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To thrive and to flourish

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Pioneer plants (text only)

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Fluid bodies. Exhibition space in 2022

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Permanent exhibition “To thrive and to flourish”

#00
To thrive and to flourish

Curator Emilija Šneiderytė

The dredger Nemuno7 has become a fundamental art object, in which the very beginnings of still-living stories from the past thrive and flourish among the expressive shapes and forms of the ship, while the present-day vision transforming its earlier function invites visitors to participate in a cultural dialogue.

This outdoor exhibition is an inseparable part of that dialogue. The nine works of art arranged across the dredger’s deck are points of departure, inviting exploration of the micro- and macro-environments of the ship, the Nemunas River and the water. In the implementation of this project, a dynamic variety was sought, so Lithuanian artists from various fields were invited. Having acquainted themselves with the context and the themes of the project, they set out on their journey and created one-of-a-kind works specifically adapted for this place.

A portion of the works of art in the exhibition are orientated to the dredger’s micro-environment, the internal structure of this ship, its past, and its initial function is reconsidered. As one walks about the deck, the dredger comes to life again; we invite visitors to get acquainted with the dredger through a range of abstract sounds.

Another portion of the works address the macro-environment, that which surrounds this ship from the outside. The macro-environment is inseparable from water, which is considered in the exhibition from a number of angles.The Nemunas River certainly plays an important role here, not only as a body of water in which the Nemuno7 context thrives and flourishes, but also as the main river of Lithuania, concealing within itself a long history, a broadly multifaceted form, unrecognised but able to amaze with its flora and fauna. Walking about the deck between the dredger’s past and present, it becomes important to consider what the prospects for the water in the future might be.

I believe that the impression from the outdoor exhibition “To thrive and to flourish” in each visitor’s consciousness in the perspective of time and in different contexts will change and develop. And that is one of the exhibition’s goals.

#01
Medium

Julija Pociūtė

The work makes use of duplication of separate layers of reality and a field of visual vibration is created, in which the understanding of the person and the environment is reconsidered. The opposition of relationship and separation of human and nature is actualised. This, according to scientist J. Rouse, exists only in artificially created concepts, which in turn form the common understanding of humanity. For this reason, dichotomies are quite often actualised in Western culture: nature and culture, fact and value, and so on. Such divisions, according to researchers in the area of sustainability philosophy, are related to the ecological challenges we see today. One of the ways they recommend to restore the relationship between human and nature is to view people as a broad, material network located in the body and beyond the body’s boundaries. This point of view allows one to see the juxtaposition of human and plants, and the mutual relationship arising in such juxtaposition.

Plants are bioindicators, with the help of which it is possible to determine the level of pollution in water and the existing ecological conditions, and they become the visualisation of this relationship. Due to human activity and climate change, bioindicators for clean water that are no longer able to survive in ever-changing ecosystems are replaced by plants less sensitive to pollution that are even able to clean the water and soil. Such water plants, bioaccumulators (hyperaccumulators, phytoremediation), can be used to research the level of water pollution and remove pollutants from the water. As the water quality in the river changes in this way, a landscape of plants adapted to the ever-changing ecosystem takes shapes. In this map of mutual interaction formed through plants as symbols, we can get a feel for our mutual interdependence and make visible the unavoidable fragility of this relationship.

~

Julija Pociūtė is a contemporary artist, mostly working in the fields of installation and contemporary media. In her creative practices she is combining photography, glass art, and various objects that are reflecting or emitting light and video installations. Artist is exploring relations between materiality and it‘s intangible expressions. She has had 11 solo shows and takes part at numerous group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad. Her artworks are in the collections of museums in Denmark and Spain.

Represented by: Gallery „Meno parkas“

https://www.julijapociute.com/

#02
Life-ring

Sigita Simona Paplauskaitė

Rivers connect lands, people, banks, views. For some, rivers are a barrier, for others, they are a route, and for still others, they are a workplace or, on the contrary, home itself. They have many forms and functions. Although rivers themselves naturally change their channel, they are also formed in parallel by human activity and our planet’s climate, becoming ever more sensitive to such activity.

The need for a deeper river channel in the quest to harness the energy of the flowing river demanded much effort and a lot of skill, which left tremendous scars and seriously affected the local water ecosystem. Its living organisms were mercilessly excavated together with the sediment, their habitat was torn apart, their feeding grounds were destroyed. The works were accompanied by intense noise and an increase in pollutants, sedimentation and concentration of sediments. These negative factors were too large to ignore, so new technologies were sought, not only more economical, but also environmentally friendly: mechanical dredgers were replaced by suction dredgers and other rivercraft able to preserve more living connections in the rivers.

The outdated dredging technology reminds us of the ecological challenges we face today, and points a finger directly at our responsibility for solutions to meet our needs. The sculpture “Life-ring” that has found a place on this dredger’s deck speaks of the eternal interdependence of our mutual well-being and signifies the desire and the efforts to find solutions able to remedy the negative effect on the living environment of the river. The physical materials of “Life-ring”, a mixture of clay and the sediment of the Nemunas River’s channel, in this context embody the principle of the technologies used for deepening the river channel, raising to the surface the unfamiliar soil, boulders and sediment of the river-bottom and the vital foundations of the micro- and macro-identity of the Nemunas River.

~

Sigita Simona Paplauskaitė sees landscape architecture practice as a chance to sensitize and improve our culture of sharing urban and natural environments. Therefore, the essential focus of her work lies in the marriage of different disciplines to help mitigate environmental risks and increase life quality in cities. She believes that the boundaries of the discipline can be expanded through encouraged collaborations between architects, real estate developers, politicians, citizens, artists, scientists, and other actors involved in designing healthy inspiring spaces.

https://www.sigitasimona.com/

#03
Artery

Irina Peleckienė

A person is inseparable from a river: they are both connected by that same pulse of life.

If we took a bird’s-eye view of the Nemunas from the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon, we would see its calm, slow-paced channel separating Lithuania and Russia along the border with the oblast formerly known as Karaliaučius, stretching further from Jurbarkas into the interior of Lithuania toward Kaunas. At Seredžius, we would notice how the Dubysa flows into the Nemunas, and at Raudondvaris, we would notice how the Nevėžis flows into the Nemunas. In Kaunas, we would be greeted by the confluence of the two largest rivers in Lithuania, where the Neris flows into the Nemunas and the river takes a turn from the south. Further upriver, we would see the Kaunas Reservoir, the largest artificial body of water in Lithuania, in the valley of the Nemunas. From the Kaunas Reservoir in the direction of Prienai and Birštonas, our view would take in the winding loops of the Nemunas, perhaps the most interesting and especially valuable segment of the river. Travelling further south, toward Dzūkija, the Merkys, a right tributary of the Nemunas, would greet us with its expressive landscape, until we would finally reach Druskininkai, the oldest and best-known resort town at the very southern end of Lithuania. Then we would watch as the Nemunas crosses the border with Belarus, where we would find its source 45 km south of Minsk.

Such is a brief description of the Nemunas, born while looking at the map, but having reduced the river to a visual form, we would see a blue artery, the branches of which extend throughout almost all of Lithuania.

The Nemunas was a vital water route, a corridor leading through Lithuania to the Baltic Sea. The Scandinavians, according to historical records, visited here in the 10th and 11th centuries, and shipping on the Nemunas is mentioned in a papal bull of Innocent IV in the 13th century. When the battles against the Teutonic Order began, a multitude of castles were built atop the hill-forts along the river; as the state of Lithuania took form, the Nemunas performed a vital defensive function. From 1919, the river marked the border between the Klaipėda area and East Prussia. The Nemunas “artery” became a part of the identity and very essence of the Lithuanian people.

In a glassy, winding line, what the Nemunas essentially means to us is localised: an artery, carrying life itself, in which historical memory, today and tomorrow pulsate and intertwine.

~

Irina Peleckienė (1972) graduated from Vilnius Academy of Arts, Kaunas, Faculty of Fine Arts in 1999, majoring in glass (MA). She also graduated in 2020 from Vilnius University, Kaunas faculty, specialisation in art management (MA). Since 2000 she has participated in group exhibitions in Lithuania and abroad, and has held 6 solo exhibitions. Since 2009, member of the Lithuanian Artists’ Union. 2015 – internship at “Jyderup hojskole”, Denmark; 2019, 2021 – residency at “Cultivamos Cultura”, Portugal. From 2020 she is in residence in Sweden at Glasets Hus Limmared glass museum.

#04
Jellyfish

Tauras Kensminas

Some of the most widespread cnidaria on the planet are jellyfish. However, even the all-knowing Wikipedia claims that jellyfish are creatures of the seas and oceans, not rivers. Nevertheless, in recent years freshwater jellyfish have been detected in a right tributary of the Nemunas, the Mituva River in Jurbarkas District. A little earlier, jellyfish of this species were also found in bodies of water located in gravel quarries adjacent to Jurbarkas. Perhaps in the near future, we will begin to consider jellyfish to be among the local Nemunas fauna?

The population of jellyfish in the planet’s oceans increases each year, while the population of tuna declines as a consequence of industrial fishing. It turns out that tuna are the only species of fish that feeds on jellyfish. So, the more tuna we consume, the greater the imbalance in the oceanic ecosystem. Unfortunately, jellyfish are unsuitable to feed people, or at least no way to use them has been discovered as of today. Is the only way to maintain the balance to reduce consumption of tuna?

In the creative work of Tauras Kensminas, surreal images and the search for global consciousness and awareness intertwine with a consideration of consumerist existence. It would seem that in the context of today’s geopolitical context, criticism of the consumerist way of life is not the most relevant or highest-priority topic, but the expansive politics of Russian terror and Western powerlessness trying to safely maneuver between humanity and the pragmatic aspiration for profit nevertheless shows that such criticism is in fact important.

Even when depicting something concrete, the artist makes use of form and specific materials, trying to highlight a certain mood, which would allow the artist to develop the idea without explaining it.

~

Tauras Kensminas. The young-generation Lithuanian sculptor and installation artist. For Kensminas, sculpture is a non-verbal way of telling a complex, multi-layered story. The thematic content for the works is created in an attempt to materialise difficult-to-describe situations, internal experiences, and the effects of different social and cultural contexts. In his work, sculptor Tauras Kensminas often looks for aesthetical links between civilisation and nature, simultaneously questioning the consequences of industrialisation and humanity’s imperialistic ambitions. By analysing the concept of changing time and the clash between the past and the future, the artist is seeking both personal and global awareness. His installations pieced together from individual elements like a puzzle stimulate the imagination without imposing a single correct interpretation of the work of art. Expanding the boundaries of an artistic object’s perception and its experience, the sculptor does not cling onto identical materials, while the abstract structures that he creates – which can sometimes also acquire concrete shapes – invite the viewer to submerge themselves in their intuitive cognition.

Represented by: Gallery „AV17“

#05
H-2-O

Žygimantas Kudirka and Adas Gecevičius

Installed in the superstructure of the dredger, the work encourages visitors to pause and to slow down, to listen and to imagine.

It is a flow of water information, to which you can connect and stay with for a bit longer.

You will hear how the water changes its ambience. Only here it becomes not steam, but sounds. And voices. And in winter the sounds and voices become ice.

Listen to the design of the sound of water, filtered through the effects of water, listen to the movement of water and synchronise yourself with it until you convince yourself that it is not the water that is moving, but the entire dredger.

In return for the patience you demonstrate while listening to the abstract sounds of the water, you will be rewarded from time to time with brief musical works, made from water, about water.

You will get acquainted with the water of wells and springs.
Reservoir and flood water.
The water of salty, salty tears
and carbonated, carbonated mineral water.
You will get acquainted with the sweat from which the bedding becomes as wet as the channel of the Volga.
You will also get acquainted with unquenchable thirst, which makes you want to drink the entire city water supply.
Until in the end you have to acknowledge a universal truth: we ourselves are water.
You will listen to water as a flow of information.
Information, which right away will be carried away by the current.

And don’t avoid wondering if what you have heard really made a sound, or if instead it was actually the product of the imagination of a city person who was overly affected by the babbling of the meditative, hypnotising water. Of an imagination which, trying to compensate for the lack of information, conversed with, verbalised, or put into musical structures the abstractly babbling water.

~

The author of the texts and the performer of audio object “H-2-O” is Žygimantas Kudirka. The rhythms of the water sounds were created by Adas Gecevičius.

Vilniaus Energija is a duo of avant-garde rap artist Žygimantas Kudirka – Mesijas and experimental jazz and electronic musician Adas Gecevičius. Taking advantage of legal loopholes, this group of creators officially registered the name of a famous Lithuanian energy corporation and is now using it for their creative purposes. In 8 years of their creative journey, they have released 3 albums, 6 video clips, recorded a painting, and had over 100 performances in Lithuania and Europe.

#06
The luxury of a blue planet

Dovilė Gecaitė

“The luxury of a blue planet” is an ironic, technological and human reflection on a problem threatening us in the future: a shortage of drinking water. It is a sort of journey to a drought-stricken city in a work of science fiction, like in Frank Herbert’s Dune, in which the sale of water takes place making use of cryptocurrency. Using today’s blockchain technology (NFT), a GIF exhibition is presented, inviting visitors to ponder not only the technologically advanced world of the future, but also the cost of this progress. Will the right to water remain inherent, or perhaps the price of water will be equal to that of a person’s life?

NFT is a term which has shaken the world art market in recent years. The non-fungible token (NFT) is a form of smart contract based on blockchain technology, allowing any kind of information to be certified, guaranteeing the authenticity and security of the content, and to determine its identity and authorship. Using this technology, an author can licence, distribute or sell their works. In the NFT code, the creator of a work leaves a peculiar sort of signature, which is easily identified on any server, browser or platform, and it becomes a one-of-a-kind, uncounterfeitable and uncopiable work of digital art.

Critics of the technology doubt its social utility because creating and maintaining an NFT requires an enormous amount of electricity. Present-day methods of electricity generation directly contribute to climate change, and therefore to more frequent occurrences of extreme weather, species extinction, propagation of disease, and, in the future, a shortage of drinking water. NFT supporters, for their part, create alternative climate-friendlier platforms and expect technological development and green energy to make even the most-heavily-criticised blockchain, Ethereum, a sustainable choice.

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The author of the work Dovilė Gecaitė (born in 1994) is a theatre and film set designer, artist, animator, and one of the founders of the visual experiments theatre KOSMOS THEATRE. She holds a Master’s degree in scenography from Vilnius Academy of Arts (2020). From the very beginning of her creative path to her current work with KOSMOS THEATRE, the artist has been delving into the subconscious and mathematical worlds, expanding their characteristics, searching for connections, paradoxes of the human self, and combining this with the canons of classical art, theories of mathematical proportions and idealistic search for perfect beauty. Dovilė’s fields of activity are installation, animation, painting, graphic design, costume art, virtual art and the connections between contemporary technologies-media (VR, AR, mobile applications, IT) and creativity.

#07
C-F-K-U-T-X

Kipras Dubauskas

The work by Kipras Dubauskas is composed of elements of industrial manufacture: a six-metre-long fibreglass flagstaff, imported hemp-fibre rope and maritime signal flags. It is not merely a playful gesture of greeting, but also an encrypted message, which the viewer can interpret literally (by spelling it out) or figuratively, in its poetic sense. This work is related to the historical context of navigation and the internationality and universality characteristic of navigation, connecting even the furthest shores or expressing itself otherwise, as an opposition. At the same time, the work becomes an original visual haiku, endowing the dredger with human features and directly as well as forcibly identifying itself with the reality of the ongoing war.

The title of the work of art, “C-F-K-U-T-X”, comes from the letters signifying each flag or combinations of separate words, used for communication between ships and port personnel. “Yes, I am incapacitated, but I want to send a message: you are approaching a dangerous limit, so withdraw and change your intentions.” Through its multifaceted nature, this work reflects a complex apocalyptic situation, when humanity no longer agrees within itself, because the same object or phenomenon tends to be called by different, sometimes radically contradictory, names or truths.

A dominant theme in Kipras’s creative work is the city’s rivers and water routes and the still-unexploited potential of all that. The artist has devoted nearly a decade of his creative work to the Neris River. The river’s historical context was explored when, using a self-made raft/sculptural object, the historic scientific expedition of Konstantinas Tiškevičius was repeated, exploring the river’s uninhabited islands. Later, this research grew into a new sculpture park, “Gervuogių saloje”; the artist organised more than ten ecological events and meetings on an island near Vilnius, and on an island within the city of Kaunas the environmental observation station No. 1 was established.

The coming into being of “C-F-K-U-T-X” aboard a ship that has lost its original function, docked along the Nemunas, is a very symbolic representation of those common efforts and historical ties that are related to water routes in Lithuania as well as the outposts of artists in the Vilnius-Kaunas area exploring these contexts.

~

Kipras Dubauskas finished Vilnius academy of arts BA degree in sculpture department, Lithuania (2010) and MA program in Gent, Belgium (2013). He is one of the founders and collaborators of artist-run initiative “Artkor Project Space” (2006-2010). Currently running independent analog film lab “SPONGÉ” that is based in cultural centre SODAS 2123 in Vilnius.

https://kiprasdubauskas.tumblr.com/about

#08
The face of the Nemunas

Ieva Keliauskaitė-Mališauskė

The Nemunas River is almost like a mythological creature: one part Aquarius, another part, perhaps, Poseidon. But this creature is not so very far away that we could only find it in dusty books. It is (almost) tangible, recognisable, it is even possible to talk with it. Not necessarily verbally: perhaps emotionally, perhaps simply by being next to it. And perhaps more than a few of us talk with it, without even knowing that we are doing so? The hypothesis is clear: each one of us has a relationship with the Nemunas.

What does the Nemunas mean to us Lithuanians, and what does it mean to visitors arriving from abroad? What feelings and emotions does it inspire? How have we, human beings, distorted and changed the character of the Nemunas? What is the true face of the Nemunas?

The work was created in the form of a date. With each successive date, the following significant characteristics of the Nemunas became clear:

  • flora, fauna, water have resided in the bends and turns of the Nemunas from time immemorial, as if they were the genetically inherited traits of the Nemunas;
  • “technological” Nemunas, which evolved as it adapted to human activity and the technologies humans brought to the water; it became modern, educated, perhaps even intellectual?;
  • hurt, but forgiving: due to human activity, forced to change its genetic development and adapt. Seriously troubled as a result, but like a wise old man, showing the marks of long-ago injuries amidst his wrinkles, nevertheless welcoming one into his embrace;
  • emotional and sensitive: having watched the unsteady first steps of a child who later grows up to be a strong, sturdy man, having brought together lovers in love stories, having provided the setting for life’s celebration and for various tests in life, having entertained and having comforted.

Dates with the Nemunas are recorded with the help of film photography. Then the strips of film were “damaged” by various chemical and mechanical means. That is a reference to the influence of human activity on the face of the Nemunas and the subjectivity of that face. Finally, each layer of the portrait of the Nemunas in the form of cyanotype took its place on the glass. Cyanotype is one of the oldest and most sustainable photographic techniques, for which a camera is not needed, and for which the power of the sun and water is put to use. The supplemental audio track was gathered from various sounds of the Nemunas and the community’s narratives and emotion-filled stories.

~

Ieva Keliauskaitė-Mališauskė / Mali Keli is an artist and textile designer working with zero-waste fashion and other interdisciplinary sustainability solutions. Conceptually, she aims at spreading mental health knowledge, its destigmatization and emotional experience as self-help.

www.malikeli.com

#09
Her twitching metal heart

Adomas Palekas

The work by Adomas Palekas is a localised audio installation devoted to the Nemuno7 dredger. During its half-century career, a multitude of conversations, engine noises, commands for the mooring procedure, and other sounds and vibrations were heard aboard the dredger. Nowadays the dredger’s audio environment is different: the buzz of work has been replaced by the buzz of insects, and the thumping sound of visitors’ footsteps. As the dredger’s everyday environment has changed, the author invites the dredger to a dialogue between the past and the present, between the dredger’s structures themselves, the environment surrounding the dredger, and living and lifeless nature. You will hear in what voice the dredger’s floors, steel bulkheads, chains, anchor and other “limbs” speak, and how a one-of-a-kind audio ecology takes shape between Nemuno7, Zapyškis and the banks of the Nemunas itself. Touch and feel the throbbing and the quivering of Nemuno7 for yourself.

Nemuno7’s body is awakened by the impulses transmitted by the actuators; these are impulses coming from the brain, like the signals of the neurons, allowing the surface resonance to make a sound. Aboard the dredger, as in the Nemunas, streams of impulses flow, an ever-changing composition of the work. Its rhythm is stochastic, arising from its relationship with the external environment, that is, the detected light and deck vibrations. The dredger breathes, sleeps and feels your footsteps. Do you feel the dredger?

Through this work, the artist looks at the dredger not only as an audio object or cultural space, but as a living organism located in an ecological niche, a one-of-a-kind audio ecology. The nature of the banks of the Nemunas surrounding the dredger, the dredger itself and you, the visitors, become part of this audio ecology.

~

Adomas Palekas (Vilnius, LT) – sound artist, electronical engineer and biotechnologist working at the intersection between science and art. His current focus are sonifications – sonic embodiment of processes, objects or even chemical reactions, that often have little connection with music or sound. Adomas’s works and collaborations were presented in Lithuania, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands as well as international festivals such as “Ars Electronica”, “ŪMĖDĖ“, “Sirenos“, Venice Architecture Bienalle.  

Pioneer plants

#10
Plants make the world go round

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Plants make the world go round. They are food, medicine, fuel, construction material, a tool to control floods and erosion, a source of oxygen, an absorber of carbon dioxide.

When plants colonised the planet Earth and the biosphere began to form, the concentration of oxygen began to increase. It has been calculated that in the absence of the biosphere, the present-day atmosphere of Earth would be of a composition similar to that of Mars or Venus. The average temperature would be 240–340 °C, the atmospheric pressure would be about 60 times higher than what we experience today. Plants are one of the main actors in the carbon cycle, which for hundreds of millions of years has been regulating the planet’s atmosphere and climate.

Disruptions and disturbances of varying intensity occur constantly in the ecosystems of Earth: a tree falling in the forest affects the ecosystem in one way, while a meteorite falling to the surface or lava erupting from a volcano affect the ecosystem in a different way. Immediately after the fall of a meteorite or the slide of a landscape-changing glacier, the primary succession occurs; organisms settle the territory for the first time. It might seem worth asking: “Who would ever want to live in a wasteland?” In fact, one enormous advantage to living in such an environment is the absence of competition.

Organisms capable of settling down and living in extreme conditions are called pioneers. Arriving pioneer species colonise the territory and with their own biomass as well as with the biomass of attracted insects begin to create soil and a more hospitable environment for later species. The primary succession lasts a long time, in some places hundreds or even thousands of years.

Secondary succession is the restoration of natural communities after destructive events such as a flood, a fire, cutting, harvesting, dredging or piling of soil onto riverbanks. In contrast to primary succession, the soil already exists and participates in the process; the pioneer plant species stabilise the soil, enriching it with nutritional materials, regulating the access to light and the effect of wind, and reducing the temperature. The community fully restores itself within 50–150 years. However, when the soil is exhausted, secondary succession becomes more similar to primary succession and may require a much longer period of time.

Even one fallen tree in a forest can open up a tiny patch of ground similar to what had been there 50 years prior, when the trees there were still not so tall and did not create so much shade. In that small spot, a different type of microclimate will suddenly develop, there will be more sunlight and a slightly higher temperature, but also less protection from the wind. Thus, because of the fallen tree, the soil and the population of plant species will be different, and different animals will want to live in that location.

At the beginning of the 20th century, ecologists noticed the tendency of ecological communities to change as time passed, until finally a so-called mature community was achieved, with a predictable variety of species and remaining relatively stable until the next disruption or disturbance. Nevertheless, at the same time there also exists stochasticity or randomness, which prevents us from knowing precisely how a community will look a century after a disruption or disturbance. For example, although it is possible to forecast quite accurately what kind of plants will occupy a glacial moraine after the ice retreats, the occurrence of unexpected weather conditions in the early stages of succession can modify this forecast.

The use of the term “stable” is also relative. In nature, stability does not exist; changes constantly occur in every ecosystem. A small part of a forest can burn, a storm can blow over or break trees, while passing four-wheelers (ATV) or a family of wild boars can damage the forest floor. So the ecosystem, if its biological diversity is broad, never ends up with a stable community.

Every medium-sized disruption or disturbance of the ecosystem creates its own habitat with unique niches. More niches mean a greater amount of biological diversity, and a greater amount of biological diversity means greater stability and healthier ecosystems. Even if two disruptions or disturbances happen at the same time in two separate locations in which there is approximately the same climate, the stochastic development of ecosystems means that these two areas can recover in entirely different ways, therefore even more niches will develop and there will be more biological diversity. So an average level of disruption or disturbance is natural and beneficial to the ecosystem.

If the question “when will change cease?” arises, the answer is “never.” Because change never stops. Even back in 500 BCE , the Greek philosopher Heraclitus thought that “change is the only constant”, and resistance to change is in a certain sense a kind of death, when it is refused to participate in what determines life.

 

#11
Silver birch

Betula pendula

A deciduous tree growing up to 25-30 m tall, with an open crown, thin, swaying branches and white bark. It grows naturally in Eastern, Central and Western Europe, the Caucasus, western Siberia and Lithuania. It is considered invasive in parts of the USA and Canada. It flowers in April-June and ripens seeds in August-September. They are carried by the wind over 200 m radius and sometimes as far as 1-2 km. The plant doesn’t have special needs for soil and humidity.

This hardy tree is considered a pioneer species because it is one of the first to thrive on bare ground, such as that damaged by fire.

It grows in groups. Birch forests support a wide range of insect, bird and animal species, and the light understorey of the silver birch suits as a sufficient habitat for other plant communities.

#12
Rugosa rose

Rose rugosa ‘Rubra’

A plant belongs to the genus Rosaceae. The species spreads rapidly along sandy coasts because it is tolerant of salty soils and the seeds are carried along the coast not only by birds and animals but also by water. In many countries, it is considered an invasive species, which is a threat to native plant species.

The plant is widespread in the Far East, Kamchatka, Korea, China and Japan.

The fruits of this variety are ornamental and inedible.

#13
Lymegrass

Leymus

Lymegrass is a genus of plants in the Poaceae family, which includes perennial grasses with a bell-shaped inflorescence and a long rhizome. Some species are considered weeds, others – as valuable feed plants.

The genus contains about 60 species, with 1 species, the European dune grass, growing on Lithuanian coastal dunes. It is a pioneer species the first to colonise the sand dune ecosystem and stabilise the infertile soil, thus allowing other species to settle nearby.

#14
Goat willow

Salix caprea

A tree reaches a height of 5-15 m and lives about 50 years. It grows in lowland areas up to about 1800 metres above sea level and is widespread in Central and Western Europe, including Lithuania. Its natural range extends to North Asia. It is a relatively undemanding and vigorous plant, tolerant of infertile soils, but dislikes dry places. It prefers loose clay soils and grows well in forest edges, gravelly areas and clearings, as well as quarries and gravel pits.  It is considered a pioneer plant because it easily colonises the banks of fast-flowing rivers and frequently flooded meadows.

It is a dioecious plant. This means that there are separate male and female individuals. When the male catkins fully open and start to pollinate, the plant blooms: the male catkins shed their pollen with the help of wind and insects to pollinate the female plant’s inflorescences. Later on, the abundance of seeds are produced.

Goat willow plays an important role in the insect world as it is the first food source for many of them in early spring. In addition to bumblebees, bees, butterflies and various beetles, some birds, such as blue jays, also like to feast on the nectar and pollen of the blooming “kittens”.

#15
Wild strawberry

Fragaria vesca

A species of the thorn family (Rosaceae), genus Fragaria. It is spread throughout Europe, East Asia, America and North Africa. Grows in forests, ravines, and slopes. Wild strawberries are often grown in gardens. It grows naturally all over Lithuania: in forests, especially in clearings, in woodlands, meadows, slopes. It thrives in fertile, moist soil and sunny locations.

Strawberries are rich in iron and vitamins, and have long been recommended to eat when the body is weak, to quench thirst or to improve appetite. The plant also has anti-bacterial properties.

#16
Mountain pine

Pinus mugo

Grows up to 3-5 m tall and is naturally found in the mountainous regions of central and south-eastern Europe, from the Carpathians to the Pyrenees and the Balkans. Also occurs in lower elevations such as peat bogs. Mountain pine is considered a pioneer species, colonising areas inaccessible to other woody plants due to poor water regimes and soil characteristics. Since the mid-1800s, mountain pine has been successfully introduced in Scandinavia, Estonia, Lithuania and other countries. It has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to unfavourable soil conditions and has naturalised in these regions. Due to its vigorous growth, mountain pine is widely used for protection against soil erosion, especially to stabilise sandy soils on coasts.

In Lithuania, the first mountain pine plantations were established on the sand dunes of the Curonian Spit coast around 200 years ago and are now well established there. Mountain pine forms symbiotic relationships with ectomycorrhizal fungi. Ectomycorrhiza is particularly important in areas with very poor, nutrient-limiting soils.  Symbiotic relationships then greatly facilitate nutrient and water availability.

#17
Yellow bedstraw

Galium verum

A plant of the Rubiaceae family, genus Galium. It is spreadalmost all over the world. It is commonly found in meadows, along paths and on slopes up to 2100 m above sea level. It is also common in Lithuania. In medieval Europe, the yellow bedstraw was used to stuff mattresses because its smell repelled fleas. The plant is also used to make red and yellow dyes.

It is a pioneer species in wetlands and coastal shingle banks because it spreads easily by seeds carried by the wind.

#18
Evening primrose

Oenothera

It is the type genus of the Onagraceae family, which includes about 120 species. They are annual, biennial or perennial grasses. The flowers can be yellow, white or pink, with four heart-shaped petals: they open in the evening and on cloudy days. The fruit is a cylindrical opening box. Evening primrose grows in soils, sandy meadows, gravel, roadsides and wastelands. In nature, some species of evening primrose act as primary colonisers, spreading rapidly in recently cleared areas. They germinate in disturbed soils and can be found in habitats such as dunes, roadsides and railway embankments.

Mexico and Central America are considered to be the homeland of the evening primrose. From there, the plants spread to South and North America. In the 17th century, they were introduced into European botanical gardens from the USA as a plant particularly valued by the native Americans for its medicinal properties. In Europe, evening primrose decoction have long been used as an energising beverage. In the Far East, oil, pressed from this plant, was used to treat wounds.

#19
Wild carrot

Daucus carota

A species of biennial plant belonging to the celery family, native to Lithuania, abundant in North Africa, North America and Eurasia.

The plant is covered with coarse hairs, has a taproot, umbrella-shaped inflorescences, and a distinctive smell. The prickly fruits of the wild carrot stick to animal wool or human clothing and spread in this way. The plant is classified as a pioneer because of its ability to rapidly colonise damaged, infertile soils, trampled paths and roadsides. It grows in soils, dry meadows, fallow fields, forest clearings, sandy and gravelly soils. It is a woody plant and can be used as a spice. The cultivated form of the carrot was developed 4000 years ago. The ornamental variety “Dara” is appreciated by both garden designers and florists.

#20
Culver’s root

Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’

Native to North America, it grows naturally in humidor wet prairies, streamsides and sometimes wet uplands. Landscape designers and gardeners like working with this plant for its upright inflorescences and sturdy upright stalks. The flowers attract insect pollinators. The roots are used medicinally for their laxative effect.

#21
Cranesbill ‘Patricia’

Geranium ‘Patricia’

It belongs to the genus Geraniaceae.  The Latin name Geranium is derived from the Greek ‘geranos’ meaning a crane. This species is grown in Lithuania as an ornamental plant in flower beds.

#22
Tufted hairgrass

Deschampsia caespitosa ‘Goldschleier’

A plant of the genus Deschampsia in the Poaceae family.

The species is widespread in Eurasian forests, steppes and parts of tundra, and in some places in America and Australia. The variety has received The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

#23
Plume thistle

Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’

‘Atropurpureum’ is an ornamental variety of the Asteraceae family of thistles that grows naturally in Lithuania.

It is naturally found in wet meadows, ditches and springs, but can be grown in much drier soils at domestic flowebeds. This thistle is one of the most popular modern plants in Europe.

#24
Pale purple coneflower

Echinacea pallida

A plant native to North America, where it was used by indigenous people as a medicinal herb to treat wounds, burns, insect and snake bites. They were also chewing the pale purple coneflower root to relieve toothache and throat infections, as well as stomach cramps. Since the end of the 20th century, pale purple coneflower and several other coneflower species (eastern purple coneflower and narrow-leaved coneflower) have been the most popular herbal immunostimulants. European manufacturers alone, are producing over 280 different remedies from their raw material.

The genus Echinacea derives its name from the Greek word ‘echinos’, meaning hedgehog. Indeed, the plant’s skeleton in winter reminds of this animal. Coneflower reproduce by seed, but are growing slowly – it often takes 3 years for the seedlings to emerge before the plant blooms. This slow growth and the plant’s intensive use for medicinal purposes have put the natural habitat of coneflowers in North America at serious risk.

#25
Purple moor-grass 

Molinia caerulea

Abundant in northern Europe and Asia, naturally grows in Lithuania.

Purple moor-grass is a very undemanding, cold-hardy plant. It is suitable for both sunny and shady places, and grows well in floodplain meadows and along the river or lake banks. Unlike many bell-shaped plants, purple moor-grass grows well in peaty soils. For this reason the species was declared invasive in some Benelux countries, as they have begun to threaten the survival of heathland. Purple moor-grass is a relatively long-lived plant, which can grow for 10 years or more in one place.

“The Moorhexe” variety is distinguished by its’ compact bush and its’ erect, brownish, sturdy inflorescences.

“Heidebraut” becomes bright yellow in autumn. The bush is narrow funnel-shaped, the stems are straight and about 90 cm tall.

#26
Scarlet beebalm

Monarda didyma

An essential oil-accumulating plant, growing naturally in North America. In Lithuania it is grown in botanical gardens, medicinal, herbal and ornamental plantations. If unattended, it is easily overshadowed by other plants, so it does not grow naturally in Lithuania and is involved in later stages of succession. Scarlet beebalm grows best in light or partial shade. The plant is not very demanding of the soil. It prefers fertile, moist soil, but also grows in clayey, acidic soil and is less tolerant of drought.

Synonyms for Scarlet beebalm are Indian grass, mountain balm, golden melissa. Scarlet beebalm can (and often does) replace the bergamot, which is used in Earl Grey tea, because it has a similar lemony aroma. Scarlet beebalm is valued by garden designers for its ability to attract nectar-loving insects.

Scarlet beebalm has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antispasmodic, digestive and wound-healing properties, and is therefore used in medicine, the food industry and perfumery.

#27
Penstemon

Penstemon

Originates from North America and East Asia, with about 300 known species. The flowers are bell-shaped and form clusters or panicles at the top of the stems. It grows well in full sun, in light fertile soil, and can flourish amongst rocks.  It is often the leading species in recently disturbed habitats, readily establishes in rock crevices or disturbed prairie soils, can withstand extremely cold weather and is drought tolerant. Penstemons are pollinated by wasps, bees and hummingbirds. Every year, breeders patent new varieties of Penstemon, such as the ones with long or continuous blooming, or distinctive flower and leaf colours and sizes.

#28
Black elder

Sambucus nigra ‘Black lace’

A plant of the genus Elderberry, family Adoxaceae. The black elder grows in a wide range of locations, both in the undergrowth and in full sun, and is tolerant of drought and waterlogging. The species is a pioneer in restoring damaged forests. It is popular ornamental plant in Lithuania.

Its high nectar content attracts bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators.. Birds feed on elderberry berries in winter.

The dark-leaved variety ‘Black lace’ has received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

#29
Snowdrop windflower

Anemone sylvestris

A plant of the family Ranunculaceae, genus Anemone. Common in Europe and Western Asia, growing naturally in Lithuania. It grows in drier places, in undergrowth, on the slopes of rivers and lakes, rarely in pine forests and forest sites, and is found only in calcareous, lighter soils. The leaves are rich in ascorbic acid.

The snowdrop windflower has been cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens for more than 400 years.

#30
Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

A perennial plant of the purple loosestrife family, growing in Eurasia, north-west Africa and Australia. It grows up to 60-100 cm tall, has four-edged stems with dense bell-shaped inflorescences of bright magenta colour at the tips. It flowers from June to September and produces many seeds. A mature 30-stemmed plant can produce as many as 3 million seeds per flowering season. For this reason, it has been declared an invasive species in the USA, threatening native species. It was brought from Europe in the 1800s and established in the eastern region of the USA as a pioneer species and useful medicinal plant.

It is tolerant of both waterlogging and dry growing conditions, and grows in ditches, along the river banks, lakes, ponds, in wet scrub and floodplain meadows.

The plant has anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, analgesic, sweat-releasing and wound-healing properties.

#31
Willow herb

Chamerion angustifolium (L.) Holub.) = Epilobium angustifolium (L.)

It is widespread throughout Europe, Asia, especially the Siberian taiga, and North America. The plant is also common in Lithuania. It grows in a wide variety of soils, mostly in disturbed areas such as clear-cut or burnt forests, swamps, landslides, riverbeds, highway and railway verges, and in arable fields. Because of the staggering areas that it quickly covers by colonising burnt forests, it is known in North America as “fireweed”.  

A single willow herb plant produces about 80 000 seeds a year. The mature seeds are carried long distances by the wind. Logging operations or forest fires open up new territories and opportunities for the species to establish itself.

As soon as the species establishes a colony, it is discovered by bees and other pollinators collecting nectar from the flowers. Herbivorous mammals feed on the plant’s shoots. Willow herb also returns nutrients to the soil, which eventually attracts new plats to grow in that area.

The plant has a lot of medicinal benefits. It is rich in biologically active substances such as flavonoids, pectins, phytosterols, phenolic carboxylic acids, vitamins C, A and iron. The plant has immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory, nervous system calming and antioxidant properties. The coarse fibre obtained from the stems can be used to weave ropes.

#32
Feather reed-grass

Calamagrostis x acutiflora

Kalamos in Greek means reed, agrostis means bent, acutus in Latin means sharp, pointed. It is a hybrid of the wood small-reed and the reed grass. As both parent species of feather reed-grass are wild Lithuanian plants, all its varieties overwinter well and sprout in early spring. The feather reed-grass grows in an orderly bush and is not as aggressive as its “parents”, which strongly crowd out other plants that want to grow nearby, often forming monoculture islands in nature. “Karl Foerster” has been the world’s most popular variety of ornamental grass for many years, used in public and private gardens.

#33
Rowan

Sorbus aucuparia

A 10-15 m tall tree that grows naturally throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Frost resistant. It grows best on loamy, alkaline soil of medium fertility and regular humidity. Colonises disturbed and inaccessible sites as a short-lived pioneer species. It is usually later replaced by larger forest trees.

Rowans are pollinated by insects and their berries are eaten by birds and mammals. Thrushes and other songbirds appreciate them the most. It is birds that spread the undigested seeds of the rowan through their droppings, helping the rowan to colonise new territories. Ungulates, badgers, foxes, dormice and squirrels are also happy to feast on rowan berries.

People use the blossoms, leaves, bark and fruit of the rowan for food, drink, folk medicine and animal feed. Its’ hard and flexible wood is ideal for wood turning.

Ancient Lithuanians used to plant rowan at their gates and believe it would protect their homes from harm, diseases and evil spirits.

#34
Snow-white wood-rush

Luzula nivea

A species of the genus Luzula in the Juncaceae family. The plant is native to south-western and central Europe (found in the Alps and Pyrenees, but also in Lithuanian forests). It grows well in humid, shady places, but can also grow in full sun if the soil is sufficiently moist. The flowers are suitable for making dry bouquets.

The genus name is derived from the Latin word luceo, meaning ‘to shine, to glow’.

#35
Male fern

Dryopteris filix-mas

A plant of the Dryopteridaceae family, belonging to the spore-forming group. In Lithuania it often branches out to vast territories. It grows in forests, undergrowths, shrublands, dry and humid places. 

Male fern is widespread in Europe, Asia and North America.

The healing properties of male fern are used in folk medicine. It has antiparasitic properties, making it suitable for eliminating worms from the body. The plant helps healing bleeding gums, relieves pain and has a calming effect. Sleeping on fresh fern leaves mattresses is considered a treatment recommended for gout, arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.

#36
Goat’s beard

Aruncus ‘Guinea fowl’

A plant of the genus Rosaceae, a family of perennial plants. It grows in wet forests in Europe, Central Asia and North America. Aruncus is not demanding of specific soil, but grows better in moist, fertile areas.

The Greek word arynkos means ‘goat’s beard’. The plant is highly valued in ornamental horticulture for its low maintenance and longevity.

#37
Eryngo

Eryngium

Eryngo is distributed worldwide in temperate, subtropical and tropical climates, with the greatest diversity in South America. Also known as blue or sea thistle.

It is often a bluish perennial herb with ragged, stiff and spiny leaves. The inflorescence forms a spiky head. The appearance of the plant suggests that it is very hardy to drought and heat. In Lithuania, the seaside eryngo grows naturally. It is listed in the Lithuanian Red Book and has become a symbol of the Curonian Spit National Park. Many varieties of eryngo are medicinal plants with active substances. Their decoctions and infusions have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, soothing effects. Hybrid varieties, such as the “Big blue”, are being developed for ornamental planting.

#38
Red valerian

Centranthus ruber

Also known as “the devil’s beard” or “the Jupiter’s beard”, red valerian is a perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region, but naturally adapted to the British archipelago in France. It blooms in early July with deep pink or red flowers and bluish-green foliage. The flowers are loved by butterflies and other insects. The seeds have dandelion-like stigmas and are widely dispersed when carried by the wind. The plant often takes root in disturbed rocky areas and roadsides, and can easily tolerate alkaline soil and lime in mortar, thus the colonies of red valerians can be found on old walls in Italy, southern France and the south of the UK.

#39
Turkish sage

Phlomis russeliana

A plant of the Lamiaceae family, native to the forests of Syria and Turkey. John Russell (1766-1839) was the Duke of Bedford, England, and a passionatepromoter of botany, horticulture, forestry and agriculture.

Turkish sage is widespread in Europe, Africa and Asia. Its flowers are an important source of pollen and nectar for bumblebees, while in winter they provide a home for bees and ladybirds.

Alternative name for the plant is Jerusalem sage.

In 1993 it received the prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

#40
Giant feather grass

Stipa gigantea

A plant of the genus Poaceae, a family of herbaceous plants. It is a steppe plant spread in Europe, Asia, North and South America. The variety has received The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

#41
Catnip

Nepeta

The name of the plant describes one of its most interesting properties: the aromatic compounds found in catnip stimulate the pheromone receptors of cats, thus inducing a short-lived state of euphoria.

Catnip’s flowers are lip shaped, white, blue, pink or lilac, with small white or pale pink spots, concentrated at the apex. Blooms from July to September.

Catnips are widespread in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, but the greatest diversity is found in the eastern Mediterranean and central China. In Lithuania it can be found growing in patios, gardens and wastelands.

Many ornamental varieties of catnip have been developed and are often used in landscaping. They are very undemanding plants and can grow in poor, dry soil. Fertilisation may even harm the plant, as it would encourage it to form weak, flaccid leaves with a low content of essential oils. Catnips have been used by humans for food, medicine and as ornamental garden plants since ancient times. The fresh leaves are great for making dressings, soups and steaks. In folk medicine, it is recommended to chew fresh catnip leaves to treat toothache.

#42
Dwarf Scots pine

Pinus sylvestris ‘Watereri’

A spiny evergreen tree of the family Pinaceae, genus Pinus.

The species is native to Eurasia, spreading from Western Europe to Eastern Siberia and the Caucasus. It is a light-demanding pioneer species. It can colonise recently disturbed sites such as poor, sandy soils, rocky outcrops, high moorland peatlands. In fertile areas, the pine is outcompeted by other tree species, usually spruces or broad-leaved trees.

Pine trees produce a large number of active phytoncides, which have a strong antibacterial and antifungal effect, help fight respiratory diseases, and have a tonic and fatigue-reducing effect.

‘Watereri’ is a slow-growing, compact variety of Scots pine.

#43
Missouri evening primrose

Oenothera missouriensis

One of the most gorgeous varieties of evening primrose. It is native to Central America, where it grows in calcareous prairies and limestone outcrops. It is used in ornamental planting and has received a Royal Horticultural Society award for its adaptability to poor sites, large flowers and decorative seedpods.

#44
Peach-leaved bellflower

Campanula persicifolia ‘Grandiflora’

A species of the genus Campanula in the Campanulaceae family, common in the Alps and other European mountain ranges. It grows at lower altitudes in the north and at higher altitudes in the south, for example in Provence at altitudes of 1 500 metres or more. Its natural habitat is broadleaved forests, outskirts, meadows and rocky outcrops of broad-leaved forests. The species colonises the area by seed dispersal and by spreading its strong rhizomes.

The variety ‘Grandiflora’ has been cultivated since the 16th century.

#45
Mullein

Verbascum

Mullein is widespread in Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America and can grow up to two metres high. It is a plant with downy leaves and small yellow, rarely white or purple, honey-scented flowers. It blooms in the second year of its life, from July to September. The flowers of the mullein do not contain nectar, but the juice of the stamens contains sugar and other nutrients, which is why insects like to visit it.

It is tolerant of drought and prefers disturbed soil. In urban areas, it is often found in abandoned parking lots, small cracks in the pavement and dry, rocky roadsides.

For centuries, people have used mullein for everything from shoe lining to warding off the evil eye. In the Middle Ages, mullein was smeared with bee pitch and used as a torch in the palace – hence the German name “king’s candle”. Others observed this flower to predict the weather. Traditionally, mullein has been used to treat various respiratory diseases, to speed up the healing of wounds, to relieve rheumatic pains, haemorrhoids. In Ireland, the leaves of the mullein used to be boiled in milk to produce a decoction for tuberculosis treatment.

#46
Avens

Geum

The fragrance of the roots gives the plant its genus name, as ‘geyo’ means ‘I smell’ in Greek. Avens is widespread throughout the world. There are about 70 species in the genus, and 3 species grow in Lithuania: the yellow, the water and the wood avens. The plant is woody, herbaceous and has essential oils. The flowers, leaves and rhizomes are used as raw medicinal material and are harvested in autumn or early spring. The rhizomes acquire a more distinctive aroma after fermentation and have long been used to flavour alcoholic beverages with clove-like taste.

Blooming occurs in May-June. Avens produces hairy nuts with little spikes which easily hook onto animals’ fur and thus spread more widely.

Avens habitats differ depending on the varieties. In Lithuania, they grow naturally in wet meadows, forests and springs, but some varieties can survive marginal conditions and live as pioneer species in rock crevices and moraines.

#47
Jacob’s ladder

Polemonium ‘Purple rain’

A member of the Polemoniaceae family. Many Jacob’s Ladder species grow at high altitudes in mountainous areas. It is widespread in the cool-climate arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. One species is also found in the Andes Mountains of South America.

Jacob’s Ladder grows naturally in Lithuania. It is found in wet meadows, river and lake shores, and swamps. It is a protected species.

In folk medicine, a decoction of Jacob’s Ladder roots is used to treat epilepsy and insomnia. It is said to be a good sedative in the treatment of neurosis and mental and nervous diseases, and is also an effective remedy for bronchitis.

#48
Cranesbill ‘Rozanne’

Geranium ‘Rozanne’

The species has received every possible award for herbaceous perennials: the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 2006, Plant of the Year in the USA in 2008, and Plant of the Century at the Chelsea Plant Show in 2013.

In 2014, a record volume of over 12 million plants was sold. The Latin name of the genus Geranium is derived from the Greek ‘geranos’, meaning a crane, and the fruit of the spout actually resembles a crane. The genus Geranium comprises 422 species of annual, biennial and perennial plants, 14 of which grow naturally in Lithuania.

#49
Big-leaf aster

Aster macrophyllus ‘Twilight’

A plant of the genus Asteraceae, native to eastern North America. It grows in forests, shady roadsides, scrub and clearings. Its leaves can be cooked and eaten as greens. It is said that the dried leaves were used by indigenous North Americans as a substitute for tobacco and a headache treatment.

#50
Greater masterwort

Astrantia major ‘Claret’

A member of the Apiaceae family, belonging to the genus Astrantia. The species is widespread in Europe and western Asia. It grows in deciduous woodlands, undergrowth, near river streams, in meadows and on mountain slopes. In some parts of Lithuania, the Greater masterwort grows naturally, but due to its rarity it is listed in the Red Data Book of Lithuania. Shady environment is an essential measure to protect it. Therefore, felling and land reclamation are not allowed in the habitats of the Greater masterwort.

The roots of the Greater masterwort are used medicinally.

The variety ‘Claret’ has been cultivated in Great Britain since the 16th century. One interesting thing about this variety is that it is completely odourless.

#51
Common quaking grass

Briza media

A perennial herbaceous plant of the Poaceae family. It grows in meadows, pastures, hillsides and undergrowth. It is native to Lithuania.

Common quaking grass has good fodder value, and is, therefore, loved by sheep.

Common quaking grass tea is not only a great thirst-quencher, but is also used in folk medicine as a herbal remedy for fear, anxiety, fright, and as a help for children to sleep better.

#52
Large yellow foxglove

Digitalis grandiflora

A plant of the Plantaginaceae family, genus Digitalis. The genus comprises about 20 species. They are biennial or perennial plants, found growing naturally in Europe, North Africa, Western and Central Asia. The genus name Digitalis is derived from the Latin word digitus, meaning ‘finger’, because the flowers are really look like thimbles. The one-sided bunch of thimble-shaped flowers rises 50-100 cm above the ground in July. By then, most of the flowers have bloomed. Later on, the flowers closer to the top bloom, while the lower ones ripen into fruit boxes as the crown falls off. When the seeds are ripe – in August and September – the box opens and the wind carries the light seeds out. The seeds may lie dormant for years in the dense and shady forest understorey, but they will be among the first species to colonise the space if it is exposed to sunlight due to fallen or cut trees.

In different countries, they are known as fairies or witch bells. It is a very valuable medicinal plant. It is an important source of medicines for heart diseases. The leaves contain cardiac glycosides, saponins, flavonoids and other substances. Although the plant produces digitalin, which is used in medicines for vascular diseases, all types of Digitalis are poisonous and should never be eaten. If you have sensitive skin, touching the plant without gloves is not recommended.

#53
Common foxglove

Digitalis Purpurea

A poisonous species of flowering plant native to Europe and distributed throughout Asia. The common foxglove is a biennial or short-lived herbaceous perennial, often used in garden design, and is available in a variety of cultivars. It grows in acidic soils, from partial sun to deep shade, in a wide range of habitats including open woodland, woodland glades, moorland and heathland edges, sea cliffs and rocky mountain slopes. Often found in areas where the land has been disturbed, such as recently cleared forests or burnt vegetation places.

The plant contains glycosides that has effect on the heart, which is why it has been used to treat cardiovascular diseases.

#54
Singleseed hawthorn

Crataegus monogyna

A shrub of the genus Crataegus in the hawthorn family (Rosaceae), distributed in Europe, north-west Africa and western Asia. In Lithuania, the singleseed hawthorn grows on the edges of forests and on slopes, and is more common in areas with heavy calcareous soils.

The oldest singleseed hawthorn is believed to be growing in France, near the church of Saint Marc su la Futaie. The tree is 9 m tall and 2.65 m in diameter and is thought to have been there since the 3rd century.

#55
Common bistort

Persicaria bistorta ‘Superba’

A plant of the Polygonaceae family, common in cold climates such as North America, North Asia and Central Europe.

The plant contains starch, oxalic acid, gallic acid, vitamin C, tannins and sugars. The leaves and the rhizomes are edible, firstare harvested in spring, and the rhizomes are usually dug in autumn.

The variety has received The Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the British Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

#56
Purple moor-grass

Molinia caerulea

Abundant in northern Europe and Asia, naturally grows in Lithuania.

Purple moor-grass is a very undemanding, cold-hardy plant. It is suitable for both sunny and shady places, and grows well in floodplain meadows and along the river or lake banks. Unlike many bell-shaped plants, purple moor-grass grows well in peaty soils. For this reason the species was declared invasive in some Benelux countries, as they have begun to threaten the survival of heathland. Purple moor-grass is a relatively long-lived plant, which can grow for 10 years or more in one place.

“The Moorhexe” variety is distinguished by its’ compact bush and its’ erect, brownish, sturdy inflorescences.

“Heidebraut” becomes bright yellow in autumn. The bush is narrow funnel-shaped, the stems are straight and about 90 cm tall.

Fluid bodies. Exhibition space in 2022

#57
Fluid bodies

Exhibition programme, May–October 2022

Curator Valentinas Klimašauskas

Those were the days, when we were all in the sea. It seems like it was only yesterday. Species, gender, race, nation, class… back then, none of that mattered. No parents, no children. No future, no past. We were ourselves, the braids of inseparable sisters. Warm and moist, proudly unselective, unafraid of the occasional serendipitous relationship.

Our fishy aquatic past, having crawled out onto the shore on weak, just-sprouted legs, has preserved its oceanic surroundings within itself. This marine environment led us into the future: it used us as bags of liquid even after we had learned to walk on two legs. In this telling of the story, there is an important role for the bag. According to author Ursula Le Guin, the carrier bag, not the sharpened weapon, was the first tool of civilisation. It let us accumulate objects and establish relationships with them. Extending this important observation about the roots of civilisation, Astrida Neimanis, a Canadian hydrofeminist of Latvian descent, proposes looking at our bodies as evolutionary carrier bags of water, which, like the ocean, as a collector of various organs and materials, has historically created the conditions and opportunities for new forms of cooperation or futures. According to Neimanis, our bodies not only had to be a watery prenatal environment for our offspring; they also became a welcoming liquid medium in which different species were able to co-exist temporarily or permanently. These carrier bags full of water were our first tool of embodied social commonality.

We would like to imagine this Nemuno7 exhibition space in a similar way, as an analogy to that carrier bag described by Ursula Le Guin, said by Astrida Neimanis to be used by bodies as bags of water, in which the concentrated oceans inside us remain even today. As an accumulator of flows and currents, which gives birth to new relationships among objects and which can perhaps help us imagine and create new futures.

It’s also time to have a talk about the present moment. Today, full as it is of ecological and other crises, promises us even more anxious futures. In the contemporary world, it becomes ever more difficult to name and comprehend such ambiguous terms and phenomena as ecosystem, climate change, differing concepts of ecology, new materialities or contemporarity. The location of the Nemuno7 project and the specificity of the site inevitably connects the exhibition programme with such ecothinking keywords as water and fluidity, flow, currents, river migration and transport, hydroecology, hydrofeminism, river basins and communities, sustainability, carbon footprint, post-anthropocentrism, bioethics, new materialism, ethnofuturism and many others.

In the first paragraphs of this text, you can find references to a description of the opera created by Lithuanian artists that won a Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 58th Venice Art Biennale (2019), the theorist of liquid modernity Zygmunt Bauman, poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, cyberfeminist and author Sadie Plant or the already-mentioned Astrida Neimanis. The latter claims in her writings that due to our oceanic origin, the interior of our organisms is like an internal ocean, so we should think more often about the solidarity between our bodies full of water and our watery identities. Today we see ever-acidifying oceans, dying coral reefs, reckless harvesting of fish, the Baltic Sea experiencing eutrophication even as it ranks as one of the most toxic bodies of water in the world, and other polluted sources of water for which we should feel a much greater sense of responsibility.

Water, flowing through various materialities, our bodies, people and non-people, joins us together, and is the very foundation for our interaction and circulation in the broader socio-political ecosystem. The Nemuno7 exhibition programme has been designed accordingly. The participating artists touch on the most varied ecological concepts and forms of cooperation or action in their works. Later, directly or by association, others expand on, supplement and reflect on them in still other ways. The artists and their works have their own individual histories of participation in or of belonging to different ecosystems of art. Nevertheless, we recommend trying to understand this five-part exhibition cycle in its entirety, through the creation of mutual interconnections with other works and viewers in the circle formed by the entire cycle. In other words, we encourage you to return more often and to become a connecting and returning part within the ecosystem of this cycle of exhibitions.

In chronological order, the following artists will present their work in 2022: Tomas Daukša, Goda Palekaitė and Adrijana Gvozdenović, Gailė Cijūnaitytė, Anastasia Sosunova, Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė, Henrikas Gulbinas, Ieva Kotryna Ski, Robertas Narkus and Autarkia, Kamilė Krasauskaitė, Mindaugas Gapševičius and others.

#58
Fluid bodies 5/5. Interfaces

Artists:
Mindaugas Gapševičius, Kamilė Krasauskaitė, Miglė Vyčinaitė

Artworks:

Interfaces for Boris and Mindaugas
Mindaugas Gapševičius
In collaboration with Boris (model), Brigita Kasperaitė and Mantas Talmantas (3D scans), Mindaugas Miselis (electronics).
Installation, 2022

Immune memory
Kamilė Krasauskaitė  
Installation, 2022

Inclusion
Miglė Vyčinaitė
Video, 6:38, 2021

Three works by Lithuanian artists complete the Fluid Bodies series with authentic interpretations of the theme of ecology. This time, the exhibition will talk about the possibilities of symbiosis between the human and the non-human in the viscous context of microbes, man and dog or geological time. Mindaugas Gapševičius, Kamilė Krasauskaitė and Miglė Vyčinaitė each came up with a keyword for the exhibition’s title.

Mindaugas Gapševičius offered a keyword interfaces. His  artwork Interfaces for Boris and Mindaugas created in collaboration with Boris (model), Brigita Kasperaitė and Mantas Talmantas (3D scans), Mindaugas Miselis (electronics).

According to the artist, sometimes humans design headgear or coats for their pets to make them look like humans. Sometimes humans attach prosthetic limbs to their disabled pets to help them experience their umwelt. Sometimes humans try to understand their pets by looking into their eyes or watching their movements. Interfaces for Boris and Mindaugas provides interfaces for the boxer dog Boris and his host, so that the host experiences how the dog behaves, and the dog experiences the behaviour of his host. Communication is triggered by the electrical signal. Heart rate and brain activity are measured, interpreted, and converted into electrical signals so they are exchanged between the two via the Internet. The participatory event invites audiences to try out the interfaces themselves.

Kamilė Krasauskaitė suggested the keyword inclusions. She explains the context of her work: conceptually, metagenomics implies that the human body is a communal gene pool, and its “self-extending symbioses,” are “highly adaptive and robust against environmental perturbation” and “dynamic, self-sustaining processes.” Metaphorical framings built from these understandings of microbial communities bring system based understanding of complex processes to the international realm.

Kamilė says, that we can’t eliminate our history. The history of ourselves, the history of our parents, our land, region, Earth itself, dreams. It will come back in one way or the other, like an archetypal dream comes to us one night without asking.

Immune memory was first described in 430 BC by the Greek historian Thucydides who noted that “the same man was never attacked twice”. Two thousand years later, we have learned that almost all organisms have innate and acquired immune systems and that microbial pathogens cause diseases.

“Now, it is well established that immune memory is an integral part of adaptive immunity to ensure long-lasting protection against previously encountered pathogens. <…> increasing evidence indicates that innate immune cells can also ‘remember’ certain previously encountered immune stimuli.”

The installation invites to look back into some (metaphorically) diseases and abnormalities. As we were talking about constant changes and cycles, haven’t we forgot to take some lessons from the (y)east?


Miglė Vyčinaitė’s Inclusion is a film about a speculative space where different states of time, myths, post-humanist ideas and a melancholic feeling of a lost future intertwine. The story unfolds in an abandoned landscape where the past intervenes into the future, disrupting the flow of geological time. The story is told by an unknown being who travels around a dystopian territory and discovers the remains of settlements. The atmosphere and visual texture are created by depicting abandoned objects and architectural decay, as well as mystical natural processes.

When examining the reasons for the emptying of the area, the physical emptiness coincides with the narrator’s inner void. Eventually, the protagonist gets stuck in the sticky resin and becomes an amber inclusion. The depiction of post-industrial landscapes and environments used here hints at the absence of human activity. The resurgent nature exists not only as a background to the story but rather as an active participant in it, as a totality of signs, marking invisible bonds that need to be deciphered.

Brief biographies of the artists:

Mindaugas Gapševičius’ works question the creativity of machines, but do not assume that man is the only creative force. He graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 1999 with a Master’s degree and from Goldsmiths University of London with a Master’s degree in Philosophy in 2016. Since 2015 he has been a lecturer at the Bauhaus University in Weimar.

Kamilė Krasauskaitė is a multidisciplinary artist and curator based in Vilnius, Brussels and Paris. Most often she uses sourdough as her main media and a metaphor. Her practice evolves into different formats, from installations and sculptures to publications and social events. Kamilė explores how certain hollow spaces can supposedly bring physical, mystical and moral transformations to individuals.

Miglė Vyčinaitė is a visual artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark, currently studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Bachelor’s program. In her artistic practice, she uses various media such as video art, sculpture, text and installation. She explores themes like the creation of contemporary myth and lore, magic materialism and speculative scenarios that traverses non-canonical histories.

Thank you: Institutio media, Aleknaičių kultūros ir edukacijos erdvė, Jurgis Paškevičius.

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