The impressive cover illustration of The Baltics Riveter was created by the young Lithuanian artist, Laima Matuzonytė. Laima won this, her first professional commission, as part of a competition run by Pop Up Projects, which also sponsored the cover artwork.
Here, Bhavit Mehta, Pop Up Projects’ Project Manager, describes the UK/Baltic countries’ artistic collaboration.
To coincide with the London Book Fair 2018 Baltic countries Market Focus, artwork produced by young artists from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the UK will be showcased in an exhibition at the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) in Mayfair, London, from 9 April to 20 May 2018. Co-curated by Pop Up Projects and House of Illustration, the exhibition will feature some of the best work from collaborations between 150 talented young artists from sixteen universities and colleges and eighteen professional illustrators from the four countries, including Kate Greenaway, William Grill and Beegu author, Alexis Deacon.
The young artists – all under twenty-six and 80% of whom have English as a second language and/or are BAME – have worked under the guidance of their artist-mentors to produce illustrated stories in a distinct leporello (concertina) format. The stories have been published by four partners (Päike Ja Pilv in Estonia, kuš! In Latvia, Vilnius Academy of Arts Press in Lithuania and Nobrow Press in UK). The resulting library will be presented alongside the exhibition.
Developed in collaboration with the cultural platform, Inkygoodness, Pop Up Projects will also be launching a new digital platform, Pathways, designed to seek out, curate and showcase direct to children’s publishers diverse, emerging illustrators and comic artists, who have been drawn from this project and beyond.
The project has been funded by Arts Council England (Ambition for Excellence award), Lithuanian Council for Culture, Latvia’s International Writers and Translators House and the Ministry of Culture of Estonia, and is supported by a number of other partners in each country.
The Riveter magazine commissioned one of the young artists from the project, Laima Matuzonytė, from Vilnius in Lithuania, to create this issue’s cover, based on the theme of costume, craft and design.
By Bhavit Mehta
Bhavit Mehta has worked as a publisher, translator and festival director. He is a trustee for Wasafiri magazine of international contemporary writing. Bhavit has collaborated with UK and international writers and literature partners in his work with the British Council, Commonwealth Foundation and, currently, with Pop Up Projects.