Domicele Tarabildiene - A Challenge to Time
Long-overdue UK show of work by an award-winning interwar artist
This article is from 2013.
As part of Scotland’s Lithuanian Season of Photography, The Hidden Lane Gallery presents this stunning collection of 34 prints in Domicele Tarabildiene – A Challenge to Time. Born in 1912, Tarabildiene was an established, award-winning interwar artist whose illustrations, engravings, paintings and sculptures were well represented in a number of museums behind the Iron Curtain. It is only in recent years, however, that her photographic work has received public recognition, and this exhibition marks the first presentation of her images in the UK.
The influence of folk art plays a large part in her work, but the traditional aspects are balanced with her courage to experiment with constructivist, avant-garde methods. Many of her illustrations were created for children, a factor which appears to influence the ethereal nature and sense of innocence in her photographs, but at the same time there is a strong sense of Romanticism in the poetic, wistful nature of these self-portraits.
Tarabildiene pushed the artistic boundaries of her time, employing the photomontage technique to create these experimental images. Her highly expressive work is as relevant and thought-provoking today as it would have been at the time of its creation, and offers historical insight into the ideology of the Baltic nations during the 1930s. Described as a ‘symbol of human emancipation’, Tarabildiene drew on her personal experiences and artistic experimentation, turning them into a source of creative inspiration and expression of universal human issues.
The exhibition is running in partnership with Street level Photoworks and Kaunas Photography Gallery. On show alongside the exhibition at Street level Photoworks, until 6 Oct, is Borderlands II, the UK’s largest exhibition of Lithuanian Photography to date, the result of a three-year partnership with Kaunas, and curators and artists in Lithuania.
Hidden Lane Gallery, Glasgow, until Fri 20 Sep, free.