Member News | Exhibition “Travel Diaries of Lithuania Through the Eyes of a Western Traveller”
December 27, 2022
In Energy and Technology Museum - travels around Lithuania through the eyes of a French artist
On December 13th, the opening of the watercolour exhibition by the French artist Jérôme Cigara “Travel Diaries of Lithuania Through the Eyes of a Western Traveller” will take place at the Energy and Technology Museum. In the latest exhibition, Cigara presents works created in Lithuania from 2019 to the end of 2022.
“From Nida to Palūšė, from Palanga to Vilnius, from Klaipėda to Druskininkai, via Kaunas and the magnificent Niemen delta (with some beautiful escapades among the Baltic and Ukrainian neighbours) everywhere I filled pages and pages of notebooks of my trips. What am I looking for? Giving meaning to an image, a lived, localized and dated moment. What do I seek? To touch more or less your Baltic sensitivity with the vision of a Western traveller,” said the author of the exhibition.
Before the opening of the exhibition, we invite you to meet the artist.
– After travelling throughout France, Canada, moving to Africa… how come did you find yourself in Lithuania?
– After spending seven years in Africa, my eldest son left for Brussels to study, where he lives to this day, so we decided to return to Europe. We have always travelled by geographical and cultural choice, never by choice of professional or financial career.
Several reasons for choosing Lithuania: the Baltic has always attracted me like other names around the world: Valparaiso, Anchorage, Cape of Good Hope. During an exhibition on the Gorée island in Senegal, I found a book on amber because in Africa, it was and still is a precious adornment.
In 2018, an exhibition on symbolism in the Baltic countries took place at the Musée d‘Orsay in Paris, finally persuading us to move here.
– It’s interesting that you studied aeronautical technology, and you’re now preparing an exhibition at the Energy and Technology Museum. This must not be a coincidence?
– I don’t believe in chances very much. I grew up in an old industrial city, and I am still very sensitive to the more or less dilapidated charm of its architecture. After my technical studies and even when I changed my path a little, I am still fascinated by human genius in technical creation.
Watercolour is a good technic to have a realistic or hyperrealistic picture. After I more or less dirty the image with stains, drips, it comes closer to what I want to express, what seems more real for me, as the world is not like a picture in a postcard.
There must be a link.
Jérôme Cigara (born in 1968, in Decazeville, France) studied aeronautical technology in Toulouse, after which became a teacher in mechanical engineering. He then relocated numerous times throughout France, attending plastic arts courses at the Paris Sorbonne University, as well as at the André Malraux Art School in Villeneuve-sur-Lot. The artist exhibited his work in Sainte-Colombe-en-Bruilhois, later, in 2007, in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, a French archipelago near Newfoundland. Cigara opened an exhibition at the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art in St John’s, Canada, travelled numerous times around the American continent, and filled numerous notebooks.
In 2012, Cigara headed to Africa, Libreville in Gabon, exhibited at the Joyce African Dreams Gallery, as well as travelled the Central and Southern African continent once again filling his notebooks with sketches. In 2016, after travelling to Dakar in Senegal, the artist participated in various exhibitions and the Dakar Biennale Dak’Art in 2018. In the meantime, he illustrated books.
In 2019, Cigara moved to Lithuania, where he now lives and works.
Read the full interview below