Daiga Grantina – Nut Vels (2019)
The Latvian artist Daiga Grantina (b. 1985) makes abstract and often semi-transparent spatial structures that hang on hooks and cables from ceilings, nestle against walls and spread out across floors. They are made of synthetic and industrial materials such as plastic, metal, textiles, silicones, iridescent threads, cable ties and lighting elements, but their fluid forms give them an organic feeling. The soft and friendly shades of orange, red,
pink and lilac in combination with the gleaming surfaces also lend Grantina’s sculptures a great sense of tactility and attraction.
A characteristic feature of her work is both its apparent lightness – as a consequence of the voluminous, mostly hollow forms of airily draped fabric, spherical foam and plastic – and the suggestion of motion, as if the objects are gracefully dancing, bobbing or floating through space, but have paused here for a moment. Their partially or completely transparent surfaces and Grantina’s use of sources of light in the space and in the objects plays an important role in creating this impression. The artist expressly uses light as a material, with its ability to be absorbed and reflected. In her exhibitions, images, light and space merge to create amorphous, almost-natural entities, which in one way or another appear chaotic and yet are perfectly balanced.
In spite of their abstraction, the forms of her sculptures are reminiscent of organs, sponges, coral and algae. Grantina draws inspiration from the outward appearance of plants, which for her extends from almost animal to almost stone. She also plays with these contrasts in her work, between hard and soft, light and heavy, stiff and supple, and between minuscule and dramatically oversized.
DELIRIOUS was the first opportunity for Grantina to work in public space. In the first instance, she proposed a mobile with the usual materials for her. Finally she decided to choose a material that is weatherproof. Grantina cast a typical convex, semi-open form in aluminum. She thereby kept to the dimensions that she had in mind for the original plan of the mobile. The result was just as void, amazing as it was fascinating. Nut Vels looked like an alien-like cracked fruit that had fallen from a leaning branch.