Henrikas Orakauskas, an initiator of Kupiškis town decoration

Donata Jutkienė

Town is a space, where aesthetic ideas of man are materialised, various cultural phenomena, individual, personal and mass festivals take place, buildings are erected, art objects and memorial monuments are created. All these repeating phenomena and cultural processes form the face of a town, create its identity and image. It was Henrikas Orakauskas (b. 1948), who was the first to begin formation of the cultural face of Kupiškis town; his creative period lasted from 1986 to 2007. All in all, the artist created and implemented more than 39 sculpture compositions and exterior decor ideas in the town of Kupiškis and its environs, including two painted panels.

Based on general creative features, such as used materials, plasticity of sculptures and their content, his sculptures and their compositions in the Kupiškis town can be chronologically grouped according to three creative periods: the early period from 1986 to 1996, the second period from 1998 to 2000, and the third mature period from 2000 to 2009. Each period is notable for different use of materials, plasticity expression and relevance of themes. Especially, sculptures of the first and the second periods are closely related to a nearby building, thus, becoming an inseparable part of architectural context.

The third period differs from other ones in creative weight and relevance of themes analysed. This is a period of creative maturity, self-analysis and discoveries; it is closely related not only to the sculptor himself and his identity, but also to the looking for the Kupiškis, as a town, its past and present, as well as the future. The mature period spotlights the language of metaphors and symbols Orakauskas liked so much as well as their literary character.

All the periods reveal links between the town decoration and his personal creativeness. He used to reflect the relevance of his personal works in the town sculptures.

One of the most important aspects of existence of a town sculpture in a certain site is the relationship between the space, art work and the art perceiver. Most such art works have a certain purpose, i.e., to remember the events of the past and to give a sense to what had been before. The sculptor was affected to create some art objects, such as memorial monuments, by a concrete site, where something had happened. While other his works used the space as a constituent part of the art. Rituals performed by society ant the art objects provide the space with a tint of sacrality and sociality. An intimate relationship between the art object and the art perceiver (subject), as well as site and space, emerges. Thus, the artwork (embracing the space it occurs) becomes a concurrent part of a socium.

Discussion of various aspects of artwork's birth and transformation enabled to distinguish 4 types of Orakauskas's memorial monuments: (1) a monument for the foundation of the nation that is created using direct and indirect symbols and signs; (2) a monument for an historical event under the effect of space and environment; it is created by using direct signs, therefore visual resemblance to certain persons appears; (3) a monument as an artwork in another artwork; and (4) an historical event as a stimulus for an artwork to appear.

Different periods in creative life of Orakauskas revealed different life periods of the Kupiškis town as a site. With the intention to embody a site and a space, looking for signs of his own identity, in order to express himself and what is around in an artwork, the artist created sculptures of different purpose and plastic expression, different type and sort and technique; he also showed the town of Kupiškis the trends in aesthetic and historical milestones.