Rūdis Pētersons, aka Del Ruden (Latvia)

This is the third solo show by Rūdis Pētersons, aka Del Ruden, with a title carefully chosen to bring together all the exhibits, in this case – paintings and ceramics. When the author was getting ready with the concept and the works, his thoughts revolved around nature and its almighty power on the one hand and porcelain on the other – this delicate, sophisticated and often highly demanding material. The first works were made three years ago, before the concept was fully developed. It clicked as the artist was working and listening to some background music – the moment he heard the lyrics “You’re welcome, you’re welcome. To my garden, my garden of love”, he felt they were a perfect fit for his vases. As the creative process was nearing the end, the war broke out in Ukraine. It had a strong impact on the artist’s creativity and gave a new poignancy to the concept – the flowers growing from porcelain vases as a silent call for a seemingly utopian Garden of Eden where everyone is welcome to sow their seeds of love. How real this would be if only we all had the capacity to love! The exhibits also embody the artist’s emotional experiences and personal growth, and each visitor can look at them through their individual prism, plant the seeds of this visual impulse into their heart and nurture them into bloom. “Tend your own inner garden” – essentially, that’s what the exhibition statement is all about.

Rūdis Pētersons, aka Del Ruden, knows what he wants, and he always finds the best way towards his goal, navigating artistic mediums with flexibility and expertly working with different materials. His creative approach rests on energy, perseverance and endless curiosity. He works best in his own space, in peace and quiet. His art is about approaching the laws of nature and rests on profound knowledge in different spheres, such as literature, classical art and other cultural disciplines. Thematically, he likes to delve into existentialism and the infinite power of nature. Inspiration visits him with work-in-progress. His journey into the art world began at the Rīga Secondary School of Design and Art, where he studied in the Ceramics Department. He holds a BA and MA in art from the Art Academy of Latvia, where he continued to specialise in ceramics. His exhibition record extends to multiple group shows, including a small show he organised in Turkey, where he studied local ceramics, and at Porto University, Portugal. He prefers making art that can be enjoyed on a purely visual level and resists overconceptualising his work. To quote from popular wisdom, “if it needs explaining, it’ll make even less sense broken down…” At the same time, the artist always wants his work to carry a secret that’s as evident to a focused observer as it’s invisible to a passing eye.

The pseudonym, Del Ruden, was given to him one autumnal evening by an old friend, who derived it from the artist’s given name, Rūdis, and the Spanish or Italian “del”, meaning “of” or “from”. The alias grew on him, and our consumerist culture has made it a brand. The artist perceives it as the name of his internal twin or, indeed, his inner world, governed by its own unwritten laws… It echoes the silent conversations he has with himself and resonates with the poetics of life, the shape of the soul, shifting energy tides, and the rolling rhythms of the river of fate flowing through heights of passions and lows of solitude. But, at the end of the day, it’s just a name, carrying both light and dark within it, as we all do and very well know, being as we are on close and intimate terms with our “inner passengers”. With a touch of irony, the artist says he’s betrothed to ceramics but claims painting is his first true love and mistress. Believe it or not, in his creativity, the two ladies manage to stay on the common ground and get along without conflict.

Exhibition period: 8 July – 16 October 2022