Green and Greener
From 19 August to 19 November 2023, the 4th Floor Exhibition Halls of the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) will be the venue for Green and Greener, an exhibition for children presenting a multifaceted look at the processes of interaction and cooperation between humans and nature.
The Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) continues with its commitment to produce a quality programme of educational and interactive exhibitions for the audience of children (3 to 9-year-olds) and families. This initiative began in 2018 with the exhibition Let’s Be Friends?, which dealt with the representation of animals in art, and developed in 2020 with the project Let’s Play?, which turned to the phenomenon of play in the life of a child.
In a language that is accessible and friendly to children, the third exhibition tells about the important things in learning about the world – the coexistence of humans and nature. The art display invites visitors to marvel at the richness of nature, to appreciate its power and harmony. The main attention is devoted to the sense of responsibility, touching on questions of the preservation of natural resources and diversity, ecology and sustainability.
The title of the exhibition is a play on the global trend of “green thinking and lifestyle”, recognising its contradictions and frequent superficiality, also pointing to the need for an even more responsible attitude towards the environment. Sustainable thinking can only bring benefits if it enters our life perception and our actions. Active participation as a driver of positive changes is the project’s aim and guiding principle, inviting visitors to get involved in learning about nature and art at the exhibition as well as taking decisions that are good for the environment in their everyday lives.
The selection of art includes paintings and works of graphic art from the LNMA collection that encompass a period of several decades, highlighting the changeability and constancy of processes in nature along with the variations in motifs, creative approaches and colour palettes. A landscape full of colour and stories that deserves to be cherished is immortalised in the works of the Latvian old masters – Janis Rozentāls, Johans Valters, Ludolfs Liberts, Konrāds Ubāns, Jānis Tīdemanis together with the creations of the artists from the middle and second half of the previous century – Eduards Kalniņš, Jāzeps Pīgoznis, Boriss Bērziņš. A contemporary perspective is provided by the mystery of Ērika Gulbe’s and the timeliness of Andris Eglītis’ contributions.
Presence and empathy are fundamental elements of the project. The well-considered exposition architecture and design brings together today’s dominant digital environment with the physical world, directing attention towards the past, the present and the possible future. The colour green in the exhibition both establishes an associative connection to the theme of nature and provides emphasis on environmental issues. A major component in the design is wood – its naturalness, place in Latvian culture and importance to the ecosystem. Together with the exhibition’s viewers, a forest of stickers will be created at the museum, which, in collaboration with SIA Rīgas meži, next year will be realised in nature. Moreover, there will be different interactive zones to inform and enrich the visit: the colour palette in the paintings and their sources in nature, an exciting 3D environment in cooperation with telecommunications company Tet, a waste sorting game and sustainability advice from Latvijas Zaļais punkts and environmental management company Eco Baltia vide.
“As adults, we strive to infuse sustainable thinking into our routines, while envisioning that future generations will embrace it seamlessly in their daily lives. By blending smart technology with the ongoing relationship between nature and people that’s been part of Latvian culture for a long time, we’ve created a way of living sustainably that we want to pass on to our children. Do nature and technology share common threads? This narrative unfolds via the lens of the four seasons and natural occurrences, seamlessly blending the contemporary with ageless technology,” shares Adriāna Kauliņa, Chief Sustainability Officer at Tet.
The project – the exhibition, its design and accompanying programme – invites children and their parents to go on an exciting culture trip to get to know and understand art, the Latvian flora and sustainable thinking. The public programme includes recycling workshops, themed talks and activities about Latvian nature and its preservation, safe online environment as well as meetings with artists and nature enthusiasts.