Australian and Lithuanian artist Jazmina Cininas' exhibition "The Sparrow Made Some Beer"

Australian and Lithuanian artist Jazmina Cininas' exhibition "The Sparrow Made Some Beer".

Perhaps Jazmina Cininas best known for her technically demanding reduction linocuts of female werewolves, recent developments in Jazmina’s practice include artists’ books from discarded print ephemera and lagerphones from used bottle caps recycled timber. The artist draws heavily on her ancestral heritage in her artwork, incorporating Baltic motifs and narratives of migration and transformation as part of an autobiographical exploration of her hybrid Australian-Lithuanian identity. The use of recycled materials in these later projects reflects a conscious decision to engage with more environmentally sustainable art practices, which the artist attributes to the legacy of resourcefulness she inherited from her refugee parents and grandparents.

The Sparrow Made Some Beer features eleven existing lagerphones from alongside new works especially created for the exhibition over the course of a two-month residency at the Kaunas Picture Gallery. The new works utilise bottle caps collected by café Kultūra, supplemented by the artist’s personal stockpile. The exhibition and residency received generous support from the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art and the Australian Lithuanian Foundation.

Jazmina began making lagerphones for The Lost Clog when the group formed in 2010. Lagerphones are rudimentary percussion instruments traditionally created from beer caps hammered to an old broom stick and a mainstay of the Australian bush band. Re-imagined as Baltic nature motifs, Jazmina’s lagerphones were originally intended as a visual and musical prop for The Lost Clog’s performances, as well as a tongue-in-cheek nod towards the group's Australian-Lithuanian cultural hybridity.

Jazmina lectures in printmaking and artists’ books at RMIT School of Art, where she also completed her Masters in 2002 and her PhD in 2014. The artist has held over 20 solo exhibitions and her artworks have been shortlisted for over 80 art prizes and acquired by over 40 public collections in Australia and elsewhere, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Museums Victoria, the Estonian Printing & Paper Museum (now TYPA) and MARKK Museum of Ethnology, Hamburg. Lithuanian collections include the National M.K. Čiurlionis Art Museum and the Lithuanian National Art Museum.

Jazmina is also a member of the Melbourne-Lithuanian folk group, The Lost Clog, who have performed at major festivals including The National Folk Festival (Canberra, Australia), Woodford Folk Festival (Queensland, Australia), Saulės Żiedas and Skamba Skamba Kanklai. The group will also be performing at the 2024 Menuo Juodaragis festival.  

The Lost Clog will be performing at a special closing event on 27 August.

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