News / Open-air sculptures exposition of reeds in the Amber Bay

This year, artists from Lithuania and Latvia participated in the symposium of reeds sculptures. Several participating artists have already gained experience in this project in previous years: Zigmunds Vilnis from Latvia, Martynas Gaubas from Birstonas and Andrius Sirtautas from Silute. Author Kazys Venclova participated in the first reeds sculptures symposium. In addition, this was the first time that artist Viktorija Bitinaite Stankeviciene have taken part in the symposium.

Each sculpture has its own meaning and the idea behind it, as explained by the authors themselves: 

Author Andrius Sirtautas – „The Dead Dunes “


Paradoxically, I see the Dead dunes as if they were alive. The sand covers lost villages and old cemeteries, wandering from the sea to the lagoon. 


Author Martynas Gaubas – “Unlost Connection”

During nowadays urbanization, industrialization and socialization it can be stated that the distance between human and nature is expanding. However, it would be hard to imagine contemporary interior without any elements of flora or fauna.  Human will always seek to stay close to the nature, as it gives him the happiness, harmony and love. Yet, the nature of this relationship is changing.


The sculpture symbolizes a man with an open heart, whose silhouette connects water and air, fish and birds, creating a sense of peacefulness and harmony. 


Author Kazys Venclova – “Moonlight”

The sculpture was created using plastic elements that are very specific for weathervanes of the Curonian Spit. The sculpture symbolizes fish reflecting the peacefulness of the lagoon and moonlight.



Author Viktorija Bitinaitė Stankevičienė – “Krikštas”

The sculpture aims to pay tribute and recreate an old and archaic “krikštas” tradition of the Curonian Spit. Grave markers used to be made of wood and put at the feet of the late person.  Type of wood and decoration of a “Krikštas” depended on the sex and age of the deceased person. When I came to Juodkrante and found the astonishing marker of Anna Pietsch – the last women of “kuršiai” tribe, I was happy to found out that it was designed to resemble my favourite motive of frog with the crown, lily or tulip instead of a head. It is assumed, that before leaving the spirit rests on the marker and then goes to the heaven. 


Author Zigmunds Vilnis (Latvija) -  „Grey heron“

The Grey herons were known in Juodkrantė village from XVIII century, but eventually this species gave up its dominant nesting positions to cormorants and moved to the colony ‘s side.


The whole summer until 22 of September, the Amber bay in Juodkrante will be decorated with all these reeds sculptures which were made by Lithuanian and Latvian artists. These sculptures will be burned (sacrificed) during the Autumn Equinox celebration, turning into flaming sculptures.

Every spring the symposium is held in the Amber bay, where each artist leaves a reeds sculpture, forming an exposition which is open for visitors all the season.

Over more than ten years, this tradition of burning sculptures have become a part of local culture, representing the harmonious relationship between human and nature in the Curonian Spit. Every year the event attracts more and more guests and spectator from all over Lithuania and abroad.

Kursiu Nerija National park administration





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