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HAPPENINGText: Emanuelis Ryklys

David Mabb received his MFA from the Chelsea School of Art 1981 and is currently the Head of the Masters of Fine Art Programme at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Influenced by the history of William Morris as designer, poet and essayist, David Mabb reinterprets Morris’ textiles to investigate political and artistic traditions.

London artist David Mabb’s project has evolved out of several months spent researching Lithuanian applied arts production during the Soviet period known as the ‘Kruschev Thaw’.

At that time protocols were developed to place artists/master craftsman in charge of industrial production of ceramics, glass, stained glass, textiles, and carpets – an initiative called ‘art into everyday life’ – that extended through to the 1970s and the ‘Brezhnev Stagnation’. It was a period that also produced a number of elegant modernist buildings.

After independence this history and the objects/buildings have been devalued because of their Soviet associations. Working with AB Kilimai, David Mabb has produced three tufted carpets combining images of three buildings Sporto Rumai, Vilnius Kino, and Lietuva Kino and design motifs combining Lithuanian patterns from the era, and patterns derived from the work of William Morris (who, as well as being a designer, founded the first architectural conservation society in Britain): saving them for future generations.

David Mabb: Art Into Everyday Life
Date: January 20th – March 19th, 2006
Place: Contemporary Art Center
Address: 2 Vokieciu, 01130 Vilnius, Lithuania
Tel: +370 687 85713

Text: Emanuelis Ryklys
Photos: Courtesy of Contemporary Art Center © David Mabb

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