Sunday, 23 January 2011

Leonas Zygas painter, dancer, choreographer

Born 19 February 1924 in Birzai. Studied in Kaunas at Ausra High School until 1944, at the same time attending private lessons with realist painter Jonas Mickevicius and ballet classes at the State Theatre.

In 1944 Zygas fled to Germany. In 1947 he danced at Augsburg refugee camp in the first exile Lithuanian ballet performance of Coppelia. In Wurzburg camp he was stage designer for the folkloric ensemble, Sietynas and an art teacher at the art school organised in camp.

In 1948 he migrated to Australia arriving on the General S D Sturgis on 14 May 1948. While in Bathurst migrant camp married former prima ballerina with the Kaunas Ballet Theatre, Jadvyga Biuzyte. In Adelaide he worked as a shop assistant. Jadvyga arrived in Australia on the Wooster Victory 6 September 1948.

Elected president of the Lithuanian Cultural Foundation and later made a life member. He belonged to RSASA and the contemporary Society of Art. He held nine solo exhibitions and regularly participated in RSASA, Contemporary Society of Arts and Lithuanian exhibitions.

Leonas died on 8th August 1980 of cancer.

He has had several one man shows in Adelaide, exhibited in group shows in Sydney and Melbourne. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Contemporary society.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Its on the map!

I have been learning more about Google Maps and am playing around with places that are or have been significant in the lives of many Lithuanian migrants to South Australia.

View Lithuania to Australia in a larger map

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Vytas Kapociunas - Artist

Arriving in Australia as a six year old "displaced person" from Central Europe after the Second World War has affected Vytas Kapociunas' attitude to life and art. Vytas identifies with the struggles of ordinary people, their daily toil, joy, and creation of personal sanctuaries. It is social comment that characterises his artwork more than stylistic inheritance from his Lithuanian origins. He also identifies closely with the arid Australian hinterland and its inhabitants. In recent years, the Malaysian people and landscape have also provided a rich source of inspiration for his work.

Vytas grew up in Adelaide, graduating from the South Australian School of Art with a travelling scholarship. He won the national Goya Awardin 1964, and spent his early post-graduate years in Spain, France and England, where he exhibited widely. He has also worked in Asia, especially in South Asia, and in other parts of Europe and the United States. He began lecturing at the South Australian School of Art in 1965, and spent three years on diplomatic posting in Malaysia, and three in South Korea, and is presently residing in Washington DC with his wife, Jane, who is Counsellor (Congressional Liaison) at the Embassy of Australia.

Vytas retired from the University of South Australia (Art School), after 30 years.

Taken from his website