Textile sculptures by Lia Dostlieva

lia dostlieva profilio nuotrauka

Lia Dostlieva

Artist, anthropologist, essayist. Since 2012 she has been working with various techniques including photography, installations, textile sculptures, interventions in the urban space and more.

In 2022, in collaboration with Kaunas 2022 – European Capital of Culture, Lviv Cultural Strategy Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ukraine, an open call was launched for the country’s creators to implement a residency in Kaunas, which would creatively interpret Kaunas’ inter-war modernist architecture.

During the month-long residency, Lia researched Kaunas modernist architecture and organised workshops for Ukrainian children living in Lithuania, during which toys were made from discarded or worn-out clothes and other textile scraps. Finally, the artist put her creative inspirations into textile sculptures.

Textile sculptures

During his artistic residency, while looking for inspiration in Kaunas buildings, the artist was most impressed by the plant and folk motifs and patterns that have been transposed and interpreted in the architecture and used in the interior and exterior decoration of buildings:

“I was fascinated by the history of Optimism Architecture and how some of the patterns and ornaments used in the decoration of the buildings, including floral ones, were taken from traditional fabrics and textiles to emphasise national identity and integrated into the urban space through architecture. I have appropriated some of these patterns and restored them to their textile form, but I have allowed them to grow, evolve and change, as if they had been left in the wild and regained their own power. I created dreamy imaginary creature-plants, vaguely based on the “Architecture of Optimism”, thus establishing links between culture and nature, the body and architecture, the human and the non-human.
Unlike collapsed buildings destroyed by war or the severely mutilated human body, nature is able to recover and heal over time. During the creative process, I imagined beings that exist between the plant, animal, human and non-human worlds, with certain characteristics of each. They can evolve, grow and are perfectly capable of recovery.”

The artist has created two textile sculptures, which are currently exhibited in the Kaunas Central Post Office, in the Ukrainian centre CulturEUkraine.

lia dostlieva su kūriniu

The author’s acquaintance with Kaunas architecture, 2022, photos by M. Pociūtė.

Moments of a workshop with children. Photos by M. Pociute, 2022

Moments of the creative process and presentation of the results of the residency. Photos by M. Pociute, 2022