We are very happy to introduce one of the 3 artists, whose work was featured at the set 0: the urge to get out. Meet Emilija Vinžanovaitė, our dear friend and a wonderful visual artist.
Emilija is based in Vilnius, Lithuania, where she creates visual art combining film-making, photography, and design. She explores topics such as animal welfare and rights, human relationship with natural world. Emilija collaborates with artists, cultural projects, and organizations to illustrate the process of music, dance, art, and kindness. Together with Emilija and her current collaboration animal right organization GATO we are creating postcards telling a story of illegally kept wild animals and their urge to get out. You can see Emilija’s photography as postcards here.
We met Emilija online and she kindly agreed to answer few of our questions about herself and her work as a visual artist:
Hi Emilija, we are very happy to have you on board of PostcardAdventure.eu! Thank you very much for sharing your works of photography. I know that you are working together with many organizations to help them illustrate their work and cause throughout the photography. What is inspiring you to collaborate with NGOs and other charity projects? Have you already seen how your photography impacted the activity and/or visibility of the NGO?
Hi, thank you so much for inviting me to participate in PostcardAdventure.eu. The activities of the NGOs that I work with are what inspires me. I am very amazed how NGOs tirelessly work to achieve every small victory. It is very difficult to work in animal welfare when legal and political systems aren’t designed to make things easier. Therefore, the publicity of the work that NGOs are doing is very important, and I am honored to have the privilege to participate in animal rescue operations as a photographer and filmmaker and help the NGOs gain more recognition of their hard work, as well as educate the community about the issues we have in animal welfare.
You have studied biology for your bachelor, when did you understand that you want to create visual arts full-time? Was your previous education as biologist useful for the career as a visual artist?
I have been involved into visual arts since high school and throughout the university years. I have always wanted to embody my passion for nature through visual art, and studying biology helped me understand more about how the natural world works. Now I can channel and expand that knowledge through my visual work in animal welfare. Nature is very inspiring to me visually, with all the still and animate life forms, and I enjoy taking ideas from it and adapting them to my own visual work.
What is inspiring you as an artists and what values you try to portrait in your work? How long does it take from the idea to the final picture? Are there more people involved in the process or do you prefer working alone?
My main sources of inspiration are natural world, music, and spirituality. I love it when the emotions that are present in my work are genuine, authentic. Therefore, my ideas are very abstract and I rarely stage the shot. I let the world unravel as it is in front of my lens, and I capture it as I see it.
I work with other people in various projects but when it comes to working directly with the camera and image processing, I work on my own.
Are your projects concentrated mostly in Lithuania or are you performing some international collaborations? What value do you see in international collaborations for the artist and organization?
The NGO “GATO” that I work with is collaborating with animal rescue centres in other European countries but so far I am working only in Lithuania. I capture the rescue operations in Lithuania, and the rescue centres that rehabilitate the animals share with us the visual footage of their recovery. However, I would love to visit the rescued animals someday to make more footage about the work that NGOs in Lithuania and other countries do and make it more public and help get support from the community and the government.
What do you think about postcards as a physical medium for spreading awareness on the topic? Have you ever received a postcard that made you think about it for a while?
I don’t recall ever receiving a postcard that made me think a lot about a particular cause or topic, and I think it’s a really great idea to give more meaning to the medium of postcards, to make it speak about important topics and in this way help the NGOs gain moral and financial support. I hope that the Postcard Adventure project will not only spread awareness about important issues but will also revive and enrich peoples’ relationships when they send each other the postcards and strike up conversations about animal welfare and other important issues that NGOs participating in this project are dealing with. Thank you for this noble cause and the opportunity to participate in it as an artist. Best of luck!