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.