Dominika Skutnik

Dalia Mikonytė and Adomas Žudys work as a duo. Dalia Mikonytė is a photographer and researcher. She works with different themes such as personal experiences, feminism, identity and representation or signs and reality. Adomas Žudys mostly works with 3D-graphics and design, video mapping, street art projects, murals and stencils.

Dominika is attracted to the natural landscape of Blekinge. She is interested in erosion, sedimentation, crystallization and also the physical forces behind different rock formations. Her approach to sculpture is equal site- and process-orientated. Her plan during the residency was to work in a natural location/space in Blekinge and create a piece that relates to the geology and the sea-oriented landscape.

Recently she finished a poetic project called “Necklace for the Mountain”. It consists of precious gemstones that were spread out in a mountain region in Russia. The gemstones are like hidden treasures in the nature. Dominika has documented the work in a book, a picture poem. During the residency period Dominika made extensive research into the geology of Blekinge and the stone shoulders brought to Poland during the Ice age. She explored the granite cut in large scale by the main roads in Blekinge, and in old stone cutting areas. An idea for a future work is under development.

“My installation pieces are most often created in strong relationship with either environment, architecture, site, or tend towards being process-specific. I am more interested in working within challenging spaces (i.e. Gdansk Shipyards, former Lodz Ghetto of WW II, Sea fortifications in England, forest landscape in Finland) than within white-cube setting. At present I am working more and more with natural environments, stone quarries, sea, sea shore also with elemental natural components – like stone, salt, shells, precious stones. At the bottom there is always a probation into the phenomena of change, connection, exchange, working along a dynamic, earth-originated process.”

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My residency work in Blekinge was definitely a stone-driven event. That meant research in geology, petrography, movement of inanimate matter by glaciation. Also, I this meant a particular, close inspection of issues of conservation, veneration or lateral destruction of stony Scandinavian paysage. The process of data-collection, travelling to particular sites all over Blekinge was made possible by Konst I Blekinge and Ronneby Kulturcentrum teams, whose the knowledge, contacts, time and helpful attention were crucial to my a.i.r. research.

My interest zeroed on a question of how some parts of the environment are chosen to be preserved, respected and considered to be tourist attractions and how some, just as impressive are left unnoticed by it commonplace-ness, unappealing location or size. My project proposes to turn the gaze to the latter ones, particularly the “mountain ranges” that quietly hug the roads of Blekinge. Unassuming yet monumental in their own, special, brutal way, blown by dynamite and cut with diamond dust to make way for the human ways. Bringing one of these roadside “mountains” to attention, animating its surface with a polished gloss that brings out its natural, granite colouring would turn it into a very strange quasi-monument that can only be viewed momentarily, in passage, from the window of passing cars.

//Dominika Skutnik