Creativity Kiosk: Interview with Laura Keblytė

Photographer Tadas Černiauskas

Hi Laura, so the first ques­tion would be about tex­tile art. Tell us, how did you man­age to cre­ate your first untra­di­tional tex­tile works? The tech­nique is quite tra­di­tional, but it seems that you man­aged to look at it differently?

Constructional sil­icon is used quite vari­ously not only in every­day life, but often con­struc­tional sil­icon is used by sculptors as an addi­tional mater­ial to cre­ate a wanted form or to pre­cisely repeat it. In my first light install­a­tions “No flue nor feath­ers”, after long exper­i­ments and searches for the best mater­ial to rep­res­ent the idea, I used con­struc­tional sil­icon as the main mater­ial for the object and it let me pre­cisely repeat the hen form, sur­face tex­ture of the object. Silicon helped to cre­ate the max­imum real­ism effect that strengthened the viewer’s reac­tion to the cre­ated install­a­tion, and “livened up” the idea.

Tell us a bit about the col­lec­tions of torch­ers, in which you used hens and a butt of a pig. How did this idea come to you, how did you man­age to get the first private client?

My first light install­a­tion was my gradu­ation work. At that time the bird flu had gone through the world and all the media was glim­mer­ing from announce­ments and images about this tragedy. By choos­ing the “hen” as the main object of the install­a­tion, I wanted not only to demon­strate my point of view to this strange plague that had befallen birds but also to reveal an ironic view of the main install­a­tion object – the hen. In Lithuanian folk and dic­tion­ary the word “hen” has not the mean­ing of an a bit stu­pid, spas­tic per­son but often it is used to describe women. The chosen object and to max­imum real­ist­ic­ally presen­ted form cre­ated a witty install­a­tion that cre­ated a lot of dis­cus­sions, which traveled around vari­ous exhib­i­tions and finally, little by little, birds found their home.

Ironically my fol­low­ing install­a­tion, in which again I used con­struc­tional sil­ic­one and light, was cre­ated when announce­ments of Pig flu spread in the media. At that time, my works were trav­el­ing to Denmark and Denmark is fam­ous as a pig breeder. So I cre­ated an install­a­tion “Hunting trophy”, in which I used a pig’s back – end, grace­fully turned on to the viewer an moun­ted on a wooden board, which is used by hunters to demon­strate their hunted anim­als’ jack­straws. With this work I wanted to reflect not only the extent of the new flu epi­demic but also my ironic point of view towards the end­less need of a human being to pride in their trophies and win­nings. During the exhib­i­tion all of my “hens” as well as the “pig’s butt” were bought and one pas­sion­ate art col­lector wanted to have made to him “Hunting trophies”. So, after improv­ing the first ver­sion a bit, I cre­ated a trip­tych “Hunting trophies” that went off to Danish collector’s home and the cli­ent is a pas­sion­ate hunter and told that this cre­ation of mine is now proudly hanging in his hunt­ing trophy room.

What dif­fi­culties did you face by using anim­als in your creations?

There was no big­ger prob­lem with the hens, I just needed to buy enough fresh unfrozen birds and to hurry remov­ing plaster form off them. I man­aged to get hens’ legs with all the nails, so it was pretty easy. The search for the right pig took a while… The pig’s head came from some village’s slaughter house and was beau­ti­fully washed, cleaned. The own­ers of the pig, who slaughtered the pig, washed its head even with unused tooth­brushes, know­ing that an “artistic faith” is await­ing this head. The head came in very salted water because this way the meat stays fresh longer. And it was even more dif­fi­cult with the pig’s butt. Pigs are usu­ally slaughtered and divided in a bit dif­fer­ent por­tions than I needed. I asked at one pig raiser’s farm that they would divide the pig as I needed, leave the tale, the hooves. This way I got the pig’s back that I needed. I have to admit that it was unpleas­ant to touch, work with meat and to take off form from it…

As far as we know, at the moment, you are more occu­pied by the design, more accur­ately chan­delier design. How did you get over to this field and how do you link it to tex­tile techniques?

After cre­at­ing the first install­a­tion, the way that light can change the cre­ated object, change the view its sur­face, cre­ate a dif­fer­ent mood, seemed attract­ive to me. I decided to exper­i­ment more with light. An idea to apply my learned tra­di­tional weav­ing, col­or­ing tech­niques a bit untra­di­tion­ally and to cre­ate three dimen­sional objects by apply­ing tra­di­tional tex­tile in a cer­tain way was born. The main thing in my cre­ated chan­deliers is the use of tra­di­tional tex­tile tech­niques, their cer­tain inter­pret­a­tion that lets to cre­ate a style that is char­ac­ter­istic only to my works. I exper­i­mented a lot with vari­ous tra­di­tional tex­tile tech­niques but, at the moment, I mostly cre­ate chan­deliers by using tied car­pet weav­ing tech­nique, which I par­tic­u­larly applied and inter­preted in my cre­ated works.

What is design to you personally?

First of all, to me, design is an idea, then a great real­iz­a­tion and, of course, func­tion. When I cre­ate my design objects, I fol­low such rule: 100% of manual work, 100% of nat­ural mater­i­als, 100% of good mood, a bit of design, art and mastery.

Where do you get your inspir­a­tion, what por­tion of your works are devoted to cli­ents and how much time do you give to per­sonal creation?

The most dif­fi­cult ques­tion to answer is “where do you get your inspir­a­tion from?” Probably, as to the most, nature dic­tated forms of cre­ated objects and ideas come from obser­va­tion of our day – to – day life and the sur­round world.

I like to cre­ate to a spe­cific per­son or interior. I like to find the most ori­ginal ways of solu­tion, when I have a spe­cific task. That is why a large por­tion of my cre­ation is taken by cli­ents. In my spare time, I cre­ate and pro­duce things or objects that I believe are going to find not only a spec­tator but an owner as well. I stand by an opin­ion that “art has to serve the com­munity” (I think that Lenin gushed about that) but I really think that cre­ated pieces have to find their home, their keep­ers or a museum, or exhib­i­tion halls.

As we know, you can be proud not only because you found your style but also because you have quite a few cli­ents. What advice would you give to those, who can­not find any clients?

Don’t stop look­ing around! There are dif­fer­ent plat­forms and oppor­tun­it­ies to share your ideas! Internet is one of them. Also there are exhib­i­tions, com­pet­i­tions that are worth try­ing not just because you could find a poten­tial interest more quickly but also because you could tests your abilities.

If you could turn your future in the most ideal way, how would you ima­gine your work, space and cre­ation after five years?

I hope to still cre­ate after five years. I am happy that I’m doing some­thing that I would like to carry on doing. It would be fun to “go off to the broad waters”, find more “own­ers” for my cre­ations abroad. I would like to act­ively express myself not only in Lithuania but also bey­ond its borders.

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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