Andrius Erminas – a contemporary Lithuanian conceptual artist well known for his sensitive and associative sculpture objects and installations. One of the artist’s key principles of creation – speaking in references, construction of assumed narrative and the transformation of every day, used and easily recognizable items and materials into a new, symbolic sculptural body. The artist’s works are interlaced with self-portrayal, philosophical and social topics, modern societal and cultural reflections.

In the first personal exhibition MUTATIONS in Vane gallery, Erminas introduced multi-layered compositions, which unravel the topics of symbol permutation and paradox. By combining seemingly unrelated household objects, found items, construction materials, natural elements, Erminas creates a “mutation” in his works, during which objects permute not only externally but their semantic level also changes.

Within the seemingly continuous display at the exhibition, the viewer will notice that the elements used by the artist in the creations vary in their nature. Foremost – they are natural elements (trees, roots, skeletons, honeycombs), secondly – cultural attributes borrowed from visual art, architecture, religion, daily life and the modern world. However, all of them inevitably undergo mutations, are involved into the artist’s game without clear boundaries and rules. By working with natural objects, the sculptor consciously interferes with the nature, synthesizes and cultivates its elements: combines natural roots with an artificial fir or household utensils, tree branches – with construction materials. Put into a marginal situation, the objects wander between their true nature and the new characteristics given to them by the artist. Meanwhile, cultural objects, which had a single defined, fixed meaning, are surrounded by the most unexpected paradoxes and new meanings in the sculptor’s hands. Mundane everyday elements are transformed into something closely resembling modern remains, while sacred symbols obtain fragility and commonness. These mutations by A. Erminas involve, encourage viewers to look for the boundary between what is real and what is only fiction created by convincing artistic measures.

This exhibition is part of a bilateral international exchange project between (AV17) in Lithuania and a VANE gallery in the UK. Matthew Smith exhibition “ROCKS/WATER/ TREES/CLOUDS” at (AV17) gallery in Vilnius was presented at the beginning of November.

The project was supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Address: VANE Gallery, First Floor, Commercial Union House, 39 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, NE1 6QE.