Four students from the VDA department of Photography, Animation and Media Arts are sending colorful greetings from the Portuguese rock quarry, where they participated in the artistic research week under the Erasmus+ blended intensive program (BIP) "Quarry Sonnets" on November 19-27, hosted by the Laboratory of Art and Design, and the School of Art and Design Caldas da Rainha (ESAD.CR | Polytechnic Leiria).
Master's students: Marius Kavaliauskas, Kotryna Kvedarytė, Linas Gabrielaitis and bachelor's student Martyna Kairaitytė researched and created materials there, together with other students from the Irish, Swiss, German, Austrian and Portuguese academies. The project took place in the National Park together with the living science center Centro Ciência Viva de Alviela - Carsoscópio.
The students are grateful to all partners, including Politécnico de Leiria (Portugal), Vilnius Academy of Arts (Lithuania), Technological University of the Shannon (Ireland), The University of Applied Sciences Vorarlberg (Austria), Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Germany), UPV Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain).
Especially, the students thank the project manager Miguel Santos from Portugal, and the partner Mindaugas Gapševičius from Weimar University who invited them, as well as the employees of the VDA International Relations Office: Lina Koseleva and Elena Orlovienė.
"During our trip to Portugal, we stayed at the Carsoscopio science center together with students from Ireland, Germany, and Switzerland. We traveled by bus every day to see and learn about the nearby mines, which are a big part of the landscape and culture of that region. We worked in small groups and each group prepared one or more quarry rehabilitation projects".Linas Gabrielaitis
"On the first day of the trip, we were introduced to the specifics of the local nature and that under the deep rocky surface, water flows through numerous channels. Sometimes the level rises more, sometimes less. The cavities reach the surface of the earth, and through them, rainwater easily reaches the waters. It is especially important to familiarize singles with this information and open their imagination because when they see cracks in the surface of the earth, they throw their garbage there without realizing it. Changing the locals' understanding of quarries could prevent misunderstandings such as furniture, televisions, etc. thrown away in the quarry. One student decided to take the toilet to the top of a large mountain of stones in the quarry. Art students accepted this idea with a smile, it reminds of Duchamp's ready-made and shows the absurdity of the decision to get rid of the toilet in the quarries. Quarry owners don't have much respect for quarries because they are a resource".Kotryna Kvedarytė
"I think that by creating a desire and a dream to see the tracks or to be in a quarry, this motivation could lead to finding that free day and using it differently than usual (maybe). Our presence in the quarries also showed the residents that there was something special there. In groups, we created projects and brainstormed ideas about quarries, which we presented at the closing party. I had the honor of sitting at the same table with, as it later turned out, the discoverer of dinosaur tracks. This is one of the quarry workers who made an important discovery. These footprints allow us to see how small a period of time humans have been on the earth compared to the time of the earth and dinosaurs. And what a huge destructive, exploitative footprint humanity leaves behind. We should think about this and start with ourselves - at least think about it more or even talk about it in our art and love mother Gaia" ,students say.