“Ministry of Change” is a collage art series started during the time of Covid-19 pandemics and quarantine. During this uncertain period of worldwide standstill a lot of existential thoughts come to mind and new meanings re-emerge. While continuously thinking about our unsustainable lifestyles and how it all connects in the present moment, I question our values and our activities, and wonder what can we learn from a crisis that could change a discourse of our development.
Are we ready to accept our mistakes and change?
With this series of works I seek to raise awareness, inform and support the movement of sustainable development and sustainable culture.
Images and words from old magazines that I have been collecting from people come together with patterns of my stitches to bring my thoughts together and make sense of the current moment.
THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION collage + stitch on watercolour paper, 32 x 26 cm 2020 April 80€ This first work is in Lithuanian, but hopefully the images can speak for themselves even if you don’t understand this language. Our activities on this planet greatly affect other organisms and ecosystems. Due to the warmer temperatures we have now 30% less coral reefs in the World (which happened only in the last 25 years). And this is just one small example I chose for this particular collage, but there are so many tipping points that led us to enter this new epoch in the history of our planet – Anthropocene, Earth’s most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans. Does humanity really have only seconds left in the encounter with nature? Are we at the edge of the 6th great extinction? There were a few great extinctions in our planet and the times we are living now are looking very much alike those periods. What is coming next?
DECAY collage + stitch on watercolour paper, 32 x 26 cm 2020 April 80€ “The materials of industrial progress can become signs of social and environmental decay.” And we are very good at ignoring those signs. We do not try to solve problems we don’t see or don’t want to see, or those we have no idea how to solve… We just continue with our unsustainable habits as long as we can. Societies had become more divided, with an increasing gap between rich and poor, with an increased sense of separation from one another and from nature, our mental and physical health is getting worse, our waste is filling up the world, climate is becoming more extreme… Just to name a few! Now, when facing a great health, economic and social crisis, brought by the pandemic of Covid-19 virus, it is a perfect time to stop and think, to take a different direction, to look for solutions, to connect.
MINDLESS CONSUMERISM collage + stitch on recycled paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 April 80€ “We buy things we don’t want, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like” Where does mindless consumption lead us to? What is the cost of buying yet another poor quality clothing from a high street store? High quantities of wasted water, air, water and soil contamination, growing landfills, climate change, species’ extinction, social injustice, modern slavery… The list is long, the more you look – the more you find.
CONSUMER WASTELAND collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 July 100€ We are part of a big structure, a structure where we became nameless consumers. Our culture is reduced to consumerist measures. We evaluate our cultural expressions by their monetary return. We put profit above health. Above our own physical and psychological health. Above the health of our environment. We are creating a wasteland around us, so big we can’t even see the full scope of it anymore.
NO SPACE FOR WASTE collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 November 100€ We fill Earth’s beautiful land and precious waters with waste. More and more of it. We ship rubbish from Europe to Africa, so we can pass our burden to “others”. We no longer know where to store all that we throw away. Therefore we try to hide it in the oceans, dumping tires and plastic waste to the homes of marine life, invading every inch of this Planet. There is NO SPACE FOR WASTE.
DISCONNECTED collage + stitch on recycled paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 July 80€ We are all connected, but we tend to forget that. We tend to separate ourselves from one another. We tend to compartmentalise everything around us, loosing site of the structure. We disconnect our actions from consequences, disconnect the end result from its source. Most of us are so faraway from the source, that we forget to ask ourselves “where is this coming from?”. We consume large amounts of “meat” and “dairy products”. And we even create names to distance ourselves from the source, so we don’t have to think about the process that brings the food to us. We try to not see, to ignore the current state of things. Because the power of addiction is stronger than our will to accept. To accept that we can also be happy with less.
NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 August 100€ We frack the land we live on. We take too much, don’t give enough. We enhance our food with chemicals, fix ourselves with pills. We slide through artificial surface, Fitting in the norms. Get tangled in the social structures, Loosing sight of our path. One of the greatest challenges we face as a society is ensuring we all have access to safe and healthy food, while protecting the Planet. On one side of the World we over-consume and waste food, we don’t value what we have and forget that not everyone is so privileged. We also made ourselves addicted to junk food, sugar and animal products, becoming more and more unhealthy by overeating them… diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, to mention just a few. Sometimes we use our privilege in our own disadvantage. Maybe it is time to reevaluate things we have, things we need and don’t need, to find balance within the Planet we live in.
MEET THE PEOPLE (GET INFECTED) collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 November (Second quarantine of COVID-19) 100€ We are social creatures and we can’t survive without one another. Someone provides us with food we eat, clothes we wear or houses we live in. We gather information from each other, we learn together and create the world around us together. Surely with our contemporary networks it has become easier to survive without much interaction. But just look around and you will see how we depend on one another. Even social distancing rules are barely stoping us from being connected.
DOES THE MARKET ALLOW CONTEMPORARY ART THE DEBATE? collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 November (Second quarantine of COVID-19) 100€ “With war ravaging the landscape and society of Syria, How do you create?” Innovation has helped us in many ways. Technology has made it easier to access information (now we can know about war or injustice happening on the other side of the world) and material goods. It also influences our decisions making. It tells us what to think or buy. This leads to an idea: “Are we really free to make personal decisions?” Art can be used as a tool to question our decisions. But does the contemporary art market allow the debate? And do we allow it?
THE MUSEUM collage + stitch on paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 August 100€ “…Of course, there are many great museums in the world, but most of them are so damned boring. They’re filled with big names rather than great works.” In the world where power and status plays an important role, we loose values and meanings. People are judged by their education, family name, wealth… Galleries and museums become distant spaces of exclusivity, for the chosen ones. In these places there are “us” and “they”, masters and audience, consumers, but there is no WE, no community. In order to come out of this loop of authority we have to become more humble, to learn together, to communicate, to share and receive.
LIFE AFTER THE APOCALYPSE collage + stitch on recycled paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 April 80€ As scary as it may sound “apocalypse” doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic final destruction as often depicted in our popular culture. In fact the origins of this word come from a Greek word meaning “revelation”, “an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling”. A worldwide standstill might be the best time to take a moment of silence with ourselves and think. It might be as well the most difficult time, when we realise how hard it is to handle our own thoughts, especially at the time of uncertainty and ever growing fear. We can either keep on distracting ourselves with activities or we can face our fears, re-evaluate and find real value of things. It is the best time for revelations. What is your dream of a life after the apocalypse?
MINISTRY OF CHANGE collage + stitch on recycled paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 April 80€ Restore. Regenerate. Revive. Rebuild. When we speak about the current climate, social, health or psychological issues we face in the society, we tend to focus on each issue individually, isolated from other problems. And we often tend to forget that everything is connected. Our climate crisis is very closely linked with our psychological issues, it can’t be solved by simply finding the solutions on waste management or setting rules on how each individual should behave. As new rules create new ways to go around them, in the same way technological advancement or new more sustainable ways of production can not address a set of broad interconnected challenges we have to deal with. It might be that in order to restore, revive and rebuild things around us to a more balanced state we first need to regenerate our spirits. We need to find who we really are – just a small part in this complex intertwined structure of the World and of the Universe itself. To assume our role and be open to learn.
LIFE collage + stitch on recycled paper, 20 x 15 cm 2020 January 20€
A compilation of memories, time and space, sounds and lines, colours and movements.
Life is a form of energy, vibrations of different intensity. It is so abstract and yet so concrete. Various life forms can create resonances or dissonances. The goal is to find balance.
NETWORK OF STRUCTURES collage + stitch on recycled paper, 20 x 15 cm 2020 January
Listen. See. Feel. Respond.
Forming relationships with your inner self, with the surroundings, with people expands the spectrum of possibilities. Possibilities to create a stronger structure, a stronger connection within other natural structures, a stronger World.
WORLD COMES TOGETHER collage + stitch on recycled paper, 20 x 15 cm 2020 January 20€
Communities. Shared culture. World culture.
World is increasingly more connected and intertwined, bringing more information, view points, ideas together. It is becoming more open for the exchange of energies, in order to strengthen a diverse unifying culture.
UPDATE TIME collage + stitch on recycled paper, 20 x 15 cm 2020 January 20€
Perhaps Time is a relative position in space, affected by an infinite number of cycles, each with their unique events in the Universe. There is no one day that is the same as the other.
Can we update time, so it would expand our understanding about the Universe? Our knowledge about the planets, the Moon cycles, gravitational resonances, energy frequencies and our stage of development?
Update Time to receive energy.
WORLD DEMOCRACY collage + stitch on recycled paper, 42 x 30 cm 2020 April 80€ Surely we still have a long way to go to reach a common understanding in the World, to accept different opinions, to navigate peacefully. Nevertheless, we are continuously taking the steps to change the old system that supports the ideas of scarcity and possession, clinching onto old beliefs fuelled by fears. Fears of making mistakes, fears of not knowing, fears of failing, fears of not being perfect…. they are slowly dispersing in the ocean of understanding and acceptance, going with the flow in order to learn to ride the waves. Knowing we are Nature to learn to collaborate with Nature.
THE FUTURE collage + stitch on watercolour paper, 32 x 26 cm 2020 April 80€ We are starting a new cycle. It is up to us to decide, how this new cycle will look like, and the next one to come. It is the time for change. Do we embrace or collide with the future?
THE MASTER OF NEW BEGINNINGS collage + stitch on paper , 42 x 30 cm 150€ Nature is the master of new beginnings. Therefore – we are. We are made to adapt and change together with ever evolving universe. We create realities, structures and patterns weaving the fabric of things, finding our personal spot in the overall network.