My love for printed words is so strong that I make paintings and sculptures from orphaned books. I add different sorts of paper, textile fiber and found objects and treat this mixture as if it was a marble mine. I regard all human-made commodities as the raw material of the 21st century, they add opulence, playfulness and weirdness to my objects. My sculptures are hybrids - installations, huge marionettes and idol figures. I overcome gravity using a technique from marionette theater. Sculptures float in air and strings make them alive.
I paint because I'm volatile. I catch all my demons and fears with a brush, so they are not threatening anymore. I'm hesitant, that's why I paint portraits in real time. Models don't have to speak. Sometimes I lay paintings in a horizontal plane, like huge rolls of parchment. The public can touch it, walk and crawl on it, contemplating the importance of daily grounding.
I'm a mystic. I borrow deities and create semisacred, eerie spaces where sculptures, paintings, words and animation merge in a numinous, baroque amalgam. I love the tactile. My objects are sensuous to touch. I love word constellations, so there are collections of short stories to accompany the visual work. In a courageous mood, I transform stories into puppet performances and collaborate with theaters and musicians.
"Multidisciplinary artist Velta Emīlija Platupe has a special ability to evoke a magical mood in space and plane where baroque splendor allows the beautiful and the eerie to mingle. She graduated with a MA in Contemporary Art from the Ecole Supérieure d’Arts & Media de Caen/Cherbourg in France, and obtained a master's degree in painting at the Latvian Art Academy. Velta Emīlija has been active in the Latvian art environment for more than ten years. Public attention has been attracted by her personal exhibitions ("Proofs of the Official Death of Love", "Forgiveness is Not Possible", "Invertebrates", etc.) and the visuals of theater performances ("Casanova", "Persian Lessons", "The Tale of Old Death" (nominated 2014/15 for the "Gamers' Night" award of the year) etc.). The artist created objects from different materials which are sometimes difficult to perceive as sculptures or dolls, so as not to create redundant word (too narrow or broad) connotations. Her figures are able to come to life both in the theater and in the exhibition hall, reminding about an important tradition of puppetry in the world and in Europe, which is unfortunately scarcely represented in Latvia. Velta Emilija Platupe says about herself that she can (and does) paint with her whole body, supplementing it with a brush, needle, or other tools if necessary."
Ilze Andresone, curator of the exhibition "Salambo. The Mystery of the Lost Kingdom" at the Andrejs Upīša Memorial Museum
Lace Devil in Jurmala, Latvia
Embracing Lace Devils in Jurmala, Latvia