Art Exhibition “THREE STORIES” by Lina Zavadske, Dzina Jasiuniene and Loreta Zdanaviciene
April 26 @ 17:00 - June 9 @ 12:00
Art Exhibition “THREE STORIES”
Textile is an applied decorative art, as the traditional definition of this art branch declares. This would, of course, be difficult to be attributed directly to the works of Lina Zavadskė and many other modern textile works. However, while the function of the application is not debatable in this case, the term of the decorativeness of the author’s works is indeed relevant. In most of the artist’s compositions, ornaments embroidered with beads, plant braids, crocheted flower rings appear on the painted background of the canvas. Still, this does not create conflict or confrontation, rather symbiosis, peaceful coexistence.
The artistic surface of the works is mild, transparent, ephemeral, or vaguely stands out like a mist in an impressionist painting. The artist often composes the variegation of ornaments in symmetrical, concentric circles like mandalas and ritual signs. Occasionally, this resembles fancy oriental patterns, decorations of Lithuanian folk artwork or a particularly popular nowadays French Provence-style décor. Compositions sparkle with beads, decorative buds of flowers and blossoms. Zavadskė loves to apply paint on the surface of the textile fabrics, and to make them look like “painted”. Together with the abstract, neutral basis of the work of art, this technique often creates playful, decorative scenes – either a blooming meadow or an impressionistic carpet of water lilies, a slightly ironic and self-targeted combination of beautiful patterns and attractive colours.
In the author’s works of art, the distinction between decorativeness as a creation-specific expression, and its purpose, which is simply applied, specifically intended for interior decoration or the like, is important. The works of Zavadskė belong to the first category, although no doubt hanging somewhere in the interior they might perform a decorative function, which might be somewhat inconvenient for serious art. The decorativeness of the artist’s compositions is polite, cultivated. Shapes often acquire mild irregularities, playfulness, and sometimes cautious irony.
To describe the creations of Džina Jasiūnienė in one sentence would make it a kind of connection between textile and painting. Although the author finished textile studies, it has been painting that has always attracted her. Being a textile artist, she has always been fascinated by the ethnographic heritage of various nations, handmade fabrics, carpets, embroidery. She passionately collects books on world textiles, and each time she opens them, she feels inspired to create something new. The artist uses her own painted fabrics meant for household purposes. Stretched on the underframe, such fabric completely loses its original household purpose and becomes an independent piece of art. Unlike painting on flat fabric (such as silk or canvas), the use of ornamented fabric provides plenty of additional opportunities. One of the main means of the artist’s artistic expression is ornamentation. It is through the ornament, by changing and transforming it with the help of colour, that the impression of the multilayer is created, which becomes an additional carrier of meaning. While creating these “layered” ornaments, she uses the ethnographic motifs of different nations of the world – not necessarily directly – that can be just a hint in the form or colour. In this way, by uniting and mixing them together, a peaceful dialogue among different cultures of the world is created, and a universal artistic language that is understood by both the East and the West is searched for.
“She paints sensitively and likes to surprise people” – this is the most common remark about the exhibitions of Loreta Zdanavičienė, an artist and teacher of fine arts. This time an unexpected collection of the artist’s paintings on old sewings is on display.
It all started in 2002 when Loreta held an exhibition “Letters to the Past” in Šv. Jono Gatvės Gallery, where she exhibited her first paintings on embroidered canvas. In general, all of this artist’s creations reflect respect for the historical relic – whether it is a remodelled item or a painted old utensil. On the other hand, the artist always cares about the recognizable form, especially if we scrutinize the finest details of very realistically painted still life.
Plants, flowers and patterned fabrics are probably the most favourite motifs of Loreta’s works of art. Therefore, it is not surprising that when she is preparing for an exhibition, Loreta chooses to paint on embroidered handicraft with flowers and geometric patterns, which she finds or receives as a gift. Every embroidered canvas – a bedspread, a tablecloth, a napkin, a pillowcase – is painted neatly, meticulously and with a great deal of attentiveness and respect, preserving and highlighting the beauty of old textiles. Often, while formatting the base of the painting, the authentic shreds of the cloth are spliced, thus enhancing the impression of the importance of the heritage.
A very significant feature of this exhibition is the true stories of the embroidered pieces of “canvas”. Loreta keeps these stories in her memory carefully and has written some of them down. While painting the old hand-decorated fabrics, the artist kind of preserves the story of that item by extending its life in her paintings. An authentic embroidered pattern or its fragment dictates the structure of Loreta’s composition, even the colouring. At one point, the artist delicately combines the ornament of the embroidery by creating a solid, bright or monochrome “carpet”, while elsewhere she invokes the contrasting rhythm of the embroidered pattern to extend in a novel way the primary combination of lines and shapes.
The exhibition reminds us not only the origins of women’s creations, the traditions of the girls’ dowry but also multipart songs sung by brides-to-be while embroidering. It’s like an exceptional metaphor of the exposition – after all, Loreta craftsfully reproduces authentic embroidered patterns with her “painting voice”.
Art critic Rita Mikučionytė