Thursday, 27 August 2009

Other things which caught my eye

We had a great trip out to Kaunas at the beginning of the month, to meet the museum director and technical engineer, and also our fantastic biennale producer Kotryna. It was good to get some of the logistics for the project firmed up, and also to have a more focused look at the Ivanauskas collection - more of our thoughts on this to follow.

I am so glad that we also had a chance to visit out to Rumsiskes - it’s a wonderful museum of vernacular buildings from all the different regions of Lithuania a few miles out of Kaunas. Such beautiful use of materials and amazing instinctive pattern making. Couldn’t help thinking though, what a hard life it must have been.

Amazing jazzy painted wooden barn doors

This wooden shingle roof was weathered to a lovely pewter. It really had the feel of a beautiful herringbone.

I was really excited too, to find some Karpiniai. These are traditional Lithuanian papercuts, which were used to decorate windows when lace was too expensive. This idea of papercuts and shadows feels very resonant for our project.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A bit of background:

The project has come about as a result of an artists exchange programme which I took part in at the last Textile biennale - 2007. The programme was a joint initiative between the Kaunas Textile Biennale and the London Printworks Trust. I was invited to Kaunas for a week in December 2007 to visit the biennale, and explore the city. It was a wonderful trip, full of extraordinary discoveries. You can read a brief summary of the trip here:

One of the most unexpected and strangest experiences was a visit to the Tado Ivanauskas zoological museum. There was something so incongruous about all the beautiful specimens - collected from the farthest ends of the world and brought to this dark wintery corner of the Baltic. So when Peter and I were putting our thoughts together about the project, it seemed a perfect starting place.

The collection is pretty extensive, starting from the thousands of beautiful moths and butterflies on the top floor, and descending down through the insects and reptiles to the birds on the first floor gallery, and then the larger mammals on the ground floor.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Here are some of the creatures we spotted in the city

Monday, 10 August 2009

The Museum

The museum itself is on Laisves Avenue, the great 1.5km long pedestrianised route that runs straight through the middle of town. Set up by its namesake in the 1920's and re-built in the 1970's it houses a collection of stuffed zoological specimens from around the world.

Friday, 7 August 2009

what happens if I press this button?

This is the first post on the Chasing Shadows blog - a record of the ideas and creative process leading up to our textiles and lighting installation at the Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum in Kaunas as part of the Kaunas Art Biennal Textile 09. Us being Eleanor and Peter Pritchard.