Lithuania, a country with fewer than 3 million people and about to celebrate 30 years of independence from the Soviet Union in the year 2020. The people of this Baltic country with a history of occupation by outside powers have welcomed me with open arms and intrigued me with their rich history and interesting culture. The Lithuanian language is the oldest spoken language in Europe and even shares many ties with Sanskrit. They were the last country in Europe to finally drop their Pagan beliefs and adopt Christianity in 1387 (after multiple failed attempts by Christian missionaries that were killed in the process).
I've been inspired by so many of their Pagan stories and gods. The commonalities between their Pagan culture and the Ecuadorian/Andean indigenous gods intrigued me. The small town of Kintai where I'm currently spending my artist residency is located right next to the Curonian Spit and has a deep impact on the way of life here. Many fisherman make a living off their daily catch and it governs their day-to-day life.
If the weather permits (it's been raining lots here) I will be painting a mural to commemorate the parallels of Ecuadorian/Andean and Lithuanian culture. I would like to thank Audra Joudeskiene for being such a great host and mentor, Eugenijus Kaminskis for being helpful and a bridge to my many questions, and Martynas Pekarskas for being such a great human being and amazingly passionate artist.
I came to this residency with my own projects carefully laid out but wanted to remain open to anything that would spark my interest and stir my creative curiosity. This is the beauty of taking yourself out of the daily grind and letting yourself be inspired by a culture all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.
I was also able to start on two UNDERDOGS pieces I had in mind after some research here. Two beginning sketches below.
Thank you Kintai Arts and Lithuania. My time here was very fulfilling and I'll never forget the experiences I had in this lovely little country.