Congratulations to Vita Pukstaite-Bruze, the winner of the Grand Prix of the Amber Trip art competition! This year ECOSIGHT was chosen as the theme of the art competition, and Vita‘s piece of work Liepto galas (en. The End of the Bridge) won it.
1. You have participated in the Amber Trip art competition multiple times, haven’t you? We remember your artwork A Place under the Sun. What is it that gave you an impetus to participate in this competition?
I have participated in Amber Trip art competitions many times. I am not very active in competitions, but if I am interested in a topic and whenever I am invited, I participate in it. It is good to see that artists are also participating in the business event. It’s nice that the artistic side of jewellery business gets support too.
For us, artists, such competitions are important as they give us a chance to see what we look like in other contexts. For me personally, this gives me the opportunity to create a thematic work, because otherwise I keep delaying some topics. What I like about the contest themes is that they are unexpected.
2. In your opinion, how does the world of jewellery in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia differ? Could you single out a community that is more active than others?
Among the Baltic states, Estonian school is very strong. By the way, many Lithuanians have graduated from it. The state policy of Estonian culture is also better. Their level, at least in the past, stood out greatly. But now, with the Internet and information available worldwide, perhaps the level should be determined by authors rather that by countries. It depends a lot on individual effort.
3. Why the ECOSIGHT theme is close to you? The concepts that the artists participated with were different. Why do you think did they differ?
I think it’s a topic everyone is concerned about to some extent as people care about what’s going on with nature. The subject is very broad, and everyone has their own interpretations. I really enjoyed the work of Soonin Han from South Korea, she had a very strong concept that she approached very broadly.
4. The title of your work is Liepto galas (The End of the Bridge). What message does it carry?
There are two layers:
The first is personal. It conveys the feeling of insecurity. The lonely boat. It symbolises loneliness with many threats around.
The second is global. We are, in a sense, all in one boat. The climate change will have an effect on each of us, but there is a chance that the boat will turn around towards the bridge and we’ll be safer.
5. What materials do you use to design this work?
Enamel, silver, copper, amber, and mammoth bones.
6. Let’s talk about your work in more detail. I saw your Pockets collection. To me, it turned out to be very playful. Meadow, meanwhile, seems to send a more serious message. Is there something that connects your artworks?
The Pockets collection was made more than ten years ago. That jewellery shows a person’s identity. I’ve experimented a lot with texture and have a weakness for materials. I have collected fabrics from my parents’ closet, from Soviet times, from my grandmother’s home, woven. I now go around fabric stores and second-hand stores where one can find absolutely fabulous and unexpected textiles. Those ornaments inspire me to create something new. And each has fragments that are somehow expensive personally to me. I care about personality in my work.
The Meadow collection was also initiated a long time ago. I identify myself as a graphic artist rather than a jeweller. The plants are very graphic and dramatic to me. I always saw some kind of hierarchy and structures in them. The plants are also very dramatic, and their names add that drama to them. Here, for example, there are rabbit tears on the table. By the way, in different languages, plants are called differently, each culture values plants differently. The same plant may be considered weed in some country while elsewhere it is a royal symbol. And I want to capture these dramas in some way.
7. You use amber in your works without hesitation. Modern artists find it difficult. Why?
It is very difficult for me to come up with an idea how to make a piece of amber look like it’s right in its place. Now I got used to it. For example, let’s look at my piece of work A Place under the Sun. It took some time to realise that amber depicted the sun. And then the hammock naturally appeared under the sun. This work was not only recognised in the Amber Trip art competition, now it is exposed in the Amber Museum in Palanga.
8. You seem to love designing brooches. Are Lithuanians fond of brooches? Do you just like to wear them yourself?
When I make a brooch, it’s like a mini picture to me. I feel like I’m not creating a piece of jewellery, but like a painting. The ring is a sculpture. And the pendant is in an even closer relationship with a person. The man is the background of the picture / brooch. My brooches are like pieces of art on the wall. These artworks have a history.
For example, a brooch Samanos (Moss) contains a moss in it, and the sky, and water, and the sunshine through the forest. The brooch was like a capture image of the moment.
9. Where does the inspiration for your collections come from?
Everyone experiences moments of oblivion or escape. Everyone goes daydreaming while watching the clouds or planes passing by... I feel like travelling in those states and it seems like I’ve been there. It only takes half a second, but you’ve already been to Hamburg. And that state creates the image.
I really want that state to be in my works. The sea creates a certain state, the plant too, and I try to convey it. The piece with the hammock A Place under the Sun is also about that state of being elevated and grounded at the same time, because you feel good. Like a micro rest.
I am interested in painting, graphics, sculpture, book illustrations. First, I think about what the piece of work should be like, and then I think about technology. I like metal as a material. The process itself drives me, playing with fire is not boring.
10. What jewellers do inspire you?
Jewellers are not always my inspirers, but painters are, e.g. Paul Klee.
I have formed an overall picture of Lithuanian metal artists. Birute Stulgaite seems to me the most serious: both her image and content are strong in her work.