Iveta Smidt was born in Lithuania right after the country regained independence in the early 90s. Most of her adult life was spent in between Glasgow and London, where she studied and worked for the past 12 years. Having graduated from architecture, Iveta has spent 6 years working as an art director in film and TV while continuing to embrace her artistic practice.
How did you get into art?
I grew up in post soviet Lithuania where surviving the economical challenges whilst building a new country was the priority for most people and creativity even as a concept didn’t really exist in the the 90s and 00s. The easiest way to access art was through film. Together with some friends I started to make short films of our own, and would spend time reading books on art in the library.Painting and sculpture used to seduce me with its mysterious meanings and the powerful stillness. However, abstract expressionism came as a rebellion against precise architectural drawings which the artist had to produce while studying architecture in Glasgow, Scotland.
How would you describe your style? What makes your work special?
When contemplating the distinctiveness of my work, I reflect, "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn," as well said by Gore Vidal—a phrase that accompanies my daily reflections. My style is an extension of myself - wild, spontaneous and free. Despite being only 31 but I lived in 5 different countries, changed careers and still have an insatiable need to experience more. Yet, beneath this bold exterior lies an undercurrent of melancholy and profound sentiments, a residue of the past heartbreaks that still linger, though not always sought after.
How do you go about developing your work?
The cultivation of my style stems from copious reading, a practice that ignites my imagination. As an artist I make it a point to frequent galleries and museums, drawing inspiration even from art that might be seen as unappealing by conventional standards. Crucially, they resist the urge to conform to external expectations, a challenge exacerbated in today's era of social media influence. Trusting intuition over external pressures becomes my method of working.
Who or what influences you?
The world around me and everyone within it influence me. Hours are dedicated to observing the tapestry of their environment—people, nature, and society at large. A particular admiration is reserved for the elderly, who exude a mischievous glint in their eyes, a testament to a life well-lived in unapologetic freedom. The strains of jazz music reverberate deeply within me, particularly the works of Miles Davis and Alabaster de Plume. Music has woven a visceral connection, sometimes bordering on synesthetic, allowing the artist to visualise sound.
Make us curious. What is planned next?
I’ve got this thing for mysteries, and the thrill of not having a clue outweighs having a colour-coded plan. So in a way I am happy to give in to the flow. However, I’ve started to explore textiles, furniture and ceramics. Perhaps I could combine it all and make a huge installation. Like a David Hockney immersive digital exhibition but where you can still touch the stuff. With live jazz tying it all together. Oh, that sounds delicious!
All photos taken by Fabio Paiva