From the Panevėžys International Ceramics Symposium Collection

It is human nature to feel safest in familiar and predictable settings. People are confident when doing what they do best. We are the ones who create ourselves a safe environment and secure conditions to be in – to live, to create, and to move. These conditions and this environment are our fundamental aspirations.

However, when does the process become movement only out of inertia? How much of a real push forwards remains? When we uncover a working formula for our actions, we tend to repeat it. Sometimes, we will change some insignificant detail to avoid feeling old and set in our ways. Yet we cross the apparent boundaries only after carefully assessing the possible outcomes and identifying the safest. Thus, we unknowingly stick to our self-made patterns and mask the feeling of unsafety coming from the environment and especially from within.

The exhibition explores the concept of safe space and the need to make tentative and often scary decisions through our ongoing search for balance between safety and purpose. All artworks come from the Panevėžys Civic Art Gallery’s Ceramics Fund and have been created during the various iterations of the Panevėžys International Ceramics Symposium. So far, the symposium, whose beginnings date back to 1989, has brought together 178 artists from 37 countries, including Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, India, Italy, Iran, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA and Ukraine. Across its 23 iterations, the symposium artists have created large-scale sculptures from stoneware. This has resulted in a massive collection comprised of more than 670 individual pieces and compositions in stoneware ceramics. This unique compilation of artworks, unparalleled in the Baltic region in terms of size and scope, reflects distinct local trends and original developments in contemporary ceramics whilst also illuminating shared perspectives and recurrent practices in ceramic imagery, patterning and form.

“Safe Insecurity” features Lithuanian artists Eugenijus Čibinskas, Nerutė Čiukšienė, Eglė Einikytė-Narkevičienė, Juozas Lebednykas and Alvydas Pakarklys.

Exhibition period: 22 April 2023 – 11 June 2023