Folk-maids and brothers from cards always look at me helpless – bare feet, golden hair and pink cheeks. Was there really such an El Dorado here that it was so easy to swap the sword for kokle (Latvian plucked string instrument)? Only temper has allowed this ancient song to ring out until nowadays. Baltic people can be proud of their strong adherence to their pagan roots. However, there are very little written materials about Latvian folklore, which in turn gives way to fantasy. It would be wrong to call these images historic. Here archaeological excavations intertwine with imagination, filling the gaps that are missing. As important as not forgetting the old one is to create a new one – to tell new stories where the main character could be any of the people shown here. Though originally designed as a persons, the images have become something wider, rather embodying aspects that can help everyone identify themselves with one of them. None of the images is badly evil or good – everyone has their own point of view, which the viewer can agree or not. In the worldview of the ancient Latvians, the categories “good” and “evil” are not included. Latvians in the world saw rather the opposite of order and chaos.
The purpose of the exhibition is to create a binding model of the ancient mythological Latvian world in which to create memorable and interesting images, to allow the viewers to identify themselves with one of these images. It is a link between the past and the future, because the roots symbolize the existing inheritance, while the sky is spirituality. Earth and material values are changing, but we can also rely on the spiritual heritage in the modern world.
Sindija Mačtama has graduated from Ugāle Secondary School, obtained a Master’s degree from the Art Academy of Latvia in the department of visual communication. Since 2014 she has focused on the study of Latvian folklore and its illustration. “Roots in Heaven” is the author’s first solo exhibition and was first shown in 2015 in Riga, where in the framework of the White Night it was supplemented with an installation. After that the exhibition has been shown also in other places.
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