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  • Writer's pictureRuta Saksens Kalmane

Online Article On The Latvians Abroad Association’s Website

On April 18, 2023, the media/news association group for Latvians abroad published an article about the exhibition The Bush Monster on their website

The article is available online in Latvian from:

Fig.1. Saksens Kalmane 2023. Visitors at The Bush Monster exhibition

Translation from Latvian to English available below:

“Dutch Latvian Ruta Saksens Kalmane opens a photo exhibition for children in Epe

On April 4 a photo exhibition “The Bush Monster” created for children by Ruta Saksens Kalmane was opened in Epe (The Netherlands). The interactive exhibition in English and Dutch can be viewed at Epe’s culture house until April 28.

It is not just a simple photo exhibition, but a real adventure and story for children. Each photo taken in Ruta's garden is accompanied by a rhyming description in two languages. It tells the story of a bush monster who hunts those other creatures who are different from him. At the same time, the story also makes you think about bullying, ridicule and what it's like to be different. There are also additional tasks for several photos, which children can do - for example, draw a continuation of the photo right there on the wall, listen to the laughter of an infant or find how many stones are visible in the photo.

The photo exhibition is complemented by a book with the same name made by Ruta. In the book the reader can look not only at nature photos and rhyming descriptions, but also appreciate various photography techniques. Photos taken in a style not often seen - for example, shooting with a pinhole body cap on digital camera. The book is printed on sugarcane paper, which brings the reader even closer to nature.

“I really like the idea of the book about the forest. The forest can really seem both scary and comforting. The difference is usually determined by the inner state of the person. The book talks about such emotions and feelings as fear, insecurity, anger, protection and freedom. By creating the exhibition, Ruta has managed to create the feeling that the viewer enters the forest and the forest enters the viewer. The opportunity to feel the forest not only by sight, but also by touch and sound intensifies these feelings," says Sabine Kozlovska, one of the visitors of the exhibition, who came to the opening of the exhibition with her three children.

This year will be 10 years since Ruta Saksens Kalmane moved from Latvia to the Netherlands. Although she graduated in English philology from the University of Latvia in Latvia, the exhibition is part of her master's program at the University of Falmouth (Great Britain), where she studies photography. Both the book and the exhibition were created with her one-year-old son Colin in mind.

After Epe, Ruta has plans to place the exhibition in other places, so you are welcome to contact her with ideas or invitations for a photo exhibition through the website!”

Figure 1: SAKSENS KALMANE, Ruta. 2023. Visitors at The Bush Monster exhibition.

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