I meet Sonata Lepaite to talk about her unique and original art. But how did everything start? She was born and brought up in Telsiai, Lowlands of Lithuania. She graduated at Siauliai University Faculty of Education in Primary Education (BAed) and Arts & Crafts of Secondary Education (BAed). Next she graduated at The Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU) where her degree was in Fine Art (BAfa). She combines her art work (paper sculptures: www.sculpturepods.com ) with projects on art and education for children and her Arts&Crafts work at the Amsterdam post-school Childcare Center ‘KinderRijk’.
Sonata has been living in the Netherlands for almost a decade: “All those years ago I felt a strong need to get away from the environment I was born into. Due to personal circumstances I was able to grow and experience new cultures, develop my self personally and professionally.” Despite that, the artist still feels strongly about Lithuania. It will always be a special country that went through turbulent political and cultural changes.
Sonatas art is very interesting: “The main vehicle in my current work is paper, it’s texture, composition and nature, and of course it’s handling and processing. Paper pulp is willing, gratefully modelled and edited as a wet lump of clay.” How does it all work I was wondering: “For my sculptures I use newspaper pulp, colour pigments, oils and binding medium in order to change and stabilize my material. Protective casings are a fundamental necessity for all new life. They are nurseries, sanctuaries for growth and security. Simultaneously they are also needed for deceased remains as in a sarcophagus. My casings are vehicles in the relentless process of growth and decay. In my experience and in my sculptures all these scales, pods, shells and cocoons are a metaphor for the deep-seated, universal desire to be embraced, cherished, wrapped, nurtured and cuddled. “
During her sculptural research, Sonata noticed that the nature and feel of paper medium evoked powerful, stimulating memories and associations of her agrarian upbringing in Lithuania. Guided by scales, pods, cocoons, nut- and avocado shells she seeks tangible sculptural transformations. These cases protect their content when they themselves are vulnerable. They evoke in her a sense of transience and temporary security.
Sonata shares her philosophical thoughts and spiritual intuition not only on her art but also about her life: “Neither past, nor future is in my power to be changed. I live now. I try to reach the best outcome of everything that I am working on in the present. Its important to listen to the environment as well as to myself and according to that, consider my options and make my decisions. Life to me is a journey to be experienced to the limit. The same goes for my sculpture – its not a premeditated plan but the process which must be open for new inspiration, change and direction.”
It is going to be the first time for Sonata to take part in LTart.NL project therefore we all are excited and looking forward to experience her sculptures.
Interview prepared by E. Kvartunaite.
You can also read interviews Lithuanian versionhere.