about exhibition

This Exhibition would not have been possible if not for the following wonderful people

Steve my “better half” who supports and encourages me in everything I do and in particular this exhibition.Thankyou Darling for always holding my hand

Ramona my daughter and an amazing human being, she is always there for me, never judging and always with a smile on her face. You make me so proud to be your Mum

Michelle the amazing book artist who always finds time in her busy schedule to help me with anything and everything.Friends like her are rare and I cherish every moment she has been part of my life.

Rob Mosely a councilor from Healthy Minds for encouraging me to get back into sculptural work and most importantly not to be afraid of showing my vulnerability through clay creations

Terry my “mother in law” for not complaining that artwork takes priority over housework and putting up with my messy passion.

Brampton museum and art gallery and especially Beverley for providing this fantastic venue and offering such wonderful support

Thankyou – Ieva xxx

In Loving Memory of

Evelina Alksne

9th December 1992 – 30th March 2015

This exhibition is dedicated to our beautiful youngest daughter Evie who was

Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Sadly at the age of 22, she died

a result of this largely misunderstood illness.

Never Forgotten and in our hearts and minds

Come rain, come shine…

I feel like it’s necessary to have a little introduction part before answering following questions!

Sometimes our lives are divided by major events divided in to “before” and “after” . The artwork displayed is related to “After” so will be my answers to these questions.

After two years battle for our daughters mental health recovery from personality disorder and After her passing away in the mental health institution from lethal self harming incident.

When and how did your interest in art develop?

I’ve been making things since I remember myself, at the age of three I made a bet with my sister that “ when I will grow up” I will be an artist. I guess she owes me that 1 Euro.

Since passing of my daughter I stopped doing many things like canoeing in whitewater and also any creative expression in clay. One year after I learned to enjoy the physical feeling of clay by making the simplest pinch pot shapes. I did not dare to make sculpture in fear to expose the soul braking emotions. It was after one of my therapists “pushed” me in to expressing what I feel and not to feel guilt about not making “uplifting and happy” art. That’s how current body of art developed. Which might not be pretty or perfect technically but undoubtedly is honest and displays raw emotion.

What influences your art?

Currently my art is mainly influenced by complexity of the pain from loosing my beautiful daughter, by sense of duty and love towards my other fantastic daughter and the love of my life Steve. It is influenced by endless attempts to survive the unimaginable catastrophe after your world has collapsed after loosing the most precious you have your child

What process do you go through when you are creating a piece (starting with the initial idea)?

The initial idea is a wage feeling, then it starts to take shape and sense of the right medium, sometimes it’s a sketch on the paper or a quick sketch in clay. The following making process usually evolves independently of initial idea it progresses by itself directed by clay and emotion, my hands become simply tools which follow momentum of syntheses of material and human emotion

Which artists, if any, have you drawn inspiration from

While admiring work of many visual artists my inspiration more often is drawn from written word , sometimes songs. Just to name Some of the artist who use words as their medium Shinji Moon a wonderful young poet and author of the beautiful book “The anatomy of being”, Kahlil Gibran with his work “Prophet” their words touched my soul and resulted in creations in clay……

Do you have a favourite piece? If so, which one and why?

There are actually two pieces I have made that are dear to me (I have attached images of both in case you would like to see them) One is a small sculpture of my daughter who passed away, the sculpture was made almost ten years ago when we were going through her teenage years, this sculpture is an attempt to see the beautiful and so lovable little girl behind the “Emo” and rebellion.

The other piece is from my “Sun & Moon” black clay “kitchen” range, its just feel “right” and warm.

What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?

This a physical display of a Mothers journey of acceptance after the loss of her daughter. Words cannot describe the emotions that come with such a tragic loss, but the emotional context within the sculptures translates to a more powerful representation of the evolution of the personal emotional state.

People can view each piece and experience their own emotions that each sculpture brings. They may not see or experience the same state as the artist, but will take a sense of insight into the artists state of mind.

What has been the highlight of your artistic career?

While for the most of my life, the art making had to take a secondary role after the primary job, I guess that for me as an artist the highlights are times when I share my skills with others and can see how a simple piece of clay can make a real difference in someone’s life, even if it lasts only for a short moment, it’s a valuable moment of escape and solitude..

While being admitted to mental health hospital I facilitated a pottery sessions and feedback from staff and fellow patients was overwhelming.

Currently due to my very fragile state of mind since the loss of my daughter not being able to engage personal with shows and galleries to give my artwork exposure I found and online venue which not just gives the boost to my artistic self but also proved to be a wast pool of inspiration. While I almost stopped using social media Instagram proved to be a wonderful outlet to showcase my work to magically supporting, inspiring and encouraging audience with over 700 followers

Has being a part of Outside In been beneficial for you? If so, how?

Even if I have been a part of Outside in only a very short period of time it has a wonderful pool of artists and excess of fascinating and inspiring stories also wonderful array of resources for artists which Im really looking forward to browse through.

What is next for you as an artist?
Im looking forward to finding a willing venue for my latest work, an exhibition titled “On the Edge and In-between or journey towards acceptance an heeling.” The concept of exhibition is The purpose of the Exhibition is to draw attention to Mental Health issues in Young People. Self Harm and Personality Disorders are merely the tip of the iceberg, but its through personal experience of these areas that we can bring awareness of much wider ranging issues and the devastating effects and repercussions that impact not just the victim, but those who love, support and fight alongside them throughout this period in their lives.
Tragically there is not always a happy ending, as in our case.
There is no preparation, guidelines or instruction book on how to process and deal with such a tragedy and we must each find our own path of acceptance and deal with it in our own way.
Its easy to lead a path to self destruction, lose hope and simply give up, but to fight and confront the unfair and unjust will eventually lead to the understanding that we crave.
How we do this is down to each of us as individuals. Through art I can see shape, structure, emotion and myself portrayed in a functional form. To me its relatable, a moment captured in time, a measurement of where I was to where I am now.
I still spend days craving the embrace of a handful of pills to end the turmoil, bury myself as best as I can in a bottle of wine to take the edge off and constantly fight the overwhelming anxiety that sweeps over my like an unwanted visitor, but I fight on, focus on my art as and when I mind allows me and hopefully fight each day towards understanding of both the loss of my daughter and my own sense of worth.
I also look forward as I progress in my own recovery, to return to the psychiatric hospital as a volunteer and give the opportunity to more people going through this frightening experience of not having full control over your life, to experience soothing and catalytic power of clay.
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to be heard and seen.