Marja-Leena Rathje
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a special Easter greeting


We received this astonishing Easter greeting this morning from artist friends Loit and Virge Joekalda in Tallinn, Estonia. I'm so in love with it that I asked permission to share it here.

Loit wrote that last fall he made a trip to visit rock art sites in England with Paul Bahn under the guidance of "top rock art researcher and archaeologist Stan Beckensall". Loit made this frottage (rubbing) of one site in Northumberland. The 'world' egg is an amazing touch, isn't it!?

I've mentioned the Joekaldas a number of times. Most recently, three years ago I wrote this:

Tallinn has a special place in my heart. Newer readers may not know that in 2002 I had an exhibition in Finland with two other Canadian artists and friends. We travelled to and around Finland and also Tallinn on the other side of the Gulf of Finland. We fell in love with Tallinn where we met and became friends with artists Loit and Virge Joekalda (whom I've mentioned a few times elsewhere on this blog). The Estonians are close cousins to Finns, as part of the Finno-Ugrian group of peoples, so it was thrilling for me to see Loit's exhibition of frottages and photos from his expeditions to sites of rock art by Finno-Ugrians in Karelia.

More related links:

Our visit to Tallinn and meeting the Joekaldas

Loit's rock art calendar

I used one of his photos from that calendar in a work of mine: Vyg & Willendorf

How this came together as a part of my exhibition in 2005

about Virge Joekalda

Thank you both, Loit and Virge, for your friendship and amazing influences on my own work!


It's a very profound image and very beautiful. I'm reminded of a Tibetan Buddhist lama who told a pair of modern scientists about a magical gateway to another land whose entrance was between a pair of large guardian stones. They returned after finding the stones but had only found a desolate landscape beyond. He sighed and said, 'It's unfortunate you're unable to see with eyes of wisdom'.

Beautiful, and beckoning of contemplation.

The egg could almost be the work of Fabergé.

Susan, what an excellent tale of wisdom, thank you!

Black Pete, yes, contemplative indeed.

Joe, you're right, I had not thought of Fabergé!

My brother in law and sister in law lived in Tallin. He has written about his experiences in a book that I am now motivated to read, since now I'm curious to learn more about this place.
I know so little about the North!

Hattie, how interesting! When did they live there, was it while it was under Russia or later? What is the name of the book?