Dalia Gentvainytė, "Ceramics is so much more than just a craft" 0

Vilija Virkutytė
www.kamane.lt, 2016-02-22
Dalia Gentvainytė. Jūratė Gentvainytė's photo

In brief: Dalia Gentvainytė talks about art, ceramics, teaching, sources of inspiration, creative search, plans and a one-night exhibition-action Catch your demon that recently took place in Vilnius at the Menų tiltas gallery and surprised everyone with its unexpected artistic solutions.

Dalia Gentvainytė is a professional artist-ceramicist and teacher working in the creative field for more than 30 years, participating in various exhibitions, symposia and seminars in Lithuania and abroad.

The concept of art is very broad. I wanted to know what art is for D. Gentvainytė. According to her it is people's creation for people and their spiritual development, "What I like best is that art performs healing and communication functions. It is amazing that through your work you can transfer so much knowledge and even secret thoughts and ideas to others."

I was curious to know when artist became interested in ceramics. D. Gentvainytė says, "I began to take interest in childhood. It all started with the stories of Native Americans of the North America - Harka and Winnetou. Then I discovered Mesoamerica. Clay is a very nice, pleasantly shaped material. I am fascinated with its impressive surfaces, colors and unexpected results. In fact, you are never sure what will come out from the oven. That sense of curiosity and surprise is a very jolly feeling."

Artist's exhibition Catch your demon was unorthodox. I wanted to know how the author came up with the idea to dedicate it to garlic.

"Garlic deserves respect," says D. Gentvainytė. "It is a wonderful and strong vegetable. It is known that it is one of the foremost things used to fight demons. It is an excellent tool to enhance immunity as well as protection, cure for sickness and evil eye. Garlic also fits well when it comes to implementing my ideas in the plastic of ceramics. The opening of the exhibition was unusual because it did not only include talks, looking at the exhibits and sipping wine. Important elements of the event were herbalist Rasa Subačienė's lecture on wild garlic, pickled garlic and garlic bread buffet and live music - my daughter Milda Arčikauskaitė and violinist Tadas Dešukas performed several compositions on the topic of garlic."

D. Gentvainytė is not only a ceramicist but also a teacher. I was interested to know what it meant for her to teach other people. Dalia says that in her childhood and adolescence she never imagined of becoming a teacher, "and here - I have been in this job for 23 years already. Almost half of my life. A lot happened during that time: I prepared methodical material, formed some great topics based on both ancient cultures and medieval symbolism, defended degrees, taught many classes and seminars, organized my students' exhibitions in the various spaces on a wide variety of topics; students won competitions and some were so inspired that they chose to pursue ceramics as a career."

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