Indrė Spitrytė
Oct 14, 2022

Indrė Spitrytė, Contextile 2022

Practice: Fashion design, textile art, creative research

I am a fashion and accessory designer, textile artist and creative researcher based in Lithuania. As an artist I am interested in the possibilities of integrating unconventional and sustainable materials into my work. Few years ago, I started to experiment with new materials that are environmentally friendly, and in some cases, can even be grown or made at home. This year, I am starting my new life chapter as a lecturer in Kaunas University of Applied Sciences at the Study Programme of Fashion Design.

Areas of interest: Sustainable fashion, environmentally friendly and unconventional materials, textile art.

Why are you a part of MagiC Carpets: Brigita Bareikytė encouraged me to participate in the artist selection for this artistic residency, as she remembered my works presented at the exhibition organized by Kaunas Biennial “Between Two / Contemplations” and thought that I can bring an unexpected context to the Contextile 2022 Biennial with my experiments. Since I have already had previous experience working with communities in Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 projects, I decided to use this opportunity and offer my candidacy without long consideration.

MagiC Carpets project

New perspective, 2022

My project was created in cooperation with the Santa Casa da Misericordia de Guimarães community of elderly people. The first part of it represents a new life cycle, new materiality embracing the handcraft, story and imperfections. Giving a second life to the old, obsolete handmade textiles that were collected from the local community and creating new forms from it in a sustainable way, by using plant-based bioplastic recipes. To make a bioplastic I was using water; agar agar which is a binding material that is made out of different types of algae; mixing it with glycerine that helps bioplastic to keep its flexibility and using apple cider vinegar that helps to prevent the material from becoming mouldy during the drying process. I was cooking and stirring over medium heat until the solution started to boil and became viscous, then covered all the collected textiles with this mixture. When the materials dried, I began to form different shapes by hand to create my installation.

The other part of my project represents collaborative art from the community that was created during the workshops by using various textile techniques such as braiding, weaving, crocheting, sewing, we used different types of textile industry leftovers, also jute, linen, cotton threads.

The connection with this year’s concept of Contextile 2022 Biennial – Re-Make Dialogues for a Textile Culture – was made with materials that I have chosen to work with. By using unconventional and new materials, combining them with the traditional and old ones that are no longer in use and remaking them to the new artwork. In this way, an emotional connection and creative dialogues between artist and local community were created.

Past projects

Leather from the sea, 2021

Installation/ experimental materials

The ongoing research project looks at materiality through the prism of the outermost layer – the “epidermis”. In order to change harmful processes into more sustainable ones, I return to the natural environment, to expand the boundaries of biomaterial production. The process of searching for new surfaces or outermost layers is an opportunity to perceive the Sea as an organic fabric. For this project I decided to experiment with algae-based bioplastics. Working with different recipes and adjusting them to create leather like materials.

Glove project, 2022

Installation/ experimental materials

I started to think about why connecting with nature is so important to me. Remembering my childhood, I realized that all the knowledge about nature came from my grandparents. Mostly things about mushrooms, berries, trees and other things I learned when I was spending my summers with them. Communication between grandparents and grandchildren is a kind of sharing of experience. Grandparents can reinforce a sense of tradition or history, give advice, provide support and grandchildren can give grandparents a sense of the present and new technologies, as well as an opportunity to be together. So, at this point, I wanted to work with young and old generation differences that could be transferred to the Gloves project. Used materials: bioplastic with tomato peels, transparent bioplastic, linen threads.

Vegetative textiles, 2022

Installation/ experimental materials

This installation represents an experimental laboratory, in which the process of artistic research, the interaction of created sustainable surfaces and light, and the aesthetic peculiarity of new material surfaces are conveyed on specially illuminated table surfaces. Vegetative textiles exposition represents an experimental journey through the search for new materiality. This journey begins with an experimental laboratory where small experiments grow into larger discoveries.

What inspires you as an artist? Colours, Textures, Nature and People.

What do you think is the purpose of art? Art is a way to express our inner world, it can be used as a form of therapy. Also, to encourage and lead the conversation of environmental change.


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