The traveling exhibition “Blackout” by the international artists’ collective NUA opened its doors at the Jelgava Old Town House, marking the beginning of its journey through the world starting from Jelgava. Through drawings, the exhibition urges viewers to contemplate climate change and the energy crisis. Visitors are welcome to explore the exhibition until January 2nd 2024.
The NUA collective comprises artists from Ireland, Latvia, and the USA, collaborating through the creative process, sharing experiences, knowledge, and supporting each other on their artistic journey. NUA members conduct research on climate change and the energy crisis, prevalent issues faced by the world today. Consequently, it’s no coincidence that the theme chosen collectively by the artists for the showcased artworks at the Jelgava Old Town House is “Blackout.” The exhibition serves as a tool for the artists to draw public attention to climate issues.
The opening of the exhibition was attended by two NUA representatives – founder and artistic director Eamonn B. Shanahan from Ireland and artist Katrina Tracuma from Latvia. They were joined by Irish Ambassador to Latvia Eimear Friel, Jelgava City Council Chairman Andris Rāviņš, and Jelgava City Municipality’s Department of Cultural Integration Director Jelena Šaicāne. Congratulating the artists and attendees, the ambassador emphasized the close bilateral relations and collaboration between Ireland and Latvia, unified by the extensive Latvian diaspora in Ireland. “Climate change and the energy crisis are currently significant topics for discussion. It’s delightful that artists have found their way to address these issues, encouraging viewers to contemplate these matters,” noted the ambassador, appreciating the collaboration between Latvian and Irish artists in creating meaningful and enduring artworks. The importance of the themes was also highlighted by Jelgava City Council Chairman A. Rāviņš, acknowledging that artists have their perspective and the ability to address serious matters without words.
It’s worth mentioning that the exhibition’s artworks were independently created by artists in their respective countries. The artwork images were produced using various techniques, including painting and photography. Later, the finished masterpieces were digitally transferred and sent to Scotland, where NUA artist Robert Jackson digitally received the artworks and created a linocut series through laser engraving. Linocuts were created using an ancient manual typography press.
The exhibition “Blackout” features works by ten artists: Anne Martin Walsh (Ireland), Katrina Tracuma (Latvia), Luke Hickey (Ireland), Caoimhe Heaney (Ireland), Josh Stein (USA), John Murray (Ireland), Carol Healy (Ireland), Eamonn B. Shanahan (Ireland), Maria Markham (Ireland), and Robert Jackson (Ireland).
Purchasing an admission ticket to the exhibition allows visitors to also explore the Jelgava Old Town House’s exhibition, arranged in a historical apartment, revealing facts about Jelgava’s wooden architecture, the Jelgava Old Town House, its history, and restoration, hidden within golden boxes. The “Blackout” exhibition and the exhibition are available for viewing from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and on Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM. The entrance fee for adults is €4, for students, seniors, and pupils it’s €1.50, and a family ticket costs €6.