Žilvinas Kropas: about the limits and distribution of photography
The young generation artist Žilvinas Kropas lives and creates in the city of Panevėžys. Since 2015 he is a member of the Board of Panevėžys Photographers’ Society. The feature of Žilvinas Kropas’s artistic creation is that he creates an artistic shot using solargraphy and pinhole techniques. The photo printed on the canvas causes a number of allusions with painting. The photographer regards himself as a complete idealist, seeking beauty and harmony everywhere, able to appreciate the spiritual and cultural values with a special intuition and lucid imagination. His photographs have recently been published in the American visual art magazine “Shots”. The photographs of this publication were one of the dreams that became reality. From 2017, Ž. Kropas collaborates with Public Company „Gabrielė‘s Art Gallery“.
Photographer has participated in group exhibitions in Belarus, Argentina, recently a member of the group’s exhibition in England.
You are a young generation artist, taking part in international photography projects. You just participated in a group show in England, could You tell us what impressions did You have in the big competition to get to this exhibition? How did foreigners appreciate Your work?
When I began to share my solo works on the public, i.e., on the Internet, I got a lot of interest from outside. Many comments, reactions and personal suggestions, such as the purchase of works, the organization of personal exhibitions, participation in creative workshops. Then I joined the private group Antiquarian Avant-Garde Art & Processes and received a personal invitation to participate in the exhibition. I did not compete, I was just selected with five other participants from other countries. I realized that my work from the past was monitored. In 2018, on the 28th of April, in the United Kingdom, the “Mirror” gallery hosted a group-wide interdisciplinary art exhibition “Visible in Time” in which I participated with my work “100 days. From series of solargraphy” (“100 days“ of the series of solargraphy, year of creation – 2017, limited pressure on the canvas). The exhibition’s curator invited six artists to consider the concept of time-out, in addition to the direct intervention of the artist. The art exhibition can be viewed until July 1st at the South Hill Park Mirror Gallery, Ringmead, RG12 7PA UK, Cat Cooke. The testimonials about the exhibition are very warm for me personally.
As Cat Cooke, the show curator mentioned, was the most engaging job. The visitors of the exhibition mentioned that the work looks stunning and weird. Now, warm relations have arisen, new acquaintances have appeared in the world of art, a conversation about a personal exhibition is developing.
You create abstract photographs using solargraphy techniques, maybe You can tell why You chose this technique?
First of all about my photo technique. I’m taking pictures of self-made pinhole cameras. I got 100 pcs. The camera itself looks like this: an empty beer can, inside a light-sensitive photo paper leaflet, instead of a lens, with a needle-shaped cuff, a very small split in a can, through which light penetrates and creates an image on a photo paper and everything, nothing more there, no electronics, or batteries.
And now, for a little-known branch of photography, it’s soloography. I photographed the sun with these 100 cans. I’m taking a photo in different seasons, as well as in various time exposures, this is very very long terms in hours, months, and sometimes all year round. I am a record-saver of time, all the time that has elapsed in a single photograph, with which I, as an artist, can influence here… The final photograph has a lot of surprises and uncertainties, a lot of strange things. The photograph is unpredictable and mysterious, somewhat unnatural, like an abstract world, wanting to watch it for a long time, try to understand it or dive into it with your own thoughts.
I’m back to the primeval photography secrets. Using old pinhole techniques, I create mystical works that combine reality with the world of dreams and subconscious.
My works are mostly made up of sun, air, water, i.e. the whole environment. All the pictures are as if they are unitary, they can not be reproduced, I also do not want to manipulate them, I try to leave the way the environment has been created.
I chose this strange way of photographing because I do not like all those beautiful and very precisely arranged photos, and I do not like the fact that everyone can make a similar picture. You want something unique, something real and unmanaged, the purpose of creating a different world in a picture.
What topics are important to You in Your creation work?
At the moment, the most attracted and loved is the abstract art, I get feedback that my works look like painting and it’s hard to understand what has been portrayed and how it is created here. I focus very much on photography, which I call “gloomy mysticism.” There I seem to have a curtain behind the backside of the world.
What are Your future plans for creation?
I’m looking for a gallery abroad that will present me, take care of my creative path, sell my works. I want to present my works and my creation work to the strong art magazines “Blur magazine“, “The Hands“, and I want my portfolio to be presented at “L’oeil de la photographie“. Well, of course, everyone is waiting for my first personal exhibition.
With artist Ž. Kropas talked art critic Gabrielė Kuizinaitė
A look at exhibition “Memory“ by textile artist Marijona Sinkevičienė
At present, at the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ryga, the exhibition “Memory” by well-known textile artist Marijona Sinkevičienė is underway. This year’s exhibition has already been exhibited in various places in Lithuania: in the Parliament of Seimas, in Vilnius City Hall, in Kėdainiai, in gallery “Art Park”.
Textile artist Marijona Sinkevičienė was born in Tauragė district, lives and creates in Kaunas. In 1971, in Kaunas Stepas Žukas‘s Art College, she acquired the specialty of clothing simulation. In 1976-1982 she studied at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts, acquired a textile specialty. She worked as a lecturer at Kaunas College, later became an assistant professor. Since 1987, M. Sinkevičienė is a member of Lithuanian Artists’ Union. Belongs to the textile group “We Are”. Participates in group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. The artist participates in plein-airs, creative workshops, and implements textile art projects. The works of M. Sinkevičienė have been acquired by Polish, Gdynia, Krosno, Lithuanian Art Museum, the Lithuanian Art Museum of Krosno, the National M. K. Čiurlionis‘s Museum, and Raseiniai Region Historical Museum. She has created the textile works for the National Drama Theater of Kaunas (1986), has created a tapestry cycle “Seasons of the Year” (1987) for the Ukrainian-Slavic kindergarten-crèche.
Could you tell us about the idea of creating this project?
In my creative work I try to understand the topical issues related to the history of our nation, cultural heritage and traditions. Upon approaching the 100th anniversary of Lithuanian statehood, I wanted to make Lithuania stand out in its creative work. All the more so because my family relates to the historical events of the century: partisan struggles, exile, January 13th. I, personally, actively participated in the rallies organized by the Movement, on January 12th I was in charge of the Chamber of Parliament of Lithuania, listening to songs performed in people’s lips, scandals, which united the hearts of thousands of people into one common goal and desire – Freedom. Therefore, I wanted to create this textile work “Memory” on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the statehood of Lithuania.
How many years have you worked in the field of textile art, which topics are the closest to you, as the artist?
In 1982 I graduated from Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts and began to work in creative work. The first exhibitions I attended took place in 1982. Estonia – Tartu Textile Miniatures and in Tallinn (Triennial of the Baltic Republics). I’m doing creative work to this day.
The themes of creative works are chosen close to my own worldview, because in my opinion I see the whole and harmony, and therefore the themes of my creative work derive from my inner concept. I like to go deep into the theme of creative work, analyze it, explore it. It was not accidental that I participated in the project “Cultural Heritage – Sacred Textile” organized by Raseiniai region, which took place in 2008.
The author of the tapestries presented at the exhibition, with various textures, sings Lithuanian anthem songs “Lithuania dear”, as if playing in fragments, appeals to the memory of every Lithuanian, national identity and feelings of Lithuanian self-esteem.
The characters are recognizable for Lithuanian people in the works. An important accent is the decorative texture composition, a harmony of colors and characters. The author captures important events for Lithuania through a different language of characters and scripts. The textual story is perceived by the viewer as a narrative of artistic story through the symbol of the oak branch, the symbol of the flag or other signs typical of historical and cultural memory.
In other tapestries of the exhibition, M. Sinkevičienė improvises traditional folk patterns ornaments and colors, modernizes them in contemporary textile language and invites dialogue with historical memory.
Exhibition “Art is my emotions” of painter Valentinas Jankauskis
In the public library of Vincas Kudirka featured a young generation painter Valentinas Jankauskis‘s personal exhibition of paintings. The exhibition has already been presented at Pagėgiai Library, Pagėgiai Library Branches, Tauragė Culture Palace, Pagėgiai Frontier District. At the present time the exhibition is located in the Old Town of Kaunas, at Vincas Kudirka‘s Public Library, in Kaunas (address: A. Mapu str. 18).
The author graduated from the painting courses at Kaunas College, and has been painting from the 8th grade. He lives and creates in Tauragė: takes pictures and paints. In the personal exhibition V. Jankauskis presents his works, created in 2014-2018. Over the course of a few years, works have been created in abstract stylistics. The paintings can be divided into the ideas, the realization and dissemination of thought, and the symbolic and metaphorical cycles, in each work to look for deeper answers and meaning. A great deal of attention in the creation work of Jankauskis is devoted to color nuance, line decorative and variety, and artistic composition. The stylistics and coloring of each painting are varied, constantly changing. The artist constantly emphasizes the importance of emotion not only in his work, but also in the name of the exhibition. Emotion dictates artistic solutions, which also results in improvised, expressive language of the work and colouristic. Through the geometrised forms and details V. Jankauskis expresses his own concept of the world, in a frequent work of the painter, attention is paid to creating and purifying the unity of lines, forms and colors.
Emotionally pulsating works, expressive shapes and details, sufficiently bright, unscrambled colors, their contractions and contrasts are expressive in their visual dynamics, encoding at least some of the meanings of their own viewer, creating a single but distinct world in which mysticism exists, is not a mystery, and at the same time the diversity of the world, which expresses the fullness of the inner and outer world, the spectrum of its change, which is always marked with a sign of emotion and certainty.
By presenting his creation work Valentinas Jankauskis says: “I am sending inspiration from the attention-grab detail that makes up illusions in my head. After that, I’ll rethink where the detail fits and … It’s done!!! When the heart desires, the thoughts are ready for self-expression. For me, any detail that has helped to matured the fruit of the creativity is important. More precisely, it would sound like this: “If you do not want to eat, start eating and you begin to feel the hunger.” Creating inspiration for different emotions: sadness, good mood, women, people … The difficult explanation of the word is inspiration. Some may well explain, but it is unlikely that they themselves understand it deeply. You can explain it, but not everyone can feel it. It is possible to explain the nature of the fire, but the mouth won‘t get hot. It needs to be felt … Without the real water and the true fire it is impossible to understand them. It’s impossible to describe the inspiration, the sense of how to feel and to sweat all of your own in words. No one can understand everything based solely on the explanations of another person. So this is the case with my work: it remains mysterious and misunderstood from the country. First of all, you need to feel it…“
Looking at the pictures of Valentinas Jankauskis, the theme diversity of his works is amazing. His work combines abstract stylistics as a tool for artist’s improvisation and constant search. Using various means of expression and their help in creating very individual symbols, the painter presents artistic narratives dominated by transformed natural motifs, urban fragments and their interpretations, abstract images that create unexpected parallels. The titles of works are dominated by the specifics: “Bottle and man’s image in one”, “Nature”, “The family of storks” or a hint, invitation to a deeper dialogue: “Cry”, “Energy”.
In the abstract painting “City” dominates the nuanced combinations of violet and greenish colors. An important aspect of the artistic composition here is the urban landscape – the motifs of buildings, which acquire a geometric rhythm, encoding the abstract image of the city, city change and a vital concept, all of which allows the viewer to discover an individual relationship with his own city.
The main attraction of the painting “The Cry” is improvisation on the topic of the branch of ashberry berries. Fragmented natural motif, abstract painting style does not blur the shape of the berries, but characterizes the color, which becomes expressive as much as “screaming” accent. What does this painting work say? Most likely, it emphasizes the subtle emotional relationship with nature, highlights the colorful dynamics.
The exhibition testifies to the fact that the author already has a developed creative work. The creation work of the painter is diverse, experimental from time to time. Through abstract forms appearing in the nuances of color, it provokes the viewer to ask, to consider, to stimulate improvisation, to make him think, to philosophize, to feel and not to fear the emotion that we all need.