Percentage act brings thistle sculpture to Kohtla-Järve community building

The winning sculpture outside the Kohtla-Järve community center.
The winning sculpture outside the Kohtla-Järve community center. Source: Allan Vool

A new sculpture "Ohakas" ("Thistle") by Urmas Viig has been installed in front of the main entrance of the building shared by the Kohtla-Järve Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) and Rescue Board (Päästeamet). The work was completed in line with the Commissioning of Art Works Act (also known as the "percentage act"), at a cost of €60,000 excluding VAT.

After narrowing the competition down to the five best entries, the jury decided that the stainless steel sculpture, which is almost four meters long and two meters high including its concrete base, was the winner.

"The contrast of the organic form of the armored thistle, seen from all sides, against the backdrop of the austere architecture, has a charming effect. When darkness falls, an element of playfulness is added by the enchanting array of red light spots glowing from the tubes, which sprout from the sculpture," said the jury, who were led by Kohtla-Järve Community Center architect Peep Urb.

Urmas Viik, who created the winning sculpture, said himself that "Ohakas" was inspired by an extremely vibrant plant - the thistle, which is found both in poetry and the Bible.

"The plant is protected by thorny leaves. The upper part of the thistle is scalloped and finished with armor-like flower petals. This combination gives the plant a distinctly militaristic appearance. Although the everyday life of the workers in the common room can be tough, the sculpture does not overemphasize this. The thistle is placed in a peaceful 'resting' position on a concrete base."

Third place went to "Kolm tamme" ("Three oaks"). Source: Indrek Köster

Second place in the competition went to Jass Kaselaane and Jenny Grönholm's abstract design of four concrete columns called "Tugisambad."

Indrek Köster finished third, with his minimalist, monumental steel composition "Kolm tame" ("Three Oaks").

In 2011, the Commissioning of Artworks Act entered into force, meaning at least one percent of the cost of public building works must be spent on works of art. The price of such art works was capped at €110,000 in 2021.

Second place went to ""Tugisambad." Source: Jass Kaselaan and Jenny Grönholm


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Editor: Michael Cole

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