Photo reportage from the exhibition by Ona Juciūtė at CCA Derry~Londonderry

Ona Juciūtė is interested in the practices and shifts of making today. She works across sculpture, installation and moving images. With a set of sculptures made specifically for this show, Ona is exploring parallels between tailoring, clothing and furniture-making following her month-long residency at CCA Derry/Londonderry.

Gallery 1 houses a series of sculptures Pelicans constructed from wood veneers inspired by the parallels in the declining industries of Derry~Londonderry (shirt factories) and Ona’s home city of Vilnius (timber). Ona inverts the veneers’ logical form as something that is not intended to exist as a surface devoid of its own structure or form by creating structural forms. The forms maintain their shape using pelican clips, familiar to domestic settings, nails and intersecting veneer planes. Ona returns the material to a state that borderlines industry and nature, with organic, leaf-like qualities. The sculptures also feature clothing tags as a reference to the changing relationships between owners and their garments.

Tags became popular when industrial materials and textile blends took over from wool, cotton and silk as people no longer knew how to care for their garments. Ona sees them as a message from the makers to the owners, becoming washed out through time and use.

The video piece Joiners connects patchwork making practices of former Factory Girls of Derry and a story of Ona’s father – a carpenter – and his relationship with the changing world through his skill. In the film, the lens tracks the stitches and fabrics of the quilt constructed from shirt and pyjama material offcuts, made by former shirt factory workers. Architectural landscape of Derry is still dominated by the once prosperous textile industry. The projection’s scale aims to create a landscape from the quilt; we navigate the contours of the folds, valleys and ridges as we explore the different textures and threads. The camera lens’ journey judders to echo the surging path of the sewing machine’s foot. The film’s text begins mid-conversation with Ona asking her father questions about his ways of making. He describes how he chooses leftover pieces of wood and other materials discarded from other projects and how he pieces them together to make new furniture.

Ona Juciūtė
23 Apr 22—02 Jul 22
CCA Derry~Londonderry
Curated by Catherine Hemelryk

Photography: Simon Mills