Looking for Amberland by Indra Skuja-Grislis

Opening Reception: June 15, 7-9pm

Hours: June 16 to June 27, 6pm

Tuesday to Friday, 12-6pm

Saturday, 12-5pm

Amberland is poetic mystical description of my home count y Latvia. Its origin comes from amber as a precious commodity and also a symbol which Latvians share with some other small nations occupying western shores of the Baltic sea. It does not exist as a geographic destination, but in Latvian peoples minds it is an ideal place. It a place where sky meets see, where day meets night, where nature meets civilization, where past meets present, where memories become alive, where dreams are in a reach, where generations meet across a time. It becomes vividly alive when you walk on the beach of Baltic shores and picking up a small rock suddenly realizing that you picked up a piece of amber.

Every Latvian has its own Amberland. My Amberland suddenly became alive when I was given more then 100 years old worn out family heirloom, my mother’s in law antique amber bracelet, and tried to fix it suddenly realizing that also rocks, minerals, various natural materials and crystals can be paints.

I am midst of vivid rocks and fluid luscious paint, and don’t want to choose what is my favorite.

I use my paints by incorporating all what I know about its properties so far, I adjust my technique to image what I am about to create.

I am very attracted to juxtapose individual features and imperfections of various natural materials to the perfect shape of crystals. All my jewelry pieces are original designs, they have a tactile coldness, because of all chosen materials, but they warm up against human touch and when worn.

Indra Skuja-Grislis is originally from Riga, Latvia. Her second career is as an artist. Her previous education is in area of religion. Initially she moved to USA, because Latvian bishop stopped women’s ordination forever in Latvian Lutheran Church. She lived USA and worked in a Lutheran minister for Latvian exile community. When she got married she moved to Canada; and here, in Winnipeg, Indra found her second calling – art. Indra finished her fine arts training – BFA honors (First class) from the School of Art, University of Manitoba. During her studies Indra had an opportunity to explore and to complete three majors – drawing, painting and photography. She has a deep knowledge in these areas developed by researching a wide range of topics far beyond the basic arts school curriculum. Indra has traveled in Europe and in the USA, and she has seen many famous historical and contemporary artists’ original works. During her studies she twice received academic achievement scholarships. Indra has special interests in art history, spirituality and art, as well as she is constantly reassessing her own style.

Indra is constantly thinking how to incorporate her North American training and a European background into her own art.

Indra works in various media and likes to experiment with her style, she uses oils, acrylics and watercolours as well she does drawings, photographs and knits. Her recent adventure is designing and assembling original jewelry pieces.

Indra was a founding member of art student group NINA, which was created to exhibit with her fellow art school classmates. Indra has participated in various group shows. Her first early solo show was at the Off Ice Gallery, Second floor School of Art, during her first year as fine arts student. Indra was also was part of a very diverse group of Silpit building artists, where Indra together with other Silpit artists, participated in First FridaysWinnipeg open studio events . Indra had two solo shows at Cre8ery gallery.

Currently Indra works at her home studio and also has a studio space at SNAC.