About the residency:
In 2010 we organised a solo exhibition by Rimaldas Viksraitis which was facilitated by Kaunas Photography Gallery, the Chief of which, Gintaras Cesonis, travelled to Glasgow with the photographer.
As a result of this I was invited to Kaunas to attend Kaunas Photo, to meet with Lithuanian photographers, and deliver a talk at Nida Photographers gathering. The exposure to the vast landscape of Lithuanian photography was a revelation. It was decided to pursue an exhibition that could profile some of the excellent work from Lithuania and as a consequence revisit an exhibition held 20 years earlier called Borderlands, which included work from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This slowly evolved over time, but it was not until early 2013 that the project cohered into the shape that it did. This was as a result of a concentrated period of time of 10 days spent on a curatorial residency through the Kaunas Photography Gallery which allowed me to meet further with potential exhibitors and curators. It was through this opportunity that the Season stemmed from.
A resulting exhibition ‘Borderlands II’ included significant work from the 80s and 90s.
A critical component was the inclusion of some work by little known artists groups which expressed a postmodern view of the world and a shift from traditionalist to conceptual approaches – the Carnavora group, and the mysterious and untypical Doooooris.
Kaunas Photography Gallery and the Lithuanian Embassy in the UK supported the development of two exhibitions at the time of Lithuania hosting the presidency of the European Union. This successully saw the staging of these two exhibitions and bringing to Glasgow 4 of the artists and 2 of the curators, plus a representative from the Embassy. In addition, we developed the two exhibitions into a ‘Season’, involving other venues in the staging of work, which has included Hidden Lane Gallery, Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine, Lille Art Gallery in Milngavie and Trongate 103. It has produced two sets of exhibitions that continued to be seen in Glasgow Life venues in 2014 (Hillhead Library and Barmulloch – Cultural Hub).
Four exhibitions were created, one, Poetic Documents, being already existing. By far, the Lithuanian Season of Photography was the largest representation of Lithuanian photographers in the UK. Below are links to each of the exhibition pages.
Talks were held, and a workshop in Irvine, one of the host towns of Pinhole Photography and Kaunas Street Photography. Since this, we have supported the residency by Alastair Cook, and we are currently working on an exhibition which will profile Scottish artists in Kaunas itself. We aim to maintain the partnership and continue to find was of collaboration on various ways of exchanging work, artists, staff and ideas.