Rūta Naujalytė is an Oslo-based professional textile artist specializing in contemporary jewelry and modern arts. Rūta focuses on two fields – contemporary textile craft and visual arts incorporating contemporary textile and film. Her artworks are mainly influenced by the context of feminism and philosophical critique of capitalism.
In the ARTIFEX gallery, artist presents two collections. Rūta about her artworks:
My love, I will eat You Alive
“My love, I will eat You Alive” is all about birds and feather inspired creatures. I am living in a part of the world where capitalism is threatening to commercialize every aspect of our lives, not excluding the most intimate ones. My work is a celebration of passionate love – a traumatic contingent encounter as opposed to superficial consumerist attitude which offers us “love without the fall”. The collection consists of a series of textile jewelry, objects, poetry, prints and film. Together they form one piece of art which is an expression of ardent love.
Link to the Film https://vimeo.com/217223870
A popular fairy tale inspired other work – Seven Dwarfs which is a perverse interpretation of traditional fairy tales, criticizing gender polarization still present in postmodern capitalism.
Gender polarization is a concept in sociology by the American psychologist Sandra Bem which states that societies tend to define femininity and masculinity as polar opposite genders, such that male-acceptable behaviors and attitudes are not seen as appropriate for women, and vice versa. Some theories – which are collectively termed social construction theories – claim that gender behavior is mostly due to social conventions. Most children learn to label themselves by gender by the age of three. From birth, children acquire gender stereotypes and roles from their parents and environment.
The popular meaning of the symbol of the heart used in the collection is that “the heart is the locus of a physical and spiritual being, and represents the “central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the wisdom of reason”. It is compassion and comprehension, a life; the symbol standing for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection.”
Similarly in sexism and gender stereotypes, the same opposition persists between feminine (e.g. feeling, compassion, etc.) and masculine qualities (e.g. intellect, reason, courage, etc.). Thus, ‘the opposites attract’ concept arises.
In my work, the seven dwarf hearts symbolize precisely this stereotypical gender bipolarity which will either have to die or awake radically different.
Textile as the chosen medium is particularly suitable for this work. Textile craft is stereotypically perceived as a feminine activity.