There are many forms of art thriving in contemporary art world, but I bet no one will argue that bronze sculpture is almost extinct.
Creation of sculptures requires a lot of skills, talent, hard physical work and finance.
So when you see sculptures created by female artist Aurelija Simkute (Lithuania) and meet her in person one thought keeps crossing your mind — where does this young talent find inspiration and motivation to create bronze art.
Few questions and Aurelija reveals her inner world of creativity.
Artist Aurelija Simkute and her artwork in progress.
Tell us about your way into the world of sculpture.
You can call me a self-taught sculptor, because I studied jewellery and blacksmith and later got a degree in jewellery design.
Jeweller's work became too limiting for me, I needed more three dimensional creative space, so I started working with larger sculptural forms.
Though I am a professional jeweller, I am a self learner in sculpture. My initial profession helped me to purify my distinctive style that is easily recognisable.
What shaped you as an artist?
I think inspiration came from places where I grew up and the way I grew up.
I spent my childhood in a little town Plunge, in an old house, surrounded by old trees and a garden full of apples and pears. There was a forest nearby, a lake and an old cemetery. My school building was really old too, it was a former monastery.
This childhood environment had a huge impact on me. There were no children in the neighbourhood, so I learned to be alone since early days. I climbed trees, read books and drew a lot.
After 10 years working in art, I truly understand this is my path. I have put my whole life into it and I believe that every new step I make in the world of sculpture leads to a new creative path.
Aurelija Simkute, Intrusive Thoughts, Bronze, 2018
What are these mysterious creatures you create?
I like creating creatures with allusions to human beings.
My characters often have their own little worlds, planets or oases. They are standing, lying, sitting or kneeling on an island or a globe.
Those worlds are surrounded by local flora — distinctive forms of trees and plants.
I like to portray nature that grows and moves, so my creatures are stretching arms as if they are trying to reach something and the plants are reaching for the sun.
I also like to include moving parts into my sculptures, like little doors that open or faces that maybe be changed.
How do you get ideas for your sculptures and how are you implementing them?
I like to observe people - how they communicate with each other - and often think about bonds between us.
Sometimes I think about myself and there are times when it seems that there are two human beings inside me: one is sad and lonely and the other one - optimistic and joyful.
My sculptures are the same. You will recognise loneliness in some of them, feel longing and sadness and the other artworks are absolutely opposite - optimistic, powerful, full of hope and joy.
When I have an idea to portray a certain emotional state or an observation from our social life, I prefer to create my works straight out of the wax, I do not to make sketches, so al my works are unique or have small limited editions.
Aurelija Simkute, Untitled, Bronze, Silver-Plating, Gold-Plating, 2020
One of your favourite sculptures is “Hypocrite”, why?
This sculpture is really one of my top artworks, because I have a very personal connection with it and there is a story behind it.
I had the idea for this sculpture in 2011, I was 26 then and began to understand that some people are not honest.
I began to think about social behaviour called hypocrisy and read books by well known sociologists, like A. Giddens and others.
After investigating the social side of the subject, I created a creature that is running fast through life with his 10 feet.
Aurelija Simkute and Hypocrite at the exhibition in Zurich, photo by Elaine Pringle
The sculpture can be rotated and the creature may stand on four feet in 4 different positions. It's hands are reaching to the other part of body with a silver mirror, where it can see it's face.
The part of the body where the face is placed has a tiny door with magnet that holds the changing faces.
You can take one face off and put another one on. It symbolises masks that we all wear sometimes.
There are 3 masks: silver, gold plated surface and blue patina. If you take all masks off and open the door, Hypocrite will see only darkness and emptiness in it‘s own body.
This artwork is portrays people who are loosing their true selves, because of constant running and chasing desires, goals and objects — things and wishes that don't even belong to them and often are imposed by society.
Thinking about wearing the right mask at the right time takes too much of our energy. I think when people take their masks off they feel emptiness, just like the Hypocrite I created.
I believe, that we all can communicate more naturally showing our true selves to each other.
We should not be afraid to explore our inner world and understand what we really want, so that we can use our energy to achieve these goals. This is the main message of my favourite artwork.
Do other forms of art or artists influence your work?
I feel fascinated by Japanese culture - traditional music, art and theatre. My role model and my inspiration in from the world of sculpture is Constantin Brancusi.
Art created by this young emerging talent is very popular among Lithuanian art lovers and has already landed in collector's homes in France and Switzerland.
Find more about this amazing artist and her sculptures by visiting our online art gallery.
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