Juss Heinsalu is an artist who lives and works both in Estonia and Canada. His research-creation process explores clay as a subject matter; merging elements of visual and media art, craft, and material research. His interest is not primarily in clay as a means of creating form, but in ways of looking at clay itself, and what it, as a material body, can initiate or teach us. He often studies the locale from a mineral perspective and aims to develop a visual language capable of communicating some of the silica-based knowledge embedded within the geological matter.
Juss is curious about the ground, the materiality of “clay” and the perception of micro-macro scales. He investigates the prevalent meanings of mineral matter and creates speculative conditions presenting alternative clay-based lifeforms. Over the years, these interpretations of various clays, in visual and conceptual forms, have been conveyed in physical and digital recordings, installations, scans and microphotographs, fired ceramics, glass slides, unusual optical devices, silkscreen clay-prints, and ceramic-lens projections.
Juss holds a degree in ceramics from the Estonian Academy of Arts and received his MFA at NSCAD University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has actively participated in various projects and exhibitions across Europe and North America. He is a former organizer of the Kohila Symposium and currently works at the Estonian Academy of Arts as a visiting associate professor.