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By Līva Oliņa
During the holiday season we send warm thoughts to each other and think more about those who can’t take care of themselves. It seems like our planet could use a helping hand right now. Inspired by the beauty of our seas and oceans we have created a gift collection with carefully selected packaging produced from ocean waste and plant-based materials, so you can make your loved ones happy, while making our planet happy, too! This year’s gift collection artist Klāvs Loris sees oceans, seas, rivers and lakes as our planet’s blood circulation, the greatness and fragility of which inspired the collection’s paintings. We hope that a conversation with the painter will inspire you to do good in this holiday season, too!
The limited edition OCEAN LOVE gift collection uses recycled ocean waste and plant-based packaging solution
What is your relationship with water?
I’m an Aquarius who grew up by the water. In the countryside we had more freedom and trust from parents, so I spent summers swimming in the river with friends by ourselves. I still remember the day when at the age of 9, we took some pieces of foam rubber for safety and swam across the River Daugava. Later I fell in love with the ocean while visiting my sister in Australia. We went surfing on Christmas morning… Big waves, clear water and an intense feeling of freedom!
Where did you find inspiration for this OCEAN LOVE artwork?
Ecosystem of the ocean, its greatness and fragility – these things resonate with me a lot. The colour palette and materials dictated the process and development of the work. The creative process itself and uncertainty about what the outcome will be is a big inspiration for me. It’s like being an archaeologist who carefully cleans layers of sand off the shards of an antique vase in the ground, who doesn’t yet notice the whole antique city lying under their feet. It is similar with my painting – I never know what this process will bring out. Maybe it will uncover some character; maybe an object, some space, or maybe the result will be an abstraction. During the creative process I constantly experiment with different techniques and materials like oil, acrylic, floor polish and soviet- time dry textile tint pigment. The process itself is like a physical activity or ritual dance where I constantly move around large format paintings, applying layers with my hands and different objects, “whipping” them with colour-soaked textiles, grinding with a sander, adding adhesive tape and varnish-soaked fabrics that will later come off together with some layers of painting, creating a rough surface.
What does our gift collection artwork represent for you?
The ocean is like a parallel world to this one on the land. And it is the same - colourful, dynamic and complex. These were the thoughts I had while working on this painting. So in some ways it is like a postcard from another world.
What worries you in our world?
Overall I guess they are the same things that worry many others – destruction of the ecosystem, political power games, and violence. Lately I have been thinking more and more about the amount of information that we consume and I don’t know what is real and what’s not, and whether, and how to react.
How does ocean pollution make you feel?
Of course it is very sad and catastrophic, but I’m trying to step back and look at it from a different perspective. I see it as a natural process of human development; as a phase we haven’t grown out of yet, like a child from their toys. Since the industrial revolution and discovery of plastic, a relatively small period of time has passed compared to all of human history. I think humans are slowly starting to wake up and realise that we need to do something.
Where do you find peace in this fast world?
I find it while being in nature with friends or family or just enjoying long conversations around the dinner table. Listening to music and playing music really calms me down, too. I know it sounds weird but playing loud and heavy guitar riffs as well as metal and blues brings peace to me.
What are your daily rituals?
Coffee, a fresh dose of information, humour and something sweet.
What are your small steps towards a better world?
In the quest for a better world I’m starting with myself. I’m trying to educate and improve myself constantly in different fields. I think that physical and intellectual growth makes us better and morally stronger people, who are more able to help others. When it comes to other people I always try to see the best side of them and compliment them out loud. True sincerity and a humble personality can make great things happen.
Do you celebrate Christmas? What do you feel about the gift season?
How can one not celebrate Christmas? The gingerbread and tangerines will complete you! For me, these holidays have always been about family and being together, about cooking while having long conversations. When it comes to gifts I think it really depends on family traditions. If your family has this tradition, then it’s ok. Do it! Make everyone happy! If your family doesn’t have this tradition then it is also ok, because Christmas is not about gifts! The most important thing is the gesture of wanting to make others happy, and the fulfilment in their eyes. The funniest gift I often get is socks. But it is also the best and most useful gift ever, because who has time to go and buy socks?
Do you use cosmetics in your daily routine? We just want to know what to give you in this festival season!
From skincare products, I tend to use cleaning foam and moisturising cream. But everything starts with clean water and good sleep, of course!
HERE`S A GIFT FOR YOU: DRESS UP YOUR TECH!
Add a bright splash of colour and a festive mood to your desktop or mobile phone with these wallpapers – original paintings by Klāvs Loris.
Explore here this year’s exclusive gift collection OCEAN LOVE that was illustrated by Klāvs Loris.