An angel of smiles is coming to Kaunas 2022
This year the city of Kaunas, Lithuania is assuming the title as the cultural capital of Europe. This will be celebrated with a wide range of cultural activities like festivals, exhibitions, and city tours.
One of the initiatives is made by Danish-based artist Marit Benthe Norheim in collaboration with the Danish Cultural Institute who will contribute with the sculpture “An angel of smiles” which will be exhibited from 1st of October, in the city of Linksmakalnis within the Kaunas, region.
Norheim was also the artist behind the happening “Rolling Angels” in Kaunas in 2021. Back then she travelled with several mobile angel sculptures, which were paraded around Kaunas city with a group of street performers. This time she is producing one big angel for Linksmakalnis, which will be equipped with wheels for the potential of bringing the statue along to different events in the area.
The inspiration behind the angel motive comes from the Lithuanian mythology and folk history, which centres around wooden sculptures of different mythical creatures like the angel. The importance of smiling has also had an impact on Kaunas region specifically, which Norheim noticed on a trip to Kaunas in 1995. She bought a brochure about the Lithuanian artist and children’s book author Stasė Samulevičienė, who in 1977 recieved the “award of smiles” who is given to people who has shown a great compassion towards children. Norheims statue is a symbolic portrait of Samulevičienė herself.
The sculpture is made in a minimalistic gargoyle style which is characterizing for Norheims work and in that sense the sculpture combines Lithuanian myths with Scandinavian style.
The sculpture will be revealed at 4pm the 1st of October in Linksmakalnis, Liepų g. 7 accompanied with speeches and music from local bands.