Laura Veļa I Wounded Memory
2021 04 23 - 05 23

The exhibition includes works that start the painting cycle “Wounded Memory”, based on the identity research started in 2016 with reference to the impact of the Soviet occupation and deportation trauma on society. The author was encouraged to return to the study of cultural trauma by the discoveries of epigenetics, which confirm the long-held hypothesis that trauma can be inherited, thus experiencing cultural trauma, it is passed on to society as a whole. Studies show that traumatic reactions are transmitted under the conditions of genetic code execution. Previous research has been conducted with the offspring of Holocaust survivors, and it has been concluded that not only trauma survivors but also their offspring are more sensitive to threats and have higher levels of stress and anxiety. If previously it was considered that the trauma is transmitted through the survivors' own attitude towards their children, on a psycho-emotional level, then further research shows that it is also transmitted in a molecular way.

With her visual review of overcoming trauma and survival, the author wants to appreciate that we come from a tribe of survivors who have been able to go through the unbelievable, adapt to extreme conditions - if our ancestors could do all that, then it lies in us. Recognizing the trauma and recognizing the consequences is the path to healing. Also a path of understanding the society around us more deeply. Assess what our triggers are and how they manifest themselves in society.

The works of art are created using Laura Veļa's favorite author's technique, using the cast epoxy resin surface as an element in which scenes of the past are intertwined in the context of nowadays reflection.

Reference: Cultural trauma and epigenetic inheritance, Development and Psychopathology 30 (2018), 1763–1777, Cambridge University Press 2018

About Laura Veļa

Laura Veļa uses identity and time research as inspiration for her artworks revealing contemporary anxiety and doing research on new forms and techniques. In the last years, the artist focuses on developing her own technique combining old school of painting and drawing with new media and materials. The main impulse comes from social environment, searching for own identity as a bridge from past to future. In the artworks, there are references to the influence of trauma of Soviet occupation on Latvian identity as well as to theories and mythology of quantum physics. The artist works with wide range of materials, mainly creating paintings, but also installations, video art and performances. 
Laura Veļa has studied piano, Information Technology, image processing and painting. In 2017, she graduated from the Art Academy of Latvia and won a grant from the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation for her MA studies.  In 2020, Laura Vela graduates MA studies in painting (Art Academy of Latvia) and in 2021 receives Nordic and Baltic Young Artist Award 2020 Painter Award.
Since 2014, she has been participating in many group exhibitions and has had a solo shows in Jurmala City Museum, XO gallery, Grand Poet Hotel and Kalnciems Quarter Gallery. Laura Vela’s artworks are located in private collections in Latvia, the US, the Netherlands, France and Germany.

More about artist

Exhibition will be open until 23th of May at VAA Exhibition space “5 malūnai”, Malūnų str. 5, Vilnius.

Initiator of the exhibition – Marija Marcelionytė-Paliukė, Vilnius Academy of Arts