Author: Olga Šilova
Video: Alise Sondōre
Maksla XO gallery 15.11.–11.12.2018
The profile of a folk-maid on the Latvian pre-war silver five-lats coin, depicting a young woman in a traditional headdress and with ears of corn on the reverse, has become a limitless source of inspiration and a long-term creative project for the sculptor Olga Shilova. This project was started back in 2009, and viewers will be able to discover it on Latvia’s Independence Centenary Jubilee at Olga Shilova’s solo show “Milda in a Three-Quarter Turn”.
“I was fascinated by the magical power of the coin, its visual plastic, as well as its historical context. The
five-lats coin had become the symbol of Latvian independence and its rendering, which popularly is called
Milda, associates with the image of Latvian State.
Over the years, semantics of Milda character has changed alongside Latvian State history, the symbol acquired new power, it became even deeper and more vigorous. The coin was kept as a talisman, inherited from one generation to another. From the symbol of folk-maid’s virtue and clarity of heart, till the sign of modern Latvian national identity – the path that Milda took alongside the fate of Latvia.
Creating a portrait as a free-standing sculpture, my wish to see the face of the symbol of Latvia was executed. It is a research, which has resulted in a possibility to see the facial features of the folk-maid in a frontal view, “gaze into her eyes” – a subtle conceptual gesture with multiple perceptual dimensions.”
Olga Shilova, 2018.
The exhibition “Milda in a Three-Quarter Turn” showcased Olga Shilova’s sculptures in bronze, granite, aluminium and polyurethane, as well as a video projection, which author is a student from the Department of Visual Communication of the Art Academy of Latvia – Alise Sondōre.