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The textile artist and photographer Ülle Saatmäe grew up in Paatsalu, a scenic village located on the west coast of Estonia. Given the native environment her contact with nature and plants began in early childhood and has accompanied her throughout her life. 

Her love for nature guided her to study agronomy at Räpina´s vocational education school, which has enhanced her holistic knowledge of plants way above the limits of merely utilising them for plant printing. After completing the agronomist education she proceeded to obtain an art teacher diploma from Tallinn University, and concluded her studies with a degree from Estonian Academy of Arts majoring in textile artist speciality. 

Ülle started collaborating with interior architects in the field of interior textiles in 1994, determining the proportions and colors of curtains and other textiles. 

In parallel, she has been working on fabric creation, predominantly concentrating on naturally dyed and plant-printed textiles. Although plant printing is a well-known technique, it's not very widespread due to the complexity of the process as it's difficult to direct and the results may be unpredictable. This is what fascinates Saatmäe about the whole botanical printing process - experimenting with different plants and dyes through trials and errors creates an opportunity to discover something completely unique. 

In addition to textile art and working as a textile designer, Ülle Saatmäe is fascinated by photography, specifically nature photography. Saatmäe's pictorial language is anything but staged - above all, it's inspired by the vibrations of Estonian nature, emphasizing the beauty of nature in its purest form, without human intervention. 

Although Saatmäe's nature photos and plant-printed textiles are equally worth viewing as an exhibition on their own, seeing them in the same space, composing a symbiosis with each other, creates a new, deeper and more meaningful exhibition, expanding the content and the message. It is the latter that Ülle Saatmäe, both as a textile artist and as a photographer, has highlighted in the exhibitions of her works, the aim to combine these two together in a complementary way.


Textile Artist of the Year 2020

photo: Sadu-Triste Juurikas

Ülle Saatmäe Kastellan House gallery exhibition "Overeducated". Postimees, April 2023

Something must be done for the soul". Diivan magazine, April 2021

Ülle Saatmäe's one-photo exhibition", online magazine Fashion, September 2017.

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