Creativity Kiosk: interview with Viktorija Bardauskaitė

Photographer Karolis Žukas

Hey, we have been fol­low­ing you for quite a while now. Just a few years ago we also presen­ted your exhib­i­tion together. The first ques­tion is prob­ably related with your envir­on­ment – you mostly lived and stud­ied in small cit­ies and prob­ably know that feel­ing, when most of people are very well known to each other there. How could you com­ment that? Do you think that the envir­on­ment of a big and a small city has some influ­ence on artist?

Almost everything has some influ­ence but is it mean­ing­ful and strongly notice­able, I don’t think so. I was born, stud­ied and now live in dif­fer­ent cit­ies, towns. But I make my nest as I want to. I think that if we would change not the size of the city, but, for example, if you would live in a private prop­erty or in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent envir­on­ment, maybe in a desert, it would have more influ­ence on you. Then, sur­round­ing objects would change and some­thing new would be born.

You cre­ate won­der­ful graphic pieces. However, we know that you also like to exper­i­ment. Can you tell us how you chose graph­ics and why is it close to you?

It’s an easy choice. I did not think about it, I chose. It’s some­thing sim­ilar to when you are happy about the first snow in the winter and you run out­side to lick icicles. You can’t tell why you are doing that, can you? Some sort of impulse, some­thing from the inside is push­ing you. It’s inter­est­ing to try out or mas­ter graph­ics’ tech­niques and you also expand your pos­sib­il­it­ies. Graphics’ lan­guage con­vinces me and is fit­ting to me. However, I’m not settled, I some­times paint, carve and sew a bit. The last we met, I talked that I like Lithuanian cli­mate (there’s spring after winter then sum­mer and so on). I like it because snow is not enough, you also want to splash around in puddles… The same circle is in art, one day you are paint­ing and the other you’re drawing…

If you had to describe your­self and you art in two sen­tences, what would they be?

It’s dif­fi­cult to describe myself in words… Fish, clouds, wings, ropes… and always a human being or at least a half of it.

Tell us about inspir­a­tion, where do you get it from, where do the themes that you work with come from?

Usually from obser­va­tion and silence, there is more space for think­ing in silence and think­ing comes from all noticed actions, feel­ings, things, stor­ies, anim­als, people and states of personality.

Lithuania is sort of a part of the Eastern Europe but we have a lot of influ­ence from the West. How do you think we are dif­fer­ent, if we are dif­fer­ent at all? What is your opin­ion about the clash of the East and the West, when liv­ing in such a small country?

In my opin­ion, our coun­try absorbs those influ­ences, gen­eral tend­en­cies from West and East in. There is sort of no authen­ti­city left. Everything entwines. A mix of these two, of a dozen to be more pre­cise, influ­ences. Though, we live in a small coun­try, when geo­graph­ical walls are down, we try to see as much as we can, to know and to sub­con­sciously repeat it. If we really wanted to find authen­ti­city, we could find it in some artists’ cre­ation. And that authen­ti­city – it’s a par­tic­u­lar national iden­tity. A search for dec­or­at­ive­ness and orna­ment. And if it’s import­ant to under­stand what is so excep­tional in Lithuanian art, it’s national, folk art.

Which trends do you see in con­tem­por­ary graph­ics? Are there trends that you don’t like?

As gen­er­ally in all con­tem­por­ary cre­ation, the pole pos­i­tion belongs to con­cep­tion and graph­ics is not an excep­tion here. Young artists like the sim­pli­city of digital print and keep their hands clean. They take up etch­ing and dry needle tech­nique more rarely. Digital print dom­in­ates. And if they do cre­ate with older tools, the soul tech­niques are rarely seen. Mixed tech­niques, exper­i­mental forms are popular.

I don’t use digital graph­ics too much. I always use a pen­cil as well. And I like the mix­ing of tech­niques and the res­ult­ing “mash”. It’s vari­ous, inter­est­ing and attract­ive with its sur­face, relief alone… You can feel a lot more vibrant exper­i­ences just by touch­ing such works.

What graph­ics’ tech­nique is the closest to you? How do you eval­u­ate tech­niques, are there any that you don’t like?

I used to think that linen carving is a use­less tech­nique but Tadas Gindrėnas carves and he proved me wrong. I think that there are no bad means, just a ques­tion, how are you going to con­trol them. I am not bound to tech­niques. I already men­tioned that acci­dental things and the use of a couple of tech­niques are inter­est­ing. Though, in the mean­time I work with silk – screen tech­nique quite a lot. It reminds me of a puzzle, when you press on sep­ar­ate lay­ers. You can eas­ily bind a draw­ing and a pho­to­graph, choose any color. I just don’t like too much print­ing then you at least change the color or don’t print some­thing, so that you would fer­ment a work that looks the same.

Tell us about your plans. What would you like to do in the upcom­ing years?

To learn how to play the har­mon­ica or the Jew’s – harp. So that I could carry an instru­ment around in my pocket and pull in out and play at any time.

I also worked as an artist in one theatre. I learned new things and made a theatre doll. It would be inter­est­ing to learn more how to con­trol, make an expres­sion with a doll. Continue my work with graph­ics… fin­ish the works that I began and to begin new ones. I won’t tell more spe­cific plans because they can change a lot in the work pro­cess or all together some bet­ter or more spon­tan­eous ideas could push cur­rent plans away.

If this moment your voice could reach an immense amount of people, what sort of per­son would you like to call out to real­ize your ideas?

Ryan McGinley comes to mind because he uses states and body of the same per­son. And he man­ages to present it very nat­ur­ally and eas­ily (though, I never thought about this pos­sib­il­ity earlier). I com­mu­nic­ate with young artists that are near. With a couple of dir­ect­ors, act­ors, there are plans to com­bine our thoughts and works. We just need to find time and maybe funds. It’s nice to work with someone that you know. You know what and how they work, how to com­ple­ment each other.

Thank you!

Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
About author:
Gintarė Žitkevičiūtė
Gintare Zitkeviciute is Art Pit’s thinker and doer. In her work practise, she values lean approach, creativity and quick decisions. She doesn't like working with random people and thinks that a team is a heart of successful project. For that reason, she carefully picks people she works with on everyday basis. She is mostly interested in innovatio... Read further >
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