After she completed her studies, Eglė Ridikaitė and her young family settled into her in-law’s summer cottage, at No. 50 Žiedų Street. It was at this remote cottage community near the Green Lakes, on the outskirts of Vilnius, that Ridikaitė created a four-part series of paintings that reveals how creative expression can emerge from the small details of daily life.
Ridikaitė gave simple titles to these works: How to Get to the Cottage, The Bedroom from Above, A Front View of the Kitchen, and The Fireplace and Oven from the Front. Among the images we see a layout of the interior of the cottage. The swiftly rendered lines and sketching look as if they were lifted from a notebook or a page in a diary. This layout, however, was not painted on a sheet of paper, but on a three-meter high canvas. The scope of the work imbues it with a monumental feel.
Does this work bring to mind any memories of your own school days? Ridikaitė used turpentine to dilute her blue and black paints, in the process diluting the image of her present-day life, the unavoidable monotony of daily existence, and the intimacy of her family home with memories of her days spent in secondary school and at the Art Academy, which pour forth like ink onto the pages of a notebook. Ridikaitė invites us into her own private space. The detailed layout of her home is revealed as the totality of life and her creative pursuits.
In later works, Ridikaitė began to use aerosol spray cans, blurring the lines between “serious” art and graffiti, as if to remind us that art and daily life reside in each other, as part of our immediate surroundings.