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Frontpage News 2016 Hidden art treasures in Lithuania

Hidden art treasures in Lithuania
The art work is currently featured in an exhibition at Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts, but will travel to Norway early 2017. Photo credit: Andrej Vasilenko

Hidden art treasures in Lithuania

  • In a hundred years old water reservoir ­ – hidden from the eyes of the passers-by – an art exhibition is taking place. Presenting the works of several Norwegian and Lithuanian artists, the exhibition is called ‘Climbing invisible structures. Ritualized Disciplinary Practices in Social Life’.

    The exhibition is part of a two-year cultural cooperation between six institutions in three countries: Iceland, Lithuania and Norway. With support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants, the art explores the hidden causes behind our daily rituals.

    The reservoir exhibition features five out of the ten artists who took part in the project: Saulius Leonavičius and Robertas Narkus from Lithuania and three Norwegian artists – Kristin Tårnesvik, Tanya Busse and Victoria Durnak. Curated by Eglė Mikalajūnė from Lithuania and Samir M’Kadmi from Norway, the work presented has been created exclusively for this project.

    “I'm very excited to be a part of the exhibition in the water reservoir - a century old underground structure that has almost never been open to the public,” says Norwegian-Canadian artist Tanya Busse.

    Artistic residencies

    The ten artists have had artistic residencies in either Iceland, Lithuania or Norway. For Berglind Jona Hlynsdottir from Iceland, the chance to work in Lithuania was especially welcome:

    ”I’ve been drawn to the Baltics, and especially Lithuania. I feel like I’ve learnt so much from being there and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to take part in a very well curated project that has really given me the time to develop my work, as well as meet and work with amazing people,” Hlynsdottir says.

    Saulius Leonavičius from Lithuania spent two months at the Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale in rural Norway. He has created a universal costume for contemporary meditation rituals.

    “For me personally, the most important result of the project is the collaboration with other artists. It opened up new directions for my work and studies,” Leonavičius says. 

    _MG_7946 ‘Fuck Language. The Costume of a Psychonaut’ – by Saulius Leonavičius from Lithuania. Photo: Andrej Vasilenko

    For artist Robertas Narkus, the most important aspect was the opportunities that became available through the project:

    “It was a great experience, and a way to meet new people and discover places and ideas. I’m results-oriented, and the project gave me the means necessary to produce and exhibit new works,” he says.

    More information

    The work of the ten artists will be featured in other exhibitions in Lithuania and Norway:

    • VAA Nida Art Colony, Lithuania – 21 May to 19 June 2016
    • Residency Centre YO-YO, Žeimiai Manor, Jonava district, Lithuania – 30 July to 28 August 2016
    • Akershus Art Centre, Lillestrøm, Norway – 10 February to 12 March 2017

    The exhibition is part of the project ‘Discipline today. Residency exchange and exhibitions’ funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Lithuanian ‘Promotion of diversity in culture and arts within European cultural heritage’ programme.  Organised by project promoter Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts, the project is implemented in collaboration with the Nordics Artists’ Centre Dale in Norway, the Office for Contemporary Art, Skaftell Centre for Visual Art in Iceland and Residency Centre YO-YO in Lithuania.

    Read more about the EEA and Norway Grants to Lithuania

    This article is adapted from an article written by the Art Council Norway, and was originally published on their website: http://www.kulturradet.no/eos-midlene/vis-artikkel/-/hidden-treasures-skjulte-skatter-i-litauen

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Discipline today. Residency exchange and exhibitions

    Project number:


    Priority sector:

    Protecting Cultural Heritage


    € 121357



    Project promoter:

    Nida Art Colony of the Vilnius Academy of Arts

    Type of Institution:


    Project duration:

    24 months

    Project cost:

    € 168,112

    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    ‘Climbing Invisible Structures. Ritualised Disciplinary Practices in Social Life’ is a curated visual arts residency exchange and exhibition programme. The project aims to stimulate the dissemination of professional art in the regions and to build mutual interest in Norwegian, Icelandic and Lithuanian contemporary visual art and culture. It is focused on the contemporary understanding and application of the phenomenon of discipline. The project intends to go beyond the interpretation of discipline as a destructive force. It rather regards discipline as a voluntary self restriction chosen by contemporary individuals as a constructive way to deal with anxiety which is caused by unlimited freedom. It is planned to organize two-month residencies hosted by the partner institutions for 10 artists of the three countries on the topic of discipline, and to present their results (at least 10 visual and interdisciplinary works of art) to the public in the regions of Lithuania and in Norway. Also, a joint seminar will be organized at NAC, with all the participating artists, curators, guest speakers, students and representatives of the partner institutions. The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (Norway), the Nordic Artists' Centre Dale (Norway) and Skaftell Center for Visual Art (Iceland) are donor project partners in this project.