In august/September 2018, I was an artist in residence at the Interdisciplinary Art Group SERDE in Aizpute, Latvia. I’d never been to Latvia before and I didn’t really know what to expect-which is usually the case when I arrive at a new place. These six embroideries show a project I did there, entitled SPACE.
Even on the bus from Riga to Aizpute, I was amazed at the amount of space I saw. Latvia is a small country, just like my home country the Netherlands. The population density of Latvia is much lower though and about 75% of the country is forests. Even in Aizpute, it took only five minutes walking from the town centre to be in the forest, and you see this reflected in the people. The amount of space available, the nature around you, it’s clearly something people need in order to be happy. People working on their gardens, walking through the forest, quiet and lost in thought. Outside is not nessecarily a place where you have to be outgoing or extroverted, outside is a private space for you and your thoughts. Coming from a densely populated country where going outside of your house will invariably mean human interaction, this was a different way of thinking about space.
In these embroideries, I portrayed spaces close to Aizpute which feel like they’re much more remote than they actually are, they are quiet, private and peaceful. They may seem not very approachable or belonging strongly to themselves, but I found them to be quite welcoming.
Here is an overview of the embroideries I made for this project, you can see more details of each one in jewellery section.
I stayed at SERDE, here you can find more about them: http://www.serde.lv