On 14 March, 6 p.m., Vilnius-based gallery Meno Niša is launching The Mysteries of Šančiai by Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė who is one of the brightest painters in Kaunas. It is the fourth solo exhibition of this artist hosted by Meno Niša which is regularly presenting Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė’s art works for Vilnius art lovers and art fairs in Lithuania and foreign countries.

The artist draws inspiration from the culture and her own everyday environment, transferring various motifs therefrom onto her canvases. The choice of a motif is very important for Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė as a starting point for creating.

Three years ago, the Meno Niša gallery presented Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė’s exhibition entitled The Church of Crows which was inspired by observing the nature and personal experiences of the author. The idea of the latest exhibition, The Mysteries of Šančiai, was inspired by a particular location, former army barracks in Žemieji Šančiai (Lower Šančiai), Kaunas, were Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė’s art workshop has been located for twenty years. The artist says she has always felt a strong connection with this place.

“Whatever paint you apply onto the walls or whatever decorations you use, the cultural and historical fate layered between the walls seep into my works. Paintings are as if a stage on which my mysteries are performed with beloved characters or without them. This is where texts and monologues are written and read, surrounded by dream fragments and crumbs of real life. Everything gets intertwined, and only the top layer remains stiff and visible. We can say it’s just a page ripped from a book, dashed to the wall. It’s just life turned into an ever-lasting carnival, an unsent and unread letter to an old friend and a mono spectacle, performed solo without spectators, in a workshop, in the surrounding of the music emanating from the radio”, says Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė.

According to art critic Vidas Poškus, the paintings of Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė are outstanding for involving a multitude of layers: “Her brushes do not slide on the surface or exterior, rather going into deep, grasping the gist and shaping the layers that hover one over another, lie flat and press each other. And this should not be understood word by word only: this multilayeredness is not only a physical condition, but also an emotional state which is materialised through the inner glow“. According the art critic, the art works of Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė are a hard nut to crack for viewers who are not genned-up enough, do not read literature, listen to the music or are not interested in other types of art.

Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė (born 1959) has held more than thirty solo exhibitions. The artist actively participates in group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. Her works are hosted by the National M. K. Čiurlionis Art Museum, Contemporary Art Centre, private collectors from Lithuania, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Germany.

The Mysteries of Šančiai by Elena Balsiukaitė-Brazdžiūnienė is on at the Meno Niša Gallery (J. Basanavičiaus str. 1/13, Vilnius), from 14 March to 1 April 2017. The opening of the exhibition is on 14 March, 6 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday – Friday 12 noon to 6 p.m., Saturday 12 noon to 4 p.m.