2010/10/09 – 2010/11/13 | Contemporary Lithuanian Jewellery in Portugal

Contemporary Lithuanian jewellery 

It is professional and sometimes drastic. It is made diligently and constructed conceptually. It is created by taking into consideration specific qualities of materials and stones, but directed toward a sophisticated spectator, searching for visual experiences, and, sometimes, for show elements. It is often ironic and very seldom sentimental. These are the key qualities of the contemporary Lithuanian jewellery.

Solveiga and Alfredas Krivičiai, Eglė Čėjauskaitė – Gintalė, Jurgita Erminaitė, Sandra Malaškevičiūtė and Austė Arlauskaitė are well known authors, perfectly representing the current Lithuanian jewellery. From an immediate touch with a body, body deformations and religious aspirations to a virtual jewellery project – this is the range of the modern Lithuanian jewellery.

Three authors present objects where human body is involved as a direct partner. Certainly, a body in need for decoration belongs to Čejauskaitė. When working with her favourite silver wire needlecraft technique, the author creates openwork and transparent objects designed for a human body. They embrace various parts of the body. Twinkling and rippling in the eyes they remind the gloves of spider-webs, which used to beautify the courtiers in the reign of Louis XIV.

Austėja Arlauskaitė is absolutely different: for her, human body serves as a stage for creation of various deformations. She models deformations by using transparent and very aesthetic organic glass; however, objects redolent of the cold aesthetic, appeal to the sphere of medicine rather than decoration. They remind medical devices of the unknown purpose: though perfect visually, they don‘t seem promising to their wearer.

Jurgita Erminaitė, one of the most conceptual Lithuanian jewellers, presents the accessories – body supplements and “escorts” – where the dose of sarcasm is in harmony with everyday inclusions. A purse from the pan bottom, golden trays to collect sulphur from ears, shining rope – a hangman‘s noose, turning into a necklace or a silver navel-string symbolising an eternal affection. A peculiar religiosity is also characteristic of the author; but in her hands religious symbols ambiguously outcrop and demonstrate their plastic insides and casings of the artificial gold; still they remain sacred and deserve a respectful look.

Sandra Malaškevičiūtė also works with the organic glass which has already become the symbol of her works. In her hands the glass turns into flowers, fruits and fragments of op art. This time it is a collection of optical brooches, where glimmering ornaments appeal to the op art painting.

The most ephemeral in this collection are Solveiga and Alfredas Krivičiai. With their challenges controversial artists often shake the Lithuanian jewellery world. A virtual project „Total Jewellery“ investigates the theme of a jewellery object as an expression of the public status. Jewellery objects and their suggested codes are embodied in the shapes of public icons and „celebrities“. Their instantly changing kaleidoscope, paintings and film, i.e. the composite parts of the project, turn into a criticism of the consumer society. The society, where things and signs are worth as much as status symbols.

Contemporary Lithuanian jewellery has many faces: five authors present five different options.

Dr. Jurgita Ludavičienė

CONTEMPORARY LITHUANIAN JEWELLERY IN PORTUGAL ( Exhibition catalog)

PORTO OPENS TO BODY SIGNS. Report by Egle Dean ( Baltic Jewellery News. 2011 (21)



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