The exhibition Roundabout Baltic in the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design in Riga, opening on 24th January, will present the output of Polish designers in the wide cultural and visual context of the Baltic Sea. It’s not only intended as a review but also to tell a story. Designs and objects of everyday use as well as decorative objects will serve as artistic tools which show the artistic relationship between the designers’ works and the seaside landscape inscribed in their sensitivity.
Over forty designers from eight countries connected with the Baltic coast (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Poland, and Sweden) will participate in the exhibition. The arrangement is not going to underline the origin of the creators but the similarities of their local inspirations or methods of producing and using materials. Over seventy objects will show the analogies in the thinking of designers of the Baltic region, which are more important and more expressive than the cultural, economic, or climatic differences between the countries.
Roundabout Baltic is an especially meaningful idea for its curator Agnieszka Jacobson-Cielecka, whose experiences in travelling through the Baltic region resulted in the idea of presenting creators from these neighbouring countries. Despite the events which differentiated us in the past, we are connected by history, wars, annexations, marriages, and trade. The proximity of the sea gave the inhabitants of Baltic countries certain occupations and influenced the creation of similar mythology inspired by the sea’s nature. The same natural features, identical vegetation, and strong winds influenced the imagination of our ancestors. The south coast of the Baltic differs from the north: the golden sand of Sopot is far different from Swedish skerries, but on both ends of the sea, the waters are equally changeable and the wood greyed in a unique hue.
The most important aspect of the exhibition will be presenting the method of designing ‘with a view of the sea’. The presentation is supposed to show the similar ways of thinking of artists and craftsmen who live on the Baltic coast. Although the Baltic separates countries situated near it, it also connects people with similar sensibilities.
The exhibition is organised by the Regional Museum in Stalowa Wola in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.