Southampton Solent University
Vilnius, 6 Maironio street, White Corridor

OCT 25 - NOV 24, 2017
Private view and Talk – October 25, 17:30 pm, in White Corridor and Gothic Hall

In the heart of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city, there’s a street called ‘Literatu’. It pays homage to all the great Lithuanian writers, in the shape of small plaques and paintings embedded in its walls. (‘Literatu gatve’ project is now curated by MMC and Egle Vertelkaite, developed from 2008 to 2013). You can also find famous literary quotes on the pavements in Vilnius (The ‘We read Vilnius’ project). These wonderful projects have become famous tourist attractions.  They were also a way for Irma Gineikiene, lecturer in Creative Communications at SSU, School of Business, Law and Communications, to introduce Vilnius and Lithuania to her colleagues.

This international project was initiated by Nick Long, Head of Visual Communication and Applied Arts, in the School of Art, Design and Fashion at Solent, and welcomed by Marija Marcelionyte Paliuke, Head of the Graphic Art Department at Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Jonny Hannah, well known artist and printmaker and Senior Lecturer on the BA Illustration course at SSU, agreed to lead the exhibition, design posters and run creative workshops for students at the Vilnius Academy of Arts on the 24th and 25th October, 2017.

Over 30 SSU staff and students agreed to take part in this initiative. They were asked to think of a poem/quote from a book they loved (the author could have a connection to Lithuania or not) and then create a piece of artwork inspired by their choice. The images were then printed on linen, which Lithuania is famous for, and will be exhibited as a set of vertical pennant flags.  The flags are reminiscent of traditional linen towels, complete with Lithuanian iconography.

This project questions what is the new identity of Lithuania and Lithuanians within the world. It is a gift for Lithuania, who will celebrate ‘100 years of Restored Lithuania’ next year. It is also a gift for Vilnius, a city that was always multicultural and polyglot, home of many writers and artists, and open to creative people of different views and beliefs.

Similarly, the creative workshops, ‘Vilnius Manifesto’, led by Jonny Hannah and Irma Gineikiene at the Vilnius Academy of Arts, is a way to embolden young people in Vilnius to think brave, say what they believe and believe what they say, express themselves in any form, and create a text as an image or image as a text.  More about the workshop and a registration form 

Teaching visit is funded by Erasmus + program.

Text by Irma Gineikiene