PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
Aushra Bankauskaite and Mante Maskoliunaite are both born in Lithuania and received their Bachelors of Fine Art with focus on Jewelry and Metal Work in Vilnius Academy in Lithuania. Both artists started their collaboration “aka jewelry” in 2008. In 2010 Aushra and Mante moved to Brooklyn, NY, where they both currently reside and continue their creative collaboration. “aka jewelry” showcases the fine line between contemporary art and jewelry. Both artists bond over and create works from similar sources of inspiration. In their earlier works, Aushra and Mante drew inspiration from medical instruments and their interaction with body, particularly the way medical tools serve to improve and in some cases function as extensions of our bodies. Since both artists live in New York they have grown interest to observe the surrounding architecture and simplicity of lines within structures. Artists view the body as canvas and metal as their medium and are demonstrating jewelry is not only an accessory, but is a conceptual piece of art. Their latest collection “Holly Water Collection” is currently available at the Rubin Museum of Himalayas Art in New York, NY. Incorporated in every piece of this collection are antique medical glass and water brought from the Ganges river. Inspiration for the collection comes from the Hindu belief of Ganges being the divinity in the form of a river and that its water is believed to cleanse the soul. Currently, “aka jewelry” is working on a commission for contemporary dance company based in New York, NY. Aushraʼs and Manteʼs collaborations have been exhibited in various group shows, including “Games” at Kauno Vartai gallery, Kaunas, Lithuania; Vilnius art Academy, Lithuania, and “Lithuanian and Latvian Art in Metal”, Riga, Latvia. Their solo exhibitions include “White Crow” at Museum of Amber, Vilnius, Lithuania and Argentum Gallery, Vilnius, Lithuania.