12 Latvian artists have used an untraditional material, dried peat, to produce 12 sculptures. The 12 peat-sculptures were made at plein air sessions during the town festival in Bauska in 2011. The sessions were taking place at the very centre of the old town, and the visitors could observe the work of the artists and they were even encouraged to participate. In the course of the plein air event, the 12 objects were created within 12 hours. The artists were given an equal amount of peat and provided with the same conditions and equipment for working on sculpture. The artists who participated are Liga Yuksha, Maris Upzars, Elga Grinvalde, Matiass Yansons, Dmitry Lavrentjev, Martinsh Chivlis, Edgars Ameriks, Roberts Yansons, Yanis Yekabsons, Rudite Yekabsone, Kristaps Strauts, Kalvis Zalitis, Natalia Demshova, Leonid Medvedsky, Verners Lazdans, Natalia Bessonova.
At the summer event the works of the artists were displayed in one of the park alleys. The sculptures were installed on specially designed bases created by masters of metalworking and wood engraving arts.
At the conclusion of the exhibition, a photo session took place at night, framing the peat sculptures in the garden and the interior of the palace building. The sculptures were arranged within the space of its location to create distinctive compositions framed by the magical atmosphere of the architecture and the special treatment of the chiaroscuro to match the images with the deep meanings of the sculptures and emphasize the visual power of the material.
The 365 copies of the book which was created to envelop all the aspects of the project, with an attached DVD of the film documenting the project, are unique since they were made by hand by an outstanding artist Armand Dokis. The so-called manganese solution was used in the colouring of the book, and part of the text was painted by oil on the surface of the peat-bricks by Dmitry Lavrentjev.
The progress of the project was recorded in its entirety on video with the soundtrack created by the artists in the ruins of the ancient power station and later remixed in the recording-studio. The fragments of original work of Ken Butler, Ward Hartenstein and John H. Beck were used by their kind permission.
The project was completed and released with the support of the peat producer Laflora and the decorative materials production company Aprilmarket. The peat extracted for the project was strictly selected for its qualitative specifications.
Laflora offers specifically designed technologies for its original and exclusive production, and one of the methods in preparing the initial material is used by the company Aprilmarket. The most precious and valuable product, peat-bricks, is widely used by florists and decorative designers, and this particular kind of peat inspired the artists to create this show.
The project “12 Sculptures from 12 Artists for 12 Months” was completed and released with the support of the Latvian peat producer Laflora and the decorative materials production company Aprilmarket. The sculptures were created and displayed in the environs of the beautiful Rundale Palace Park in Latvia in 2011. The project grew to envelop various art forms: photography, video, music, graphic design and belles-lettres to represent the peat-art development and other non-traditional manifestation of modern art in Latvia.
The most valuable and precious peat-bricks of an exclusive quality inspired the artists to create their symbolic objects with deep meanings and primordial visual power.
The unique hand-made book with the DVD documenting the project represents its own genre in the show.
The exhibit of the film, the book and the sculptures will be opened on June 5, from 16.20 to 18.00, in Stockholm, by courtesy of the World Peat Congress, at City Conference Centre Stockholm, Hall C Folkets Hus, to be viewed there the whole remaining week.
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