KAROSTA FESTIVAL 2023
More art than ever
The Karosta festival will take place for the fifth time this year and will delight visitors with a varied program, which will include both the traditional plein air of artists and the competition of antique vehicles, as well as several new activities.
Both Latvian and foreign artists will take part in the festival. The artist Element-ton will once again replenish the Karosta environment with a new large-format mural this year. The opening event will take place on Friday, June 9 at the Liepaja 3rd Elementary School and the Italian artist Daniela Nasoni will paint there. After that, the artists’ residence of the Karosta water tower will open its doors and provide the workspace for four outstanding Latvian artists – Līga Ķempe, Gunta Lante, Klāvs Loris and Egons Peršēvics. On Friday, the works of art will also be displayed at a brand new Karosta festival venue “Atmodas Dārzs“, where three artists will create the murals – Cake from Peru, Nō from France and Syed from Pakistan.
During the festival, Rekha Sameer from India will work on a wall painting in Redan; photo artist Vilma Leino from Finland will create her artwork in a Karosta Prison cell. Clara Cabrera, a Spanish artist residing in Liepaja, will exhibit her previous works made in Karosta Prison, as well as create a new painting for this year’s festival.
In Redan however, Iveta Trence from the social enterprise “0 Design” will create the installation “Stray Dog of Karosta” from paper pulp.
Several performance artists will participate in the Karosta festival – Kathleen Doherty from Ireland, Agnė Muralytė from Lithuania, Jordina Ros and Pere Estadella from Spain.
This year, the students of Liepaja will also be a part of the Karosta festival, participating in the “CHAIR RELOADED” campaign. The chairs decorated by the students will be on display in Redan.
On Saturday, June 10, one of the main events will be the exhibition of ancient vehicles in the square at the end of Katedrāles Street and a parade ride through Karosta. The electric car competition will also welcome the younger generation Liepaja residents this year. In the evening, retro car and motorcycle drivers will gather in Redan and will be able to experience the opening of works of art made in Redan, performances, a concert, a party and, finally, a night of electronic music.
In the afternoon, there will be a program for children in Redan. This year, the animal protection society LIBERTA will also participate in the festival. Every day, this association helps animals to change their lives, to save those destined for death, to find owners for those who have become redundant and forgotten. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet, see and pet the animals available for adoption.
On Sunday, June 11, two special concerts will take place in two special places in Karosta. One of them will be in the recently opened Karosta armoury, where musicians and producers Valdis Skarevičs and Roberts Dinters will prepare a musical performance together with one of the artists of the festival. Since 2015, the musicians have united in the subjectively experimental, free improvisational electronic music project “Accidentally“.
The second concert will take place in one of the most beautiful tsar-era buildings in Karosta, Pulkveža Brieža Street 1, renovated by the Lithuanian conductor Rasa Gelgote. Since her entire family is musical, it is no surprise that this beautiful building also has a small concert hall. Giedrius Gelgotas (flute) and Gunta Gelgote (soprano) will perform at the Sunday concert.
The Karosta festival is organized by the Karosta rescue society and financially supported by the municipality of Liepaja.
June 5 – 9
Art plein air (Redan, Liepaja 3rd Elementary School, Karosta water tower, Atmodas Dārzs (garden), Karosta Prison, Atmodas bulvāris 8f)
16.30 Opening ceremony at the 3rd Elementary School in Liepaja
17.00 Opening of the artists’ residence of the Karosta water tower
19.00 Opening event for the works of art in Atmodas Dārzs
12.00 – 14.00 Exhibition of ancient vehicles at the end of Katedrāles Street in the square by the sea, electric car competition for children, contests, buffet
14.00 Ancient vehicle parade ride through Karosta
15.00 Display of works of art in Redan, creative workshops for children, performances, visit to the museum of Karosta and the War of Independence, Brīvības krodziņš (independence pub)
16.00-17.00 Arrival of ancient vehicles in Redan
18.00 Awarding ceremony for ancient vehicle parade contestants
19.00 concert of the band “Magone“.
21.00 party with the band “Laika bende”
23.00 fire show (Andris Kreicburgs)
23.15. electronic music night “Andrgraud”
12.00 – 14.00 Musical performance in the Karosta Armoury
14.00 Concert at the Pulkveža Brieža Street concert hall
Liepaja 3rd Elementary School – DANIELA NASONI (Italy)
Atmodas bulvāris 8f – ELEMENT-TON (Liepaja)
Karosta Prison – VILMA LEINO (Finland), CLARA CABRERA (Spain, Liepaja)
Water tower – LĪGA ĶEMPE, GUNTA LANTE, KLĀVS LORIS, EGONS PERŠĒVICS (Latvia)
Atmodas Dārzs – CAKE (Peru), NŌ (France), SYED (Pakistan)
Redan – REKHA SAMEER (India), KIRUBEL MELKE (Ethiopia), IVETA TRENCE (Latvia), students from Liepaja
Performances by KATHLEEN DOHERTY (Ireland), AGNĖ MURALYTĖ (Lithuania), JORDINA ROS and PERE ESTADELLA (Spain).
Līga Ķempe is looking for contemporary expression in a wide range of constructions, from distinct figurative style to abstract natural landscapes. With picturesque sensual lines, she reveals the mystery of a woman’s intimate world. A vehement play with classical methods and techniques is always an important means of expression in Līga Ķempe’s painting. She has been participating in exhibitions in Latvia and abroad since 1999. Many of her works are on display at various museums and establishments, as well as in private collections. For Līga this will be like settling back in her hometown again. Līga will be present at the artists’ residence in the Karosta Water Tower; the opening of the residence will take place on June 9 at 17:00.
Klāvs Loris is accustomed to creating large-format works of art, experimenting with different techniques, combining classical oil painting with more modern resources and materials. In doing this, Klāvs has developed his own technique, which combines photography, digital printing and classical painting. Since 2007, he has held eight personal exhibitions and participated in more than 20 group exhibitions in Latvia and abroad. In 2015, he won the Grand Prix at the contemporary art biennial JCE. Jeune creation Europeenne. Biennale d' art contemporain in Paris.
His creative process can be seen in the Karosta Water Tower; the artists’ residence will open its doors to the public on June 5.
The artist Gunta Lante has found herself in figurative art. She gets to know the world through her fellow man, humanity and inhumanity. For Gunta, the human body is like a “language” with the widest possible vocabulary. In her paintings, she uses the representation of the naked body as much as possible, because she believes that every person in this world is naked by nature – defenceless and unadorned.
In her works, she deliberately refuses to include any background information. According to her, when reaching or experiencing certain events in life, the background simply becomes irrelevant. Gunta mainly uses oil and acrylic techniques when creating her work, but her true love is drawing.
Daniela Nasoni was born in Varese (Italy) in 1975, graduated from the A. Frattini art school and in 1998 graduated from the painting specialty at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan.
Since 2000, she has devoted herself exclusively to painting and different periods have been dedicated to illustration – fairy tales for children and murals for public institutions, such as the Macchi Hospital Foundation in Varese and the Wincheringen state school in Germany, etc.
Her paintings are made in acrylic on canvas, she introduces us to her world of imagination – traveling houses, living beings, always looking for a better way and place to exist.
The artist will paint the Liepaja 3rd Elementary School building.
The artist Vilma Leino is a photographer born in Finland but living in Berlin. Her work focuses on creating self-portraits, which she uses to reflect inner emotions, loneliness and complex psychological stages. In her work she creates female characters with untold stories and experiments with strong colour schemes, composition and the human body. The photographs often balance between beauty and horror, and she uses humour as an aspect to illuminate darker subjects. Her photographs are a one-woman show where control and the fear of losing it are in constant dialogue, creating a story of personal growth where fear turns into power.
“I feel the like the freest version of myself when I’m alone in a room with a camera. Making self-portraits makes me feel liberated and is a way to understand the world, myself and everything that surrounds me. It’s a way to explore, play and have fun, as well as a way for me to hide, isolate myself and be alone with my thoughts and feelings,” Vilma says.
Everyone will be able to meet the artist in the Karosta Prison, where her planned art project will be displayed on the prison walls.
Nô is a street artist and graphic novelist from France, born in 1981 in the suburbs of Paris. With a master’s degree in French literature and English, he spent twelve years both as a freelance lecturer in France and traveling the world with a backpack on his shoulders and a sketchpad in his pocket.
Around four continents, the artist painted portraits of hundreds of people he met along the way, using pencil, pastel colours and watercolours, depicting their joy, suffering, poverty and injustice in his works.
At the end of 2018, Nô returned to France and developed a stencil technique that allowed him to reproduce the faces he had seen and painted all over the world on walls of cities; people who resist injustice and oppression, gypsies, Indians, children from third world countries. Nô represents these people in all their diversity, reverence and beauty.
Nô has previously participated in several art festivals, such as “25 artistes au 104” and “Carrousel Antony” street art festivals in Paris in 2022. His paintings decorate the walls of different buildings around Paris and other French cities, and can also be seen in art galleries and exhibitions in Paris.
As part of the Karosta festival, this artist will create a mural in the cultural space “Atmodas dārzs” in Karosta, Atmodas bulvāris 6A.
Rekha Sameer is an interdisciplinary environmental artist from India. She creates works integrated with the surroundings using various artistic resources, mainly painting and sculpture. Rekha was born in Bombay in a Brahmin family, grew up in India, lived in Singapore and since 2000 has been living in England with her family. She has felt the desire to draw and paint since early childhood, and in England she managed to realize this dream by obtaining both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine arts at the prestigious Central St Martins College of Art.
The artist says about her works: “I create conceptual art that reflects the times we live in and the places I visit.”
Rekha has been active in conceptual art for more than two decades, exploring the facets of being an artist using various media and objects, both creating artwork herself and sharing her knowledge with others. The artist’s exhibitions have been shown in galleries in England, India, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil and other countries. She also acts as a mentor for young artists, speaks at symposia, conducts master classes and lectures.
As part of the Karosta festival, the artist will create an environmental art piece in an area in Redan, 14. novembra bulvāris 82/86.
Cake is an illustrator and muralist from Peru, born in 1990. The artist creates both wall paintings and graphic design. His artwork is based on a fantasy world and aims to appeal to the inner child of the adult viewer. Cake is inspired by Peruvian traditional iconography and caricatures created before the discovery of America. This influence combined with the artist’s unique “naïve” style creates a fresh, original and colourful result.
Cake studied at the Digital Art School Mott, Toulouse-Lautrec Institute, took various master classes and art courses. His works have been displayed in many international exhibitions and can also be viewed in the urban environment; the artist has painted not only the walls of buildings, but also airplanes, as well as created designs for various products. Some of the brands he has collaborated with include: Dr Martens, Adidas, Levis, Stella Artois, Natura, Vans and many more.
As part of the Karosta festival, he will create a mural in the cultural space “Atmodas dārzs” in Karosta, Atmodas bulvāris 6A.
Kathleen Doherty is an artist from Ireland. Her work combines performance art and aerial dance. Aerial dance originates from elements of modern dance, gymnastics and circus. The thematic focus of the artist’s performances is personal growth and the eternal question of what it means to be human; they are emotionally saturated.
Kathleen is an accomplished artist, having performed at various events and residencies in Ireland, Italy and Portugal. This year, the artist performs with a traditional circus troupe, and also did her latest performance “Martyr” at the Irish Aerial Dance festival.
During the Karosta festival, Kathleen will do her solo performance “Broken Warmth”. The artist herself describes it as an unfinished, ever-changing work, which she adapts to each place and environment in which it is performed, therefore each show is different. In the performance, the artist uses pieces of silk fabric that symbolize the strings of the heart that unite all people.
As part of the Karosta festival, Kathleen will perform in the Karosta Water Tower and Arsenal.
Agnė Muralytė is a physical theatre actress and performance artist from Lithuania, born in 1989. At the age of nineteen, she moved abroad, and has been creating and showing her performances all over the world ever since (Poland, Russia, France, Latvia, Estonia, Greece, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia). Agnė cooperates both with theatre companies and also performs as an independent artist. She also works in educational and social fields. During her career, Agnė has participated in many creative workshops, art festivals, art residencies and other events. The artist’s goal is to use the actor’s body as the main tool of expression and creation, replacing the usual actions the viewer is accustomed to with unusual behaviour.
Agnė will do a solo performance with the help of a doll “Je m’évanouis” at the Karosta festival. This performance depicts human fragility, tells about the situations in which every person sometimes finds himself and the inability to find a way out of them. The performance was created in cooperation with “Théâtre du Mouvement“.
Element-ton is an artist from Karosta and is well-known and loved around Liepaja. For more than 20 years, he has been expressing his talent in various forms of visual art – graffiti, interior and facade painting, airbrushing, different paintings and wall decoration. His creations adorn the facades of buildings both in Liepaja and Riga, as well as in Germany, Denmark, Italy, etc. Several works of art created by Element-ton can be seen on the streets of Liepaja, such as the portrait of poet Mirdza Ķempe, the portrait of legendary composer Imants Kalniņš, the work “Against the Wind” created as part of the “Street Art Portraits in the Streets of Liepaja” project. The artist will participate in the Karosta festival for the fourth time, and the works created by him in previous festivals can be seen in the Karosta environment, for example, the large-format mural “Karosta 360” on the wall of a five-story house at Turaidas Street 8A.
As part of the Karosta festival, Element-ton will create a large-format mural at Atmodas bulvāris 8f.
“Nejauši” (meaning: by chance) is a subjectively experimental, free improvisation electronic music project represented by musicians and producers Valdis Skarevičs and Roberts Dinters. The project was started in 2015 and since performed at various art festivals, such as “Akti naktī”, “Skaņas dienas”, “Daugavpils mākslas dienas”, “Update”. They have also enacted their performances such as “Orbīta. Čaklais” in Liepaja Theatre. In 2019, they released an album “01.01” with the poetry of Maija Kalniņa. “Nejauši” will participate in the Karosta festival for the third time. The aim of the “Nejauši” project is to offer listeners diverse musical aspects, without fear of unfamiliar tonal planes, to create free-form music, the structure of which is not determined by the ratio of correctly placed verses and chants. Music is created freely – relying on the unpredictable nature of improvisation and the mutual cooperation to control this structured chaos.
As part of the Karosta festival, “Nejauši” will perform at the Karosta Arsenal together with performance artist from Ireland Kathleen Doherty.
Jordina Ros & Pere Estadella
Jordina Ros and Pere Estadella are performance artists from Spain. They combine visual plastic art with video performance. In their projects, Jordina and Pere challenge social norms, reflecting on aesthetic, emotional and conceptual boundaries in mainstream society. The artists have performed at various festivals and events in Spain, Italy, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Serbia, Chile and other countries. Jordina and Pere will demonstrate their performance POETIC MIGRATION 0.3 at the Karosta festival. The performance will combine the artist’s specific creative ideas with their impressions of places that have seen great human suffering. Although coming from a different place in the world with a different history, their performance will depict the unity of our collective society from an artistic point of view.
Clara Cabrera is a visual artist and writer from Spain who has been living in Liepaja for several years now. She will participate in the Karosta festival for the fifth time. Clara says this about herself: “I have participated in countless exhibitions in various parts of the world and created live art performances. I have always focused on plastic and creative activities, which I have developed thanks to my love and passion for literature and music, art and language skills.” In 2015, Clara graduated in fine arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, then also took a professional illustration course at ESAT. She has participated in many exhibitions around the world and performed live painting shows in various European countries, such as Parallax art fair in London, Soho Haus in Berlin, Blue Balls festival in Switzerland, etc. Clara travels around Europe participating in art festivals and creating murals. As part of the Karosta festival, Clara will exhibit her previously made artwork in the Karosta prison, as well as create a new painting just for this festival.
Gunta Gelgote & Giedrius Gelgots
This year, the Karosta festival visitors will be delighted with a concert by soprano Gunta Gelgote with her husband, flautist Giedrius Gelgots. Gunta Gelgote studied vocal arts at the Latvian Academy of Music and the Academy of Music and Theatre of Lithuania. The singer regularly performs at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Vilnius City Opera, as well as the Latvian National Opera and Ballet House. Gunta performs as a soloist with various orchestras, she also participates in chamber music and contemporary music performances. Several opuses are also dedicated to her. In 2009, she received the Grand Music Award in the “Debut of the Year” category.
Giedrjus Gelgots is a flautist of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra. In addition to his work in the orchestra, he regularly gives solo concerts, as well as performs
with his self-founded St. Christopher Quintet, Lithuanian Flute Quartet, St. Christopher’s Chamber Orchestra and various other chamber music groups. Giedrius is also a member of the British Flute Society. He was a laureate in several international competitions in Europe, including winning 1 st place and special prize at the Henri Tomasi International Woodwind Quintet Competition in Marseille.
As part of the Karosta festival, Gunta Gelgote and Giedrius Gelgots will perform a concert in one of the most beautiful tsar-era buildings in Karosta – Pulkveža Brieža Street 1. This building has been restored by the Lithuanian conductor Rasa Gelgote. As her entire family is connected with music, a small concert hall has also been set up in the building. The concert will take place on Sunday, June 11 at 14:00.
Egons Peršēvics is a sculptor, future doctor of arts and a teacher with more than 10 years of experience. His creative work mostly consists of large-format public setting sculptures; the main purpose of these sculptures is to convey their conceptual message to the viewer, while preserving the aesthetic appeal of the work at the same time. Egons perceives art as a field of science dealing with the revaluation of cultural values, and the sculptures created by himself are his experiments and scientific treatises. The most popular works of the sculptor are Milda sitting in a lotus position, Mermaid of Karosta, Mother of the Sea, Ghost horse, etc. His creations are mostly intended as objects of public medium, which, combined with light irony, bring to light politically deeply charged issues such as ecology, gender equality, various forms of discrimination and freedom of ideas and thoughts. Egons has been actively participating in exhibitions and art events since 2006. He has received several awards, including the Latvian public media annual award in culture “Kilograms kultūras” for the Karosta Water Tower artists' residency project. Egons will
participate in the Karosta festival for the fifth time. During the Karosta festival, Egons will be working in the artists' residence of the Karosta Water Tower at Ģenerāļa Baloža Street 29.
Syed Sachal Rizvi is an architect, artist, muralist and illustrator from Pakistan. He is currently studying contemporary arts in EKA, Tallinn. His art practice explores drawing and painting as
a means to visualize the temporal nature of active and spontaneous imagination. As part of the Karosta festival, this artist will create a mural in the cultural space “Atmodas Dārzs” in
Karosta, Atmodas bulvāris 6A.
Iveta Trence is the creator of the social enterprise "0 Design" and an experienced decorator. Iveta believes that each of us, with our choices and habits, can reduce the amount of waste
and its impact on nature. This idea of a better future is also carried by her brand and its products – sustainably recycled waste paper mass design lamps, created with love and care for people and the environment. During the Karosta festival, the artist will create an installation “Stray Dog of Karosta” from paper pulp in Redan. This work is intended as a sustainable and environmentally friendly social symbol for Karosta. Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to not only see this work of art, but also to meet, look at and pet the source of inspiration for the work – animals
available for adoption, which are saved and cared for by the animal protection society “LIBERTA”.
Kirubel Melke is a visual artist, who lives and works in Ethiopia. He holds a diploma in Marketing from the National College in Addis Ababa, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Addis Ababa University. Inspired by his mothers work at a garment factory, Melke has focused on fabric as his primary medium, creating elaborate tableaux from fragments cloth since his third year in fine art school, washed clothing hanging from a wire has been a recurring theme for his work using cloth as a marker for daily life, Melke explores themes related to education, social injustice and the relationship between tradition and modernity presenting pressing issues relevant to contemporary Ethiopian culture. Melke has exhibited extensively in Ethiopia and internationally most notably
at the national museum of Ethiopia, The Alliance Ethio – francaise Addis Ababa, The Hawke centre at the university of south Australia, The yarrow gallery in the UK and Escape Commines, Paris, France. Also he participated in different artist residency program at manufacturer des decorative in Theis Senegal, ecoSuites Artist Residency 2022 at Trsitinika beach Greece, Farmstudio vyoska, The Czech Republic and now at Karosta art festival in Liepaja Latvia.