RIGHT AND WRONG SIDES
I really felt honoured to be invited as an International Jury member for the 4th International Textile Art Biennial, organised in Kaunas, Lithuania. Kaunas – the city, where cultural traditions can be admired in various museums’ collections and artists’ creativity and energy can be felt through organizing international events and striving for leading positions in the European context.
I would like to express my appreciation for the work done by the organising committee. Due to its enthusiasm, the significant cultural event - textile art biennials, which was started in 1997, this year has European significance, gained consolidating 68 artists from 14 countries in the world.
As a jury member you always feel responsibility for the forthcoming exhibition to become as good as possible, as challenging as expected. This is a very serious task. It is not just to decide each individual artist’s success in the career, or just to say: I like or dislike, it is also a great chance to draw the picture of contemporary textile art in Europe today and a possibility to foresee its development in the future perspective. Right and Wrong Sides – this simple and at the same time philosophical title – to my mind opened very wide interpretation possibilities for artists.
What conclusions can I draw from applications and the
selection of works?
Out of 194 works submitted
by 155 artists, the international jury selected 66 works created by 68 artists,
so it is possible to draw a conclusion, that the competition was quite hard.
two dominant countries this time turned out to be Lithuania (22 artists) and
Latvia (11 artists). This means that weaving tradition in the Baltic countries
is very strong. Not only because of dominating quantity. Alongside good ideas
and new concepts the Baltic countries have good educational bases on the
highest level. It seems also that our previous collaboration during 1970s-80s
in the Baltic Decorative Applied Art Triennials in Tallinn, which sometimes led
to a hard competition, has formed good beginnings for textile art development today. This was proved in Riga Textile and
Fibre Art Triennial Tradition & Innovation in 2001 as well.
It was amazing to see that some artists are infatuated with figurative realism - compositions and portraits in the manner, which can even be characterized as natural realism (like human ageing process). Is it in fashion or is it urgent, contemporary approach…? Being perfectly executed, some of these textiles really fascinate us by strong artistic expression.
M. A.Velta Raudzepa