“Storks, Cigs and Amulets”
Exhibition at Liepaja Museum
The Liepāja Museum exhibits more than 30 works of art by Ieva Carukas, prepared especially for this personal exhibition at the Liepaja Museum. The artist uses various mixed techniques – collage, painting, graffiti, stencil.
The message of the exhibition contains reflections and experiences arising from the chaos caused by the pandemic. The works are surprisingly bright and attractive. Elements from the ethnography of Kurzeme residents are painted, the color combinations characteristic of suite brunches are used in the works, intertwined with South African motifs and the characteristic manner of painting.
The connection of these two different cultures is not unknown in history, however, the artist focuses on the elements that unite us today, and in her art she reflects on the problems caused by globalization that we solve every day.
One of the strongest characters in the series is the black stork. “The stork is a totem of the continuation of life, a symbol of wisdom and the fragility of the world – a delicate element of the ornament in the “large pattern,” this is what the artist Ieva Caruka herself says about her works.
Elements from the cult of the phallus and vulva – symbols of the continuation of life – can be seen in the works of art. For Ieva Caruka, the portrayal of sexuality in painting is essential, the artist feels how its significance is diminishing nowadays before disappearing into nothingness.
The changes caused by the pandemic have encouraged the artist to focus on depicting the crowd in painting. “The gathering of a large number of people in a joint celebration is the forbidden fruit in this reality. The possibility of touching without the spread of power. The crowd is a symbol of the passing world, positive. In the works you can find several Madonnas with a baby, children, couples in love. All together and each moving to its own sunny shore. But at the same time, the crowd embodies not only pleasant games,” says artist Ieva Caruka about the context of her work “The passing charm of the crowd”.
In the process of setting up the exhibition, the artist created a large mural especially for the exhibition in the museum, using graffiti and stencil techniques. This large-format painting is a background and complement to the artwork “Crowd”.
For some of the artworks, Ieva Caruka uses unrestored, antique picture frames, whose color and crumbling matter play with the pictorial structure of the artworks and symbolize the fragility of values.
Ieva Caruka is an artist and teacher, a member of the Latvian Artists’ Union, graduated from the Department of Graphics at the Latvian Art Academy. The artist’s works are in the collections of the Union of Artists of Latvia and the Mark Rothko Art Center, in the private collections of former President of Latvia Vairas Vīķes-Freiberg and Jānis Zuzāns, as well as in Europe, Ukraine, Australia, the USA, etc. in art museums and private collections.