Exhibition 'Caryatids' at the Artists’ Association Gallery

2023 06 14 — 2023 07 01
Author Echo Gone Wrong
Published in Events in Lithuania

The exhibition “Caryatids” features Ganna Bogachuk, Anna Bondar, Yevheniia Kurdiukova, Oleksandra Martson, Vira Mkrtchian – five young artists escaping the war, who found refuge in Lithuania, the UK, Spain and France.

A caryatid is a universally perceived metaphor of burden, a symbol of both fragility and endurance, courage and inevitability to endure the hardships of fate, especially from the perspective of a woman – an artist, a refugee, a mother. The recurring code of memory is important to the authors – they touch the sensitive nerve of history, reflecting on the collective memory of past generations (their mothers, grandmothers) and the traumatic experiences they themselves are experiencing today – in their own lived reality. When reality is logically inexplicable and the mind is weighed down by the fog of the unknown, the only thing left to do is to use creative power as a way to endure, to hold on, to overcome.

In the paintings of the exhibition, the artists depict themselves first and foremost – they take an attentive look at their own identity, the sudden leap between carefree youth and early maturity, they test the relationship with their national roots, they reflect on the state of weightlessness, the condition of displacement, the necessity of immersion in oneself and the need for introspection.

Ganna Bogachuk uses Ukrainian ethnic imagery, details of folk patterns, and the symbolism of the colour red to rethink traditional culture and the meaning of its codes in the present day. At the same time, she captures the daunting experiences of a refugee (“Borders”, “Burden”, “Denial”, “Moving”).

Anna Bondar’s work focuses on her own philosophy and the search for the meaning of life. Her work explores the connections between people, she is interested in how feelings are transmitted, cultural codes are shared, and fears are inherited. Layers overlap each other, energy flows between all living and non-living things (“Chain”, “Equilibration”, “Everything is Connected”).

Yevheniia Kurdiukova’s canvases recur in the image of a young woman, expressing in her body language the exclamations of various states of mind – from longing to mourning. Mourning is not only for the lost home (“At Home. I Don’t Live Here Anymore”), but also for everyday normality, the ability of breathing freely (“I Buried the Sounds in Silence”).

Oleksandra Martson ponders on how the Second World War left Ukrainians to deal with wounds passed down from generation to generation (“Anton”, “Polina”, “Solomiya in Burnt Wheat”). Oleksandra belongs to the third generation after the “children of war” and to the first generation that hoped to finally overcome the trauma, to no longer pass it on to their children. Today her child is a child of war.

Vira Mkrtchian’s work is closely related to the search for personal identity, but at the same time it reflects on universal themes that explore the conditionality of human limits, time and reality. The painting series “Third Position” describes a kind of disconnected state, where everything that happens is viewed without much emotional involvement, as if one has left one’s physical body.

Sponsors: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Lithuanian Artists’ Association.

14 June – 1 July, 2023
Artists’ Association Gallery (2 Vokiečių St., Vilnius)
Opening reception: 14 June, WED, 6 pm
Entry free of charge

Working hours: II–V 11–19, VI 11–16.