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Laura Kaktina

Giving In

9 September - 17 October 2021

M/Gallery presents “Giving In,” a solo show by artist Laura Kaktiņa, which showcases 10 new original paintings inspired by the Latvian landscapes, namely Kurzeme’s coast - Pāvilosta and Jūrkalne.


At the opening of the exhibition, as part of the Poetry Days in Rīga, five contemporary Latvian poets - Ieva Viese, Inga Pizāne, Kaspars Zalāns, Krista Anna Belševica, Māra Ulme - introduced the audience to the collection in their own words, presenting poems dedicated to the idea of “Giving In.”


Kaktiņa’s work is characterised by earthy tones and smooth, calming colour fields. The near-perfect symmetry and positioning of the objects within the landscapes pay homage to Laura’s background in graphic design, where the visual language follows strict rules of composition. Whilst the aesthetic aspect of Kaktiņa’s paintings is all about controlled application, the poetic message behind the collection is quite the opposite; it’s about letting go of the desire to control.


In Laura’s words, “Most of us have a tendency of trying to control every aspect of our lives. The illusion of being in charge of every detail, of predicting every outcome gives us a delusional sense of peace. At least for a while - until life reminds you of the opposite - that there always are circumstances that remain variable, and the only thing that is certain is change. Being in nature is the best way to reassure ourselves of this infinite truth. The seasons and fluctuations of the natural elements are humbling for they remind us that nothing lasts forever. The grandeur of a landscape untouched by civilisation underlines the insignificance of a human being, who is but a speck of dust in the face of the universe.”

Curator Elen Šalina says, “Laura’s work depicts the universal experience of finding peace in the natural world. The landscapes and scenarios she chooses to paint remind us of the moments of calmness, where it’s just you and the gush of the wind, the warmth of the sun, or the monotony of the car ride in the night. In those moments everything feels in flow, and you can let go of expectations. These states of serenity are what we so desperately need more of, and, through the “Giving In” exhibition at M/Gallery, I hope that visitors will be transported to that state of mind and will be able to find a moment of reflection in their everyday life.”

Autumn follows summer, and this natural order will continue, bringing old cycles to an end so that the new one can begin. An ending is thus a new beginning, and in order for that to happen, we need to release and give in.

Laura Kaktiņa was born in Riga, Latvia, where she currently lives and works. She studied Fine Arts at the Latvian Academy of Art, and her work has been exhibited at a number of solo and group shows, as well as art fairs, in Latvia.

Press links: Riga Live, ArterritoryNoar, LMA

Press release: LV, ENG

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