A huge picture of a spotted Bengal cat landing on its paws can be seen on the end wall of the University of Tartu dormitory at Narva mnt 25 in Tartu. The mural was made based on the design by Tartu artist Kudrun Vung.
The mural depicting phases of the cat’s fall is inspired by the creative concept of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024; it represents our ability to survive even in the most challenging situations. The cat symbolising the art of survival was painted on the wall by artists Mihkel Joala and Kerttu Kuslap. They were assisted by robot Al-Bert: the print head Al, with its fine nozzles spraying paint onto the wall, and Bert, pulling the strings with the help of a motor from the servo box on the ground.
Cats are renowned for their ability to always land on their feet. “It is a skill that people could learn from them,” said Kati Torp, the creative director of Tartu 2024. The animal on the picture is her own two-year-old Bengal cat. This wild-looking breed is characterised by a thick and silky, either spotted or marbled coat.
The mural was commissioned from the artists by organisers of the Tartu programme of the European Capital of Culture. The University of Tartu provided the dormitory wall free of charge.
“University members are looking forward to the upcoming year of the Capital of Culture with great excitement,” said Kstina Vallimäe, Director of Administration of the University of Tartu. “The cat landing on feet is a symbol of both our students and alumni – they are resilient, adaptable, stubborn and courageous, and have gained valuable skills and knowledge from the university to help them cope in any situation,” Vallimäe added.
The director of administration also invited all alumni and friends of the university to visit Tartu and South Estonia in the year of the Capital of Culture – the alumni get-together will take place on 18 May 2024.
Photo: Kristi Vikman