The trigger for this project was a Lithuanian shop which I passed daily on my way into town. It had three large shop windows and sold food from Lithuania. Quite unusually, it also had shelves stacked with second hand books, a small library of Lithuanian literature and magazines. One window space was filled with second hand children toys, prams and clothes. It had a very personal touch to it and seemed to champion a different, alternative economy. Maybe it was a small Lithuanian community centre with an attached grocery store?
The shop closed half a year ago and is now a tanning studio.
This project started with the ambition to link with art and culture from Lithuania, whose immigrants form the third largest group of EU citizens in Northern Ireland, after Irish and Polish- in the last decade
Now, everything is overshadowed by Brexit and growing Nationalism, and with it (for me) the feeling of deep sadness and the fear of diminishing cultural exchange with Europe.
The final decision to leave with or without a deal, a delay or maybe a second referendum falls within the time of this project.
Ieva Rojūtė worked in PS² for the last week and made her drawings and installation specifically for and in our space; fresh, new work.
She is a wordsmith, both in the sense that she handles language like a poet and writer and in the way how she draws, sprays or paints the lines and shapes of the letters and words onto surfaces, tinted walls, wooden boards, or floating fabrics. She captures everyday culture and high art, mixing street with gallery.
Her art is influenced by the directness and power of graffiti on street walls and careful considerations of conceptual art, treating words like fragile objects in a spatial context. Her work reflects our time, the artists’ emotional and critical responses as well as the social/ political context.
Oh and Ieva Rojūtė is an artist from Lithuania, based in Vilnius. But nationality doesn’t really matter in art.
THIS IS LIFE AND NOT A FANTASY
Date: 15 March – 06 April 2019
Opening: Thursday 14 March, 6-8pm with a sound
performance by Jokūbas Čižikas
This project is kindly supported by the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
Many thanks to Justė Kostikovaitė, Cultural Attaché at the Lithuanian Embassy in the UK for her patient advise and support. For more information on Lithuanian Art and Culture in the UK see.
PS² is supported by the National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.