On 9 June 2023, a single artwork exhibition by Eglė Pilkauskaitė opens at showcase gallery “Galleri Toll“ in Stockholm. The exhibition is the first part of an exchange programme between galleries in different countries, initiated by apiece. Vilnius has a number of active non-profit and independent galleries and project spaces, but there is still a lack of international exchange. In this particular case, rather than exhibiting foreign artists, the programme has been conceived and dedicated for various non-profit galleries allowing them to come and hold their exhibitions. Along with organising an exhibition for the Lithuanian public, this also means encouraging the galleries to get to know the Lithuanian fine art scene in more detail, to establish a dialogue with other similar organisations and artists, and to get to know their work. apiece is planning for such exchanges with galleries of different European cities to take place at least once a year, and the first result of such exchanges in Vilnius is the “Galleri Toll“ exhibition at apiece, starting on 2 July 2023.
Egle Pilkauskaitė gives importance to the environment around her and the questioning of society’s norms of beauty, aesthetics and certain beliefs. In her works she uses craft-oriented materials, along with various technologies and methodologies. She focuses on the process itself, exploring different textures and finishes that she tries to reflect rather than imitate.
Soap Between Fingers is based on the still-widespread belief that women’s needs, especially those related to the body, belong to the private rather than public space. Not unlike lye soap, which is hidden away from guests in a cupboard or pantry and is only used in a domestic setting. Soap, which is the main material in this work, takes on the connotation of a personal ritual of removing emotional dirt. Maintaining an authentic and recognisable texture and a link to private space aims at evoking memories and personal experiences. The latter are not based on romanticised nostalgia, as is often the case when talking about the past. For post-Soviet countries, the material used in the work is reminiscent of deprivation, scarcity of goods and poor living standards.
The shape of the work evokes the symbolism of the ring: not only that of marriage, but also of repetition and continuous action. Taking into account the shape of the work and the display-like space of the gallery, the artist reconstructs the latter into a jewellery shop window, which is traditionally associated with luxury goods and imagery of a better, more beautiful life. This juxtaposition creates an inverse situation which showcases what happens to an object (a ring) when it is transferred from a representational environment to an everyday one, and when it is no longer a desired dream but becomes part of someone’s personal history.
E. Pilkauskaitė’s Soap Between Fingers, presented at “Galleri Toll“, is full of meanings and associations. It not only comments on the themes of privacy, (un)cleanliness and values, but also illustrates the situation of the soap stuck between the ring and the finger. In a figurative sense, it is also a visualisation of seeking personal perfection through the nurturing of one’s exterior, while the soap residue is reminiscent of dirt accumulated in the subconscious, or may also be a reflection of certain rituals, such as hand-washing, which is a reminder of the pandemic and its consequences that are only now being understood.
Eglė Pilkauskaitė is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Vilnius. She graduated from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London in 2014 with a BA in Drawing. Since 2016 she has been actively participating in exhibitions and art projects in Lithuania and abroad.
More about artist: pilkauskaite.com
Gallery apiece is a showcase-style gallery dedicated to exhibitions of artworks of contemporary visual art and/or conceptual design.
More about apiece: apiece.lt
Galleri Toll is a non-institutional showcase-style gallery located at „Ropsten“, the last metro stop on the eastern part of Stockholm’s mainland, in the inner Stockholm archipelago.
More about Galleri Toll: galleritoll.com
Exhibition is open until August 20, 2023
Exhibition curators: Milena Černiakaitė and Aušra Trakšelytė
Graphic Design: Marek Voida
Exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Lithuanian Cultural Attaché in Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Exhibition is supported by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and Vilnius City Council