Annual Survey Exhibition of Vilnius Painters “COLOURS OF FREEDOM”
2014 September 5 @ 17:00 - 2014 October 18 @ 15:00
Annual synoptical exhibition of Vilnius painters COLOURS OF FREEDOM is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Lithuanian Nationalist Revival. On March 3, 1989, Lithuanian National Awakening (since 1990 – Lithuanian Nationalist Revival) was officially registered as an organization. Members of the steering group included a large number of artists: writers, actors, poets, musicians, composers, filmmakers, architects, philosophers, journalists and scientists. Members of the steering group of Lithuanian Nationalist Revival included several well-knownartists–Bronius Leonavicius and Arvydas Saltenis. Lithuania was the first of the Baltic countries to declare its independence. The Revival was the first step towards the restoration of Lithuanian statehood. Lithuanian artists had actively participated in the activities of the Revival; the headquarters of Lithuanian Nationalist Revival was a home for one of the first meetings of the Revival.
In 1989, more significant events took part in Lithuania: the Cathedral was consecrated (closed in 1949), the remains of St. Casimir were returned to the Cathedral from the Church of St.Peterand Paul, for the first time during the Soviet occupation the Independence Day was publicly commemorated in Lithuania, elections to the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union were organized and won overwhelming majority by Lithuanian Nationalist Revival, and the first Baltic Assembly took place.
Freedom is a natural human right. Free and reasoning citizen is the basisf or a democratic state. Free and independent-minded people have developed the first rudiments of democracy, have created innovative visions, have initiated and carried out reforms, have created civil societies.Throughout the history of mankind freedom from the imposition of the will of something else–of oppression, tyranny, chains, slavery–was the highes taspiration of the subjugated people, which had repeatedly happened in the history of Lithuania. The theme of freedom is very important for artistic people; it is the possibility to create, to think,to choose the means of expression freely; it is the freedom of being an independent artist.Manifestation of freedom is very important both for every member of a society and the artist’s work. Artists express the position of an independent-minded citizen and person, and foresee the most secret visionary developments of the human soul. They are like litmus testsfor opening the corners of human nature helping to understand and reflect on their lives. An artist has to think and create freely, without censorship, restrictions–only then they will create a full-fledge dart.Freedom means the lack of restrictions on the public-political life, the lack of restrictions on creativity, freedom of speech, freedom of the press. Older Lithuanian artists are well-aware of the price of freedom. During the Soviet period Lithuanian artists were appreciated in the Soviet Union but not all of them were able to freely display their creations, to possess the freedom of expression. In this exhibition painters were invited to express the concept of freedom, as well as a wide variety of its colours and shapes, while avoiding the declarative creative solutions to present their creative vision of freedom.
Ever since the old days colours have been attributed multiple symbolic meanings. Colours express and embody human qualities, hierarchic dependence, perception of the good vs. the evil, the beginning vs. the end, etc.This symbolism has been known since ancient times, and was used by the primor dial nations. In the folk art symbolic colour treatment has survived until now. Different nations had many different interpretations of colour meanings; this is particularly true when talking about Europe and Asia. For example, white is the colour of mourningin Asia, while in Europe it is regarded the colour of beginning, cleanliness, connection, so it is often used during wedding, birth and initiation ceremonies.
As for the coloursof freedom, the first colour which can be associated with it is red– the colour of blood, fire, love of life, warmth, passion, war and battle. In ancient times the red colour was believed to protect against hazards; in the Ancient Rome brides used to wear a flame red veil symbolizing love and fertility. It was the colour of the emperor, nobles and generals. During the Middle Ages executioner sused to wear red robes meaning the connection of life and death. Even today a cardinal wears a red robe to remind of the blood of martyrs. Traditionally, red is a bright signal colour, which promises new life and the coming of heat; this is also the colour of revolutionaries’ flags.
A range of the colours of freedom could also include blue–the colour of sky, distances, transparency, purity, divinity, truth and fidelity. It also means unreality, high ambitions and dreams. In Christian symbolism blue represents purity; therefore, Maryis usually depicted wrapped in a blue cloak. Often in Christianity the confrontation of blue and white symbolizes the fight between heaven and earth (such as the fight between St. George and the dragon). According to the Eastern tradition, blue has been considered the colour of the protection against evil in the Islamic countries.
The colour of freedom might also be green–the colour of awakening spring, life and freshness, the meaning of which is between the redness of hell fire and blue sky. Green is often contrasted with red–the colour of life, and sometimes replaces it. Green represents renewal; it is the colour of hope, long evity and immortality. The range of the colours of freedomis quite wide and each artist can find their individual colour of freedom, as well as a form of expression, interpreting the theme differently and individually combining their own personal experiences, feelings and visions.
The year of establishment of LAA ARKA Gallery (1990) coincides with the Lithuanian Independence. From the very beginnin gannual exhibitions of Vilnius painters have been held in this Gallery. Exhibitions aim at summarizing and evaluating the artistic achievements of each year. These exhibitions have always been popular among artists and widely visited; they have become a long-termtradition. Gradually, the idea of exhibitions giving sense to the important dates of Lithuania has taken off. Annual exhibitions of Vilnius painters attempt to give more weight and content and to select the works that best reflect the chosen theme. Great public interest was caused by the exhibition dedicated to the 300th birthday anniversary of K. Donelaitis, as well as the exhibition for the 80th anniversary of S. Darius and S.Girenas’f light across the Atlantic.
The exhibition dedicated to the theme of the colour of freedom will be organized not only in Vilnius ARKAGallery but also in other art centers of Lithuania–VAA Gallery in Telsiai, the Multicultural Center of Kedainiai, Regional Museum of Zarasai, National Museum of Jurbarkas, etc.
Objectives of the project are to present the creations of LAA (Lithuanian Artists‘ Association) of Vilnius painters to the general public with, to remind of the date important to Lithuania and to demonstrate new faces and stylistic innovations.The exhibition includes not only works of the LAA members, but also creations of painters who do not belong to the Association, as well as young but artistically mature and creative artists– approximately 50 artists. The works for the exhibition have been selected by a commission structured by the painters’ section in LAA: Arune Tornau (curator), Palemonas Gintaras Janonis, Linas Liandzbergis, Jolanta Kyzikaite, Grazina Vitartaitė, Algimantas Stanislovas Kliauga. The exhibition organizer–LAA ARKA Gallery. Sponsors–Lithuanian Artists’ Association and Lithuanian Council of Culture.