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Island


Concrete, glass fiber, iron
2020

The collection of MO Museum

The idea for the sculpture was born out of a nagging feeling that no matter where you are, you are not where you are supposed to be. The ever-present anxiety makes us search for something impossible, intangible, abstract. An island where you can feel like yourself. A memory that often comes to mind is a report I once saw about a hermit living on a desert island somewhere in the waters of Japan. I am not claiming that this is some kind of aspiration, but this man seemed to have achieved a self-sufficient existence. Of course, the island is just a metaphor for a vague, abstract state of mind. The inner Utopia. It is quite likely that this amorphous aspiration is quite uncomfortable, evoking feelings of fear and loneliness. And its goal is to remain unachievable. Like a horizon.

The form of the sculpture is abstract, but it contains several associatively identifiable layers. A sculpture can resemble a creature from the depths of the ocean, a spaceship from the inevitable future, a desert landscape or the curves of the human body. The first two mediums (the ocean depths and outer space) are still relatively unknown to humanity, leaving plenty of room for imagination. Knowledge often takes away the joy of creation. The third medium (the desert) is inhospitable to life, yet erotic in its resemblance to the curves of the naked body. This aspect is quite closely related to the theme of the work, as it also has to do with the concept of desire.

I remember how, many years ago, my parents took me to Barcelona. It has one of the world’s largest aquariums, where you can see a variety of aquatic creatures. Visitors walk through a glass tunnel, where sharks, rays, giant octopuses and many other aquatic creatures swim around it. It was a very impressive visit. All these creatures looked incredibly graceful and otherworldly. At the same time, the sight of a three‑metre-long shark swimming alongside the relatively thin glass of an aquarium (you can never really trust a man-made creation) left me with a sense of reverent fear. An extraordinary experience. I had the ambition to reflect at least part of this feeling in my sculpture.

Photo: Stasys Mačiulskas, Laima Milkintė, personal archive

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