Daina Skadmane’s World of Art at Rietumu Gallery
17-Jan-2018, 13:48 / Charity & Sponsorship A new exhibition has opened at Rietumu Art Gallery - Daina Skadmane’s World of Art .
This is a memorial exhibition - it presents works of the young artist, whose life ended so tragically during the collapse of a shopping centre in Riga in 2013.
Many of the works created by Daina Skadmane are devoted to the events of the Holocaust in Latvia. She began working on this subject from the age of 13 and many of her works already won international recognition during the lifetime of the young artist.
Daina Skadmane (19 March 1990 – 21 November 2013), together with her twin sister Anda, was involved in fine arts from the age of five. The sisters participated in a number of international competitions, and Daina had several exhibitions.
Daina’s works are also remarkable due to the fact that most of them were drawn on old paper, made 60-80 years ago. This allows both the spectators and the artist to ‘approach’ the times of 1930s-1940s, preceding the tragic events of World War Two, and feel the spirit and materiality of that epoch.
Works of Daina Skadmane can be found in public collections, as well as in private collections of well-known people.
A number of Daina’s paintings and their reproductions, for example, “Last Glance” (2003), “Frida” (2004), “Jewish Boy” (2003), are located in different centres of culture and art institutes commemorating the Holocaust – in the USA, Israel, the Czech Republic, Russia and Germany; two works are in a private collection of the documentary director Vladimir Molchanov (Russia), and her work “Skyline Christmas” is in the collection of Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall (Great Britain).
Works of the artist, such as “Landscape Scene” (2006) and “Rumbula” (2003), are in the archive of the Nobel Prize winner who survived the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel, in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Centre, Boston University, US, where materials and statements of well-known people are stored such as Bette Davis, Jean Kelly, Martin Luther King, “Einstein Papers Projects”, etc.
Daina’s works were also shown in the documentary film “Melodies of the Riga Ghetto” (2006) and in the biographical book by Frida Mikhelson “I Survived Rumbula”.
The current exhibition unveils the world of art of the young artist – how it looked up to the tragedy, which ended her life so early, abruptly and cruelly. Graphic works, paintings and drawings are presented, as well as a part of her internationally famous collection devoted to the events of the Holocaust in Latvia.
Daina Skadmane died tragically on 21 November 2013, together with her father Janis, under the collapsed roof of a shopping centre in the Riga district of Zolitude.
On 6 December 2013, the last work of Daina Skadmane – the installation “Fir of Wind” was presented in Kronvalda Park in Riga. The installation looks different according to the angle it is viewed from, but when going around it, a moment comes for the spectator when the suspended silver balls create the silhouette of a fir.
Andris Berzins, who was President of Latvia at the time, used a sketch of this work for a Christmas card, which was sent on his behalf to leaders of other countries. The card was included in the survey of Christmas cards from foreign leaders by the Telegraph (Great Britain). The same card was included by President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves in his personal selection – “Selection of Christmas cards sent to President Ilves”.
In 2014, in response to the request of the Zolitude Society, Latvijas Pasts issued a commemorative envelope devoted to the victims of this tragedy. The “Fir of Wind” by Daina Skadmane was also used for the design of this envelope.
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