Sculpture is the poetry of geometry. Entwined in lines, shapes and feelings. Immortal works that send a message to eternity. We will never find out who has chiselled signs on the pagan stones of Lithuania. We will wonder who has given words to trees. We are powerless against the beauty of Baroque sculptures, we admire modern angles that expand our field of vision. Lithuanian artists give soul to matter. Then geometry begins to talk, and sculptures live with us. And we live amongst them.
Aesop’s speech in sculpture? Look for it in Lithuania. The sculptural composition “Fisherman’s Daughters” was established in the town of Šventoji in the Soviet period. It depicted three sisters waiting for their father to come back from the sea. When Lithuania became independent and the fears were dispersed, sculptor Zuzana Pranaitytė said that the sculpture actually depicted three sisters, three Baltic states, which look at the free world beyond the sea and hope to return there one day. Lithuania is the middle sister.
If you go to Klaipėda through Kaunas or head towards Warsaw, you must necessarily stop at the Ninth Fort in Kaunas – you will see the impressive memorial from quite a distance. The author of this giant monument, sculptor Alfonsas Vincentas Ambraziūnas, calls his work the monument of the epoch: “It has always been a black spot there, and the monument reflects the fight, death and rebirth.” The memorial, called the masterpiece of Modernism in the world, is dedicated to commemoration of the victims of criminal regimes.
Tradition and modern technologies. The sun that has counted time for millenniums caresses the stone runes with its rays, and the complete work created by architect Ričardas Krištapavičius, sculptor Klaudijus Pūdymas and ethnocosmologist Libertas Klimka as if reiterate the wind-blown Parnidis Dune in the Curonian Spit. Once destroyed by a storm, the sundial again shows the time that flows unceasingly here, between the sea and the lagoon, as if the grains of dune sand in the wind. It is a unique piece of art in a unique place.
Once you see the works by contemporary Lithuanian artist Tadas Gutauskas, you will hardly forget them. An unexpected relationship between space and material, the search for identity and the sense of community. Everybody who wished could take part in the creative process of the sculpture “The Road of Freedom” – hence the bricks with the names of famous entrepreneurs and culture figures of the country found their place in “The Road to Freedom”. The artist dedicated the project “The Tree of Unity” to the 1000th anniversary of Lithuania, and created original sculptures to basketball and golf.
At first, it was just a “Sower”. The sculpture created by Bernardas Bučas in Kaunas, the art deco capital of Lithuania, in the interwar period embodies the peasant who is sowing grains. Years passed. One night the sower started sowing stars instead of grains. The street artist Morfai put emphasis where it had to be put. He gave another interesting piece of creation to Kaunas, which connected two centuries, several generations.
The history of freedom – a waving sea, tossed by foreign winds and currents, having become a miracle for more than one time. Personification of freedom – the sculpture “Freedom” in Kaunas created by sculptor Juozas Zikaras – also had an incredible destiny. The Nazi wanted to smelt it and send metal to the front, yet they did not succeed with this plan. It also withstood the Soviet period. Because freedom is immortal. Preserved and protected for ages.
A bronze maiden with a tail sitting elegantly in the arc at the bridge to Užupis district definitely reminds a mermaid. Also called Užupis maiden, a goddess, she is overlooking the other bank with her back turned on the Old Town of Vilnius. Beyond the river. This is the meaning of Užupis, the oldest suburban district in Vilnius. Užupis is known for the artist community which is open to the entire world. The citizens of the world are also attracted to Užupis district by the mermaid created by sculptor Romas Vilčiauskas. It is hard to resist her magic.
Barbora Radvilaitė is the only Lithuanian crowned as the queen. The love story between Barbora and King Sigismund Augustus became a challenge to hierarchy. The sculpture dedicated to Barbora, disseminating the charm of the romantic story in the queen’s love city, created by Vladas Vildžiūnas, has become the same modern and bold challenge.
Did you know that the first monument to Frank Zappa, the creator of psychedelic and satiric music, has been erected in Vilnius? “A thought is like a parachute; it is not effective if not opened,” he said. Vilnius artists opened the idea of a monument to Zappa, and sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas realized it. If you know nothing about Frank Zappa, at least come to become certain that he is not James Brown. A monument to the musician of the world in multicultural Vilnius signifies a new post-Soviet period in the country’s history.
When you are in Šiauliai and ask where the sculpture “Archer” is, local people may even look confused. Instead, they are perfectly aware of the location of the golden boy. Like it suits the City of the Sun, “Archer” is mounted atop the highest sundial in Lithuania. The square in which this sculpture by famous sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma is situated has been arranged as the sundial. The shadow indicates the hours 12, 3 and 6, and these figures symbolise the year of the Battle of Saulė (the Sun), i.e. 1236.
On the Salduvė hill fort where a Soviet monument once stood, Gintautas Lukošaitis’ Oxygen now stands with arms stretched out for flight. The modern sculpture of a naked warrior wearing a pilot’s helmet is three metres tall. It reflects the identity of Šiauliai as a city.