Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Vytas Serelis - Artist

Born on February 10, 1946 in Memmingen Refugee camp. He immigrated to Australia with his parents Antanas and Jadvyga in 1950.

In 1963 Vytas graduated from Woodville High school and enrolled in the South Australian school of Art, where he graduated in 1966.

In 1963 Vytas was awarded the Sands & McDougall Prize for drawing, and the Osborne Art Gallery Prize.

At that time abstract art especially hard edge and colour painting was the prevailing style. Vytas preferred figurative and realistic art. He stopped painting and turned to music because he felt pressed to paint a certain way.

Vytas held his first solo exhibition in 1967 at the North Adelaide Gallery. That same year, Vytas in the generation of flower children, travelled to India, studying Indian music and mystical life. At the invitation of Akbar Khan school of Music in Calcutta he studied there. He explored several different types of sitar and decides to make himself one of them.

He returned to Australia for a short time, before heading off to London. While there, he married a fellow Australian. The newlyweds both earned a living from graphic design, and Vytas still played the sitar in various clubs. They toured North Africa with a popular music group. He designed posters for various musical groups and performers who sprang up in London at the time . His illustrations featured in magazines such as Time Out, Rolling Stone, newspaper "Oz" and others. Vytas began to paint seriously, in 1969, but did not break completely from the music business.

After an illness that finds Vytas hospitalised, he and his wife decide to return to Australia.

In 1970 Vytas in began studying photography.

In 1971, he was commissioned to produce a large mural for the Adelaide Festival Theatre. He becomes a freelance photographer and still playing the sitar.

In 1972 along with his friends from art school Vytas participated in a collective exhibition in North Adelaide as well as a solo exhibition. In 1973 the artist holds an exhibition in Sydney. Following a successful exhibition, Vytas receives a grant of $5000 from the Visual Arts Board and acquires 18 acres of land at Carey Gully. Here he constructs a tin hut, the council called it a shed, but Vytas call it home.

The year 1974 is significant, in particular, he participated in the festival city of Perth, then organised a solo exhibition. Later, the painting "Father and the Son” is awarded the 1974 Alice Springs Prize. Vytas was absent for the award presentation. He does not need the glory. "I do not have time to become famous or get rich," - says the artist. In 1975, he received first prize in the prestigious Robin Hood Art award for "old lady with a fox fur" .

In 1976, during the Adelaide Festival of Arts he constructed Giant Face, Spider Web "and" Flying Eyeball for the Fun Palace at the Carclew Arts Centre. His works can be seen everywhere from the famous 'Greenhills' gallery, and the University of Adelaide, and in private collections.

Since the late 1980s Vytas again surprised the world with new works, as well as teaching at the University of Adelaide. On the 12 September the Adelaide University Union gallery opens his solo exhibition. In addition to paintings, graphic works, posters, pictures and drawings of all the works exhibited here Vytas make musical instruments, nature and photos of interiors and unique scientific inventions - technology works: "sunertinis wing," flying motorcycle ", ‘electric helicopter’ and others.

Vytas has shown work in the Australian Lithuanian community art exhibitions. The Adelaide community held a solo exhibition of his work. He has donated a painting "Christ on the cross," and ‘the matadors” to Lithuanian house.


Anonymous said...

Hello, we're trying to make contact with Vytas regarding his association with Unicorn Books in Brighton for a book and online project about Bill Butler. We can be contacted at Hope somebody might have a contact address. Thanks in anticipation.

Barry Pitman

Anonymous said...

I am still in touch with Vytas and remember him talking about Bill Butler you can contact me at

Kane Dennis said...

Hi. I have 2 of vytas original hand scetches from 66. Would love to more about them. My late mother aquired them from the adelaide gallery when she was the manager there in her teens and was given the the drawings.