Q: Do you believe as artists that we have a responsibility to address environmental issues?
A: You’re a human being first, and if you as an artist try to address through your work something that is not close to your heart or something that you don’t have any faith in on a human level, nothing good will come of such art.
You have to work with all that you believe in, all that is important to you. With that said, I think it is a human responsibility to address environmental issues not just through the work that we each individually choose to do, artist or not, but also through our daily life choices, what we consume etc. We are a very odd species, the way we settle in an eco-system and then work to destroy it to a point where we endanger our own well-being. Of course we have to work to change ourselves for the better in whatever way we can! If an artist can do it in a meaningful stirring way then wonderful. But that responsibility doesn’t rest on artists alone.
Q: How does nature, the elements, and the environment inspire your work?
A: To my work, nature is often in the forefront because we have forgotten that we ARE the nature, we are not something that interacts with it as with an external and objectified thing “out there”. In some ways, in my painting I see nature equals to human emotions and states, emotions are elemental energies. I use it that way for my background and details. Violent seas and majestic clouds, lush flowers, heartwarming sunshine and cool magical moonlight, forests to get lost in and misty swamps etc. For my art I feel it more like internal territories of a soul in a metaphorical way or at least deeply connected with the human heart, not simply external places separate from self.
Q: What environments in nature are you most drawn to? (For example the forest, the sea)
A: In my art, I most often paint flowers and seas, and some of the countryside backgrounds from mostly my native Latvia in summer. I myself love to walk in forest, I do it almost daily since at this time I live in an old country house in a park filled with ancient trees and surrounded by a forest. I love mountains, I love the sea. But if I have to choose the environments that I am most drawn to, it would be the ones that are as little touched by civilization as possible, I’ve had the joy over the years to spend time in Himalayas and in Sahara, to stay in the Amazon jungle and walk the Arctic permafrost in Svalbard, and there is a deep spiritual awe that these places inspire. I can’t choose one. All are connected.
Q: If you had funding for any project you wish, what would it be?
A: A couple of years ago I had funding to create whatever I liked, and I did a 6 ft high to nearly 70 ft long 8-panel painting Sea of Change, which depicted changes in human (female) life through archetypal figures together with changes in the environment and nature. I would actually like to continue working on it. But I have many other ideas in mind, also across mediums and disciplines, but they are just not ready to come out yet.