Everything in this world has a veiled history. People, objects, stories; all carry the weight of their own latent identities. My work is about exposing that mysterious and sometimes sinister underlying nature. I am interested in various dichotomies, both aesthetically and conceptually: delicate imbued with strength; controlled balanced with spontaneity; inner versus outer. At present, it is the dichotomous relationship between appearances and the concealed that captivates me the most.

Coming from former Yugoslavia, I am embedded in a history of folklore and storytelling and my own personal history, but at the same time I am equally rooted in present day politics. I’m fascinated by memory and the capacity of time to illuminate our hidden histories as it passes.

Symbolism, aesthetics, site and the audience’s spatial relationship to the works are all important considerations in my practice. Although I work with variety of materials and processes, my projects are connected by recurring themes and formal concerns. For me, each work is an intuitive process wherein one medium informs another. What begins as a drawing may become an installation, which in turn becomes the set for a performance.

The objects in my installations function as symbolic props in a narrative as well as art objects. I like to disguise my objects, to use beauty as a shroud for a more nuanced or violent personality. What appears to be a mask is revealed on closer inspection to be a composition of bound hands. In this sense, my audience becomes a participant in the process of unmasking. I frequently use line (in the form of string or a mark) as the method of drawing the audience into this process. It is they who perform the ultimate act of revelation.



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Tatjana Este is a participant artist in the City of Melbourne's Creative Spaces program - River Studios