‘Impossible Colonies’ is the work of Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte, a Lithuanian artist based in Glasgow, and takes it’s starting point from a 1920s utopian project called Dausuva. Dausuva was the idea of geographer and diplomat Kazys Pakstas who proposed moving the entire nation of Lithuania to a safe place overseas because of geopolitical tensions with neighbouring Russia.
Pakstas considered locations like Madagascar Quebec, Belize, Angola, Venezuela and – with a poignant echo given their recent disastrous climate events – Brazil and the Bahamas. He even visited these places to meet with local authorities and discuss buying or leasing land to resettle as a peaceful colony.
‘Impossible Colonies’ combines elements of photography, printmaking and sculptural objects to explore alternative scenarios through the future seen in the past.
By taking a nearly century old utopian project out of its geographical and political conditions and opening it up to the current global context this work invites us to imagine a new direction. Its themes of identity, migration and memory are especially resonant given the current social and political situation with Brexit.
An Talla Solais is proud to show Kotryna’s work as part of FLOW Photofest, the international photography festival of the Highlands and Islands which is taking place across a number of venues. Rhue Art is also currently showing a FLOW Photofest artist, hopefully helping to make Ullapool an even bigger draw for visiting photographers.
'Impossible Colonies' opens on Sunday 15th September at 10am at the An Talla Solais Gallery, West Argyle Street, Ullapool. The Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm (with a 30 minute closure at 1.30pm) until Sunday 27th October. Entry is free.