” Butter Churn “

For a number of years Jordi NN has been in close contact with traditional culture representatives, researchers and practitioners of the Baltic region. He has studied the ethnographic designs of the region, its music and symbols, and has participated in and documented different festivities – concerts, seasonal festivities, festivals, dance events. The “Butter Churn” originates from this experience.

The firesculpture „Butter Churn” is planned as a conical sculpture in the shape of a traditional butter churn. Its name and shape refers to the name of the festival (Sviests – Butter) and reminds of its basic idea – butter as a symbol of the most precious one can get from milk through active human impact – thus eventually becomming a cultural product. The same as contemporary music, arts and crafts based in traditions that have been changed and churned until gaining a contemporary shape and sound. The butter churn is an ancient and widespread household item which in its modesty and functionality is an excellent example of traditional design.

The corpus of the sculpture will have 12 facets, refering to the round festival logo with 12 dots. While burning from the inside the different inner layers will be illuminated thus creating a play of lights and shadows, that will show traditional Latvian patterns and symbols.

This way a traditional household item will be united with folk patterns in a contemporary shape and manner. While the light of the fire will break through from inside the sculpture, it will symbolise cultural heritage and traditions which are reaching from the depth of the past into nowadays and lights up also many contemporary facets and elements.

The firesculpture will be created during a creative residency in the Drabeši Crafts House in colaboration with local crafts people as well as the students of the New Drabeši Elementary School.

Jordi NN

Jordi NN (1985) was born in Valencia, Spain (www.jordinn.net). He studied Multimedia Arts in various arts academies – Design, Photography, Video Arts, Conceptual Arts as well as Classical Arts – Sculpture, Painting and Drawing. There is a particularly strong tradition of large-scale firesculptures in Valencia which are being built for the Fallas celebration in the city squares and then burnt.  This tradition is part of the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.

Since 2010 Jordi NN participates in international exhibitions as well as has developed and participated inter-disciplinary arts projects in Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Taiwan and the U.S. In recent years he has particularly turned to realising firesculptures in different Lithuanian festivals and city celebrations. In Latvia he works together with the Culture Management Centre „Lauska”, realising different photography and video art projects  (2015 – project „Joik & dainas” visual identity and photo-documentation; 2016 –  multimedia performance „Lāčuvīrs” (Bearman) videoprojections; 2017 – firesculpture  „Fire Sun” for the Ethnofestival „Sviests”). In 2017 he received a month long residency grant at the Guandu International Nature Art Festival in Taipei, Taiwan, where he realised the sculpture „With Paths Crisscrossing” from local nature material – bamboo and  un rice fibre rope.