21 September to 7 October 2018
The Latvian word kopā means ‘together’, or ‘in unison’. So it was fitting that participating artists Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis jointly produced a body of work for a show with that same name; “Kopā” – an exhibition of art by Baltic-Australian artists.
Taking out an entire upstairs gallery at Moores Contemporary Art Gallery in Fremantle Australia, Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis have a joint showing that explores the fading ripples of the post-war diaspora that fled northern Europe in 1948.
Jillian Ciemitis’ series “Occupation” is a dark ‘noir’ exploration of the impact of Soviet occupation of Latvia, both in terms of physical trauma and displacement, as well as the echoes of psychological impact. These dark images are counterpointed by a contemporary constructed memory of Latvian culture in “Kokle”.
Peteris Ciemitis examines the relationship between a ‘Latvian self’ and the willful subconscious identity in “ES+ID”. These themes are touched on further a series of pen and ink sketches the “Portret” series, which amongst other things, features one of the working drawings of Peter Greste (- a sketch that was undertaken following a sitting with Greste which led to a series of major paintings that now have a variety of homes, from the offices of Amnesity International in Sydney, to the Qiajiang International Museum of Art in China).
Jillian and Peteris were delighted to open their urban studio in November to the Friends of Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. Amidst a balmy Perth day, over 30 art lovers scaled the ‘ladder’ to the two formal studio spaces, and enjoyed artist talks, a leisurely wine and an art chat under the leaves in the artists’ “secret garden”.
Sincere thanks to Jeffry Campbell, Pauline Faulds and Catherine McCloy from Friends of Lawrence Wilson Gallery for their consummate professionalism and efficiency in organising the event. The “Friends” are an integral part of the prestigious Lawrence Wilson Gallery of the University of Western Australia, and provide support for its activities, ranging from the acquisition of new works to providing artistic and technical facilities.
Peteris and Jillian Ciemitis participated for the fourth time in the (18th) Japan International Art Exchange Exhibition at Japan Tougane Bunkakaikan, Tokyo.
The regular exhibition explores diverse forms of painting and calligraphic works from around the world.
Jillian Ciemitis and Peter Ciemitis both participated in the inaugural Culture and Arts Festival in Sivsagar in February 2018, along with Vittorio Tonon, Maria Balea, Tone White, Maneswar Brahmaand our Arts overseer, Utpal Barua.
As well as a host of international visual artists, the four day festival featured a vast array of musicians, dancers and performers (including the Deputy Commissioner, Narayan Konwar).
Peteris Ciemitis proudly formed part of the line-up of the State’s leading portrait artists in the “Skin Deep” exhibition opening at Moore’s Gallery Friday 9 March 2018.
‘Skin Deep 2018’ was the fourth annual exhibition by the WA Portrait Artists Association which comprised over fifty portraits by the fourteen participating artists whose work ranges from small to very large, from photorealism to expressive interpretations. The exhibition presented a diverse range of concepts and techniques representing contemporary portraiture at its very best.
This year, the exhibition also included a secret room; “Hidden”. What was there?
September 2018, Dhaka Bangladesh
Currently, one third of the world’s Biennales take place in Asia, with the first being the Tokyo Biennale in 1952. However, it is the Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh, a breakaway in 1981, that remains the oldest in the region, now in being held for the 18th time. Its also a Biennale in which Australia has had patchy presence. Until now.
The Australian artists to be included in the 18th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh are west-coasters Jillian Ciemitis, Peteris Ciemitis, Judy Rogers and Monique Tippett.
The Biennale is based in the National Art Gallery, Dhaka and opens with official formalities on September 1, followed by two days of Symposia exploring the topics of “Between Art and Narratives” and “Pedagogy and Promotion”.
May 26, 2017
We were humbled by the turn-up, love and buzz around our book launch of “Skull Within Skin” at the State Theatre of Western Australia last night.
So many spoke to us afterwards
Jillian Ciemitis and Peter Ciemitis were part of the successful MEADOWS “Personal Structures” exhibition in the Venice Biennale collateral program in 2017.
With the Biennale over, the installation commenced a European tour, opening at the glorious Villaguilua on Lakemaggiore Italy. Congratulations to Lena Kelekian Sulahian and Francesca Maurizi for success in their efforts to maintain exposure to this outstanding project.
When the Waterhall Centre in South Guildford, opened for business, it also unveiled an enigmatic series of floating images … a new public art installation called “The Gallery” by Peteris and Jillian Ciemitis.
The artists wanted to create a series of repeated images of trees as if they were portraits or ‘floating trees’ on exhibition. The floating trees of Waterhall are based on drawings which forensically examine the form and texture of their trunks and branches.
The Waterhall residential estate in South Guildford, Western Australia, has historically been part of the property holdings of the Guildford Grammar School, and it is recorded that some early tree plantings in the colony were undertaken in close proximity to the site. The artwork theme remembers the historic practice of clearing and replanting in the locality.
The artists used the negative space of the panels to allow branches to disappear and re-emerge in the same way they appear amongst foliage. The artists wanted to use this technique to make the images feel more abstract; almost like ‘messy calligraphy’.
They also played with the idea of repeated, ‘processed’ tree forms as references to the notion of commodification … especially in their position where they appear to be marching toward the loading docks of the centre.
The panel production used a Finnish concrete form methodology. The innovative technique embeds the image into the concrete panels themselves using a form of ‘etching’ process, creating an image that will last the life of the building itself.
Working in close consultation with the project architects KPA Architecture, the artists also carefully considered the manner in which the works should respond to context. The subtle colouring and mark-making ensured that the imagery didn’t attempt to compete with the architectural forms of the building. They also carefully positioned key images on the building so that they would almost classically align to the viewlines along particular roads when approaching.
In October 2016, Jillian and Peteris Ciemitis represented Australia in the G20 International Art Exhibition in Hangzhou, China. This short film tells the story of the Exhibition, which featured over 60 international artists invited from the twenty G20 countries.