21 June – 15 July 2011
The Gallery at Willesden Green Centre, 95 High Road, Willesden, London NW10 2SF, UK
Maria Robertson reviews Deivis Slavinskas’s solo exhibition
The solo exhibition ‘Textures of the Collective Unconscious’ by Deivis Slavinskas is not a passive experience. It is a call to explore, to revel and respond with dreams and imaginings. Each painting has a unique quality and message; together these paintings are a series of dreams set out on canvas. Physical layers of paint, correspond with psychological and metaphysical layers of meaning, to engage the viewer in a visceral and thought provoking interaction.
On one level, you can enjoy these paintings as a pure visual feast, in the here and now, an exciting cascade of colour and form. The use of sculptural techniques, heavy textures and layering create an impressive sense of vitality and energy, giving the paintings a real and active presence. In some paintings the subject material enthusiastically spills over from the canvas onto the surrounding frame. Each painting is a raft of colour, contrasts and textures, scores and scrapes, sweeps and curves in carefully crafted composition. Deivis’s assiduous attention to detail draws the viewer further in to the experience, underscoring the passion and intent behind the art.
As a catalyst for subconscious thoughts and recollections, these paintings draw on internal landscapes of memories and emotions. Abstract images, and icons assimilated naturally with my own imagination, and lead it to weave its own stories. Along with the paint, scraped away to reveal underlying layers, layers of imagination pealed away to unexpected thoughts and impressions. The more I looked, the bigger the image became, and the more there was to see. I found myself wandering around the outback of Australia, along the banks of the River Thames, into dusty old rooms, down childhood streets and to places of emotion, hope and familiarity, nostalgia and longing.
A further layer reveals a spiritual realm to Deivis’s art, something mystical and arcane, glimpses of a deeper universal theme. Totems and glyphs are woven into the fabric of the art. An animal, words, the flow of water, an overseeing eye, the monster, the river, the depth, the crown. These reassuringly primal images provoke feelings of innate recognition, motifs of a shared understanding and belief system, a ‘collective knowing’.
These paintings communicate both the personal and the profound, inviting the viewer to explore relatedness to the ‘self’ and in a broader sense ‘connection to others’. A remarkable, creative achievement, provoking a uniquely human response and taking the viewer on a compelling visual, psychological and spiritual journey.