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Walking in the old town of Vilnius, I often study the decoration and symbolism of the buildings. I am fascinated by art deco and art nouveau architectural styles. A long time ago, art nouveau and – deco bas reliefs of women on the sides of buildings attracted my attention. After collecting examples of bas-reliefs from historical buildings, I created my own interpretation of an art nouveau female portrait.

The creative process was extremely complicated. I cut, ground and melted the used plastic straws collected from bars at high temperatures. I experimented a lot with the 3D printer, clay, plaster, silicone and epoxy when making the mould for the head. In the end, I settled on a plaster mould – I poured hot plastic mass into it. When the cast heads were removed from the plaster mould, some plaster stayed on them. I left the remnants on, on purpose: so that the work would not look new, and the handwork would be visible. The black colour of the straws, which have an uneven surface when melted, look similar to black ceramics. I associate the black colour with firmness and strength, like metal. And this is the first clue to the title of my work ‘Steadfastness’.

In 2018 I created bas-reliefs of women from used melted straws. Most of them were glued to flower pots. These pieces of small architecture were displayed in the streets of the old town of Vilnius, next to the same historical buildings whose mouldings I admire.

I have some of these moulded, plastic faces in my studio. For a while, I displayed one of the plastic faces on an indigo-blue glass circle. I worked with glass shards from used blue bottles, melted at a temperature of 1000’C, by a stained-glass master. Its uneven surface diffuses the light more beautifully and gives this sculpture an impression of mystery and spirituality. I intentionally choose the circular shape – it represents the endless, never-ending, and eternal sky. In the sculpture I created, the edge of the circle glows, creating an aura for the woman’s face.

The circle is attached to a welded vertical chain, which naturally does not hold like that. This is the second hint for the title of my installation ‘Steadfastness’. The idea of using welded chain and broken glass alloy techniques came from the implementation of my other installation, “Cranes”, where I also use a chain that does not hold naturally, but stands vertically.

The sculpture is mounted on a dark square base that symbolises the earth. The vertical chain becomes a solid link to the symbolic circle of the sky.

Dimensions: 35 x 93 x 30 cm
Price: 4500 EUR