a unique visual “framework” for these poetic lines, offering new forms, formats, proportions, ingenious combinations of materials, and inventive technical devices. Deny, affirm, cite, complete, paint, draw, print, photograph, or install. Radiate and rustle… Restrain, or liberate yourself!

From the calligraphers an Artist’s Book full of all possible experiments, mutations, and interpretations of the given texts is expected. The artist is free to use elaborate calligraphic techniques, ordinary human writing, syntheses of handwritten and printed letters, free to play with rhythm, proportions, words, citations, or the whole text, free to draw, paint, illustrate, illuminate, free to use silk, clay, metal, glass, leather, paper, tracing paper, plastic, earth, body, computer, or video … whatever!
See you in the book!