Estonian, b. 1968, Rakvere, Estonia
lives and works in Cummington, MA

Kadri Pärnamets works in porcelain using traditional hand building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with narrative painting. Her biomorphic, organic forms provide a means to convey personal interests ranging from the fragile, natural environment to female identity. Focusing on gesture and expression, she selects known classics of female beauty by painters from the European Renaissance and Impressionist eras, like Lucas Cranach the Elder and Edouard Manet. Pärnamets has taught in the Estonian Art Academy and is a member of the Asuurkeraamika Studio, Estonian Artists Association, and Estonian Ceramist Association.

Pärnamets’ work has been shown internationally at Ferrin Contemporary, (North Adams, MA), the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design, (Tallinn, Estonia), and at the International Tea Trade Expo, (Shanghai, China). Since 1996, she has participated in symposiums in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Switzerland, USA, Norway, and Hungary. In Pärnamets graduated from the Art Institute of Tallinn, Estonia in 1994 with a BA/MFA in Ceramics. Dividing her time between Estonia and USA, her primary studio is the USA at Project Art in Cummington, MA. She is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.


Pärnamets creates works in porcelain using traditional hand building and sculpting techniques to combine surface and form with abstract and representational painting. Pärnamets’ work is characterized by two modalities, abstraction based on natural forms and representation based on reinterpretation of iconic paintings. The central themes of her work are those to which artists have responded over the centuries. Pärnamets’ biomorphic vases and three-dimensional interpretations of classical images focus on humanity’s integral reliance on both nature and art.

“Nature/Nurture” Installation View, Kadri Parnamets, Mara Superior, 2020.


My new work is drawn from my roots. Focusing on the little simple things in nature, like bugs and their sounds, these things give us an understanding of time and space. Wherever I hear the sounds of the first fly in the spring or a mosquito buzz in summer I’m reminded of how important it is to keep balance in our surroundings and to appreciate the annual life cycles that begin from most ordinary and common things. Small matters.

FC NEWS & STORIES | NATURE/NURTURE | Kadri Pärnamets | Small Matters and Roots & Pollinators


Kadri Pärnamets and I met through the social network of the artists the gallery represents, which is often the way I’ve begun relationships that develop long term. This “net” is actually a form of nurturing that connects one artist to another, first through their professional art practice, and over time, growing to become increasingly personal.

We got to know Kadri during the summer she spent at Project Art working in the studio with Sergei Isupov in 2008. Both artists produced independent works, and while working side by side, they also created a collaborative series. Kadri’s biomorphic forms and Sergei’s painted details merged along the lines of the surrealist game, exquisite corpse, when one artist starts and the next one adds, and is something that came naturally to these two artists. Their international lives in Estonia and USA and time working at international symposia and residencies provided time for collaborations, and now with the dual residencies, they work side by side tackling domestic projects in both of their home environments.

During the course of Nature/Nurture, suddenly in quarantine with their daughter, Roosi who was schooling from home, Kadri’s work in the family studio became focused on a series of small works and collaborative home projects at Project Art.

Due to the extended run of Nature/Nurture, we have been given the opportunity to reflect on paths taken, connections made and shared experiences in our now weekly series of FC News & Stories with each issue focusing on an individual artist in the exhibition. The ON NURTURE statements written by each artist acknowledges family, artist mentors, education and, particularly for Kadri, recognition of nature as inspiration and metaphor for her sculptures. Focusing our attention on “small matters”, Kadri’s sculptures of roots and painted details of common insects and pollinators recognize the foundation of our ecosystem and our inter-dependence – something that has become more obvious to us all as we observe the impact of global warming and the spread of the coronavirus.


My process involves collecting senses, feelings, observations and generally, following my intuition. I use this thoughtful, meditative process to guide me towards the abstract forms and associated colors to express these internal, psychological thoughts. The emotional content of my life is translated and expressed through shapes and colors. I use the plastic expressive qualities of clay in forming the shapes. Color is added to the surface through abraded layers of complimentary colors.


Kadri Pärnamets presents exquisite paintings of iconic images on three dimensional, voluminous, black and white cloud forms.  Focusing on gesture and expression, Pärnamets selects known classics of female beauty by painters from the European Renaissance and Impressionist eras, like Lucas Cranach the Elder and Edouard Manet.  Having grown up surrounded by these paintings in museums and books, from childhood to present, she has studied and reflected on the women’s expressions and context.  Revisiting them during various periods of her life, and now as a mother and wife, she has chosen mythical figures to reflect on the human condition.  Sacrifice, service and devotion are seen through the portraits of Venus and Lucretia by Cranach, the bathers of Ingres, nudes of Manet and religious images of Saint Agnes.



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