Sonata Lepaitė / Sculpturepods

Beeldhouwkunst, Tekenkunst
‘The Shining One’

‘The Shining One’

Recycled paper, Japanese washi, binding m., paper rope, box

L 31,5 cm x B 16,5 cm x H 6,5 cm

from the series: 'Sensitive Cave'

‘Recreated paper for 25 fragile enclosures’

‘Recreated paper for 25 fragile enclosures’

Paper Biennial Rijswijk 2018, Museum Rijswijk, NL
Photo by Wil Kouwer

‘Wir kennen den Kontur des Fühlens nicht: nur, was ihn formt von außen.’ (R.M.Rilke)

‘I am not what I am, I am what I do with my hands.’ (Louise Bourgeois)
Video © Sonata Lepaitė / Sculpturepods



mixed media on Kahari paper from Himalaya

L 30 cm x B 22 cm

From the series 'The female image of global Venus Art'



Colored pencils, oil pastel on Kahari paper from Himalaya

L 50 cm x B 35 cm

from the series: 'Mistress of love'


'Second Skin

A forest of beeches will leave a ‘carpet’ of empty burrs as the end of autumn and lasting right into spring. The nutty contents have ended up in the stomachs of squirrels or await a reawakening.
The iPod can be seen as the forerunner of the smartphone, but without the ability to telephone. The Apple brand likely chose the word pod for its association with casings of small things: handy and protective of the unknown content. The pod is evocative of an enclosure: pea pods, nutshells, avocados and the shells of mollusks. This is precisely the type of exoskeleton that inspires Sonata Lepaitė (1977, Telšiai, Lithuania) in her paper works.


Not all shells are the same. While the chitin shell of the crab and the shells of other crustaceans are almost as hard as rock (though proportionately wafer-thin) and the jacket of a nut is woody, the casings of a bean or fruit are clearly fragile and perishable, as are their insides. Sonata Lepaitė makes carapaces from expired paper that, in a material sense, symbolize the transient as well as embodying an illusion of rebirth.
In order to create a concave object Lepaitė first kneads a form into river clay. She uses the shape that emerges as a mould. (After use, some clay pieces live on under glass where natural vegetation occurs.) She covers the clay with paper pulp made of old newspapers. Once hardened, the interior of the ‘mantling’ receives a soft lining of finer types of paper, like used teabags and thin, velvety Japanese paper. The objects are colour composed and stabilized with pigments, various tea-based liquid extracts, binding agents and incense ashes.
Both clay and the wet paper weave are easy to manipulate. For Sonata Lepaitė, this process recalls growing up in the countryside of Lithuania, her place of birth. She has lived and worked in the Netherlands for years now, where there is a wealth of river clay. After having determined the shape of the clay, she faces a new challenge. Lepaite brings about harmony by connecting opposites in an organic way: simplicity/complexity, smooth/rough, symmetrical/asymmetrical, exposed/concealed.
Created through painstaking labour, Sonata Lepaitė’s hard skins do not take pains, and are casings and (visual) content in one. From her perspective they are visual metaphors of the desire for sanctuary. They secure security.'

- From an illustrated catalogue of the Rijswijk Paper Biennial 2018 in The Netherlands. Author: art historian Frank van der Ploeg



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