"Your picture saved my life, you know..."
Aili Vint: One day, when I was painting stony and translucent water, I suddenly received shocking news that a young acquaintance of mine had taken her own life. While painting the picture, I remember wondering whether this profound angst I felt at the time would remain trapped in that picture.
Years later I received an answer. A complete stranger came up to me, started scolding me for no longer painting the sea.Then she went on, searching for words:You saved my life, you know… She told me that she had wanted to end her life, to give herself to the sea. But a friend took her to the Kadriorg Art Museum to see one of my seascapes. The painting had mesmerized her, calling her back again and again. It offered her unaccountable consolation, until it finally calmed her down. This painting was The Stony Sea.
Aili Vint THE STONY SEA 1975, oil on canvas, 92 x 115 cm, Kumu Art Museum, Estonia
2. The prime force of the Sea
I can’t forget the day when the ferry Estonia went down on the Baltic Sea and 852 people died with it. There was no electricity in my summer house and I was oblivious to the catastrophe. When I went to the beach to watch the storm, I couldn’t understand what had happened to my Sea. The Sea was beside itself, disturbed and disheveled. As if trying to find something, but not able to - and in agony because of it. The Sea sighed and groaned alternately, in a murky brownish tone I had never seen before, and jaggedly broken waves.
Aili Vint. PRIME FORCE II, 2018 , digital collage from my works:
SEA UNDER THE DARK SKY, 1975, oil on canvas 92 x 115 cm +
RAGE, 1970, gouache painting 35 x 30 cm
The Sea was exhausted, but still unable to subside. Only just before sunset a big dark wall of clouds came in and drew its heavy reflection over the water like a blanket - and the Sea calmed down somewhat. In the evening when I went to get some milk from a neighboring farm, I learned why the sea had been in anguish. She was seeking forgiveness.
MOURNING 1969, gouache painting, 75 x 63 cm
I felt hurt, when a year later, riding a bus on the Pirita coastal road, I heard a female voice sigh to herself: I hate that sea, and saw the woman turn her back to it. Yet the Sea was so calm and serene that day. So gentle. At the next stop I got off the bus and apologized to the Sea... The Sea is The Sea is The Sea.
Aili Vint PALE SEA 1975, oil on canvas, 92 x 115 cm, Kumu Art Museum, Estonia