Lithuanian artist Indrė Šerpytytė’s practice lies an interest in conflict and its accompanying trauma. Working across photography, sculpture and mixed media, much of her previous work centres on the recent history of Lithuania, how it is recalled and its influence on national identity. However, these new works step away from such specificity, instead exploring the use of culturally charged symbols as an abstract language: a form of communication that traces a universal discourse.
In the series ‘From.Between.To’ 2018, Šerpytytė employs ceremonial sashes specific to the Baltic region, overlapping and layering them across canvas stretchers. Using traditional materials, these works trace how the region’s communities intersect; motifs from one country are legible in another and reveal a call and response between nations that share a narrative of conflict.
She also looks at how the repetition – or rhythm – of these patterns might be understood as a wider visual language, one that can communicate between cultures or regions familiar with war. Just as linguistic forms of expression facilitate a communal purpose, so visual matter can be incorporated into a process of mutual understanding.