#003 - Saša Ostoja
#003 - Saša Ostoja
Destination: Riga, Latvia
Date: 29 August- 04 September, 2013
About the print:
Dimensions: ± 50 x 70 cm
Colours: 3 colour silkscreen print
Edition: 50 prints, signed and numbered by the artist
(frame not included)
A little word by Sasa Ostoja
“The Eastern Bloc has always had a certain attraction, and I’ve hoped to experience it firsthand. It always seemed like a bleak, yet exciting part of the world, largely due to history lessons about the Cold War and James Bond movies. Driving around through Latvia gave me the best opportunity to experience the whole country. The country seems to be in a transitional period, which is visible in the stark contrast between the poor and rich neighborhoods. For example you can find a beautiful Russian church, complete with all of its golden ornamentsn in the middle of a ghetto.
For the print I created a list of moments on the road trip that I thought to be typical for Latvia. Poverty, strange architecture, beautiful nature, deserted Russian buildings and a surprising amount of young people heavily drinking, shocking me quite a bit. I tried to incorporate as many impressions as possible into the final print. Usually I take my inspiration from my own mind or through browsing for documentaries and movies on Youtube. Really going out on your own adventure, exploring the beautiful nature and really connecting with new people can’t be beaten by any digital image.”
Thursday, August 29, 2013
The bags are packed, and i’m ready to leave! Tonight at 19.00 is my flight and i’ll spend the next 6 days in Latvia!
Friday, August 30, 2013
Had a wild night last night in Riga. Not too many memories left.
Today hooked up with David Schilter, who runs Kuš komikss, a great underground comics publisher. He’s a super nice sweet guy and gave us some tips of what to do and visit in Latvia.
Afterwards picked up the camper for the next few days. Badass! Made plans for the next few day s where we are going to visit the deserted satellite dish that the Russians left behind. Further we’ll explore the coastline and visit some water falls and nature parks.
First up now, groceries for the trip!
Saturday, August 31, 2013
The camper has seen the first action on the road. We've stayed the night at the beach near a little town called Lapmezciems. Just outside of Riga. We were allowed to stay the night here for 5 Lat. That’s about 7 euro’s. Crazy cheap.
Now on our way to Irbene to see the satellite!
Today we drove to Kolka, which is the the very tip of Latvia, on the west coast. The plan was to drive from there to Ventspils, another coast town. On our way we passed a satellite, which we saw from a distance, so we decided to make a little detour and take a look.
It turned out to be the old deserted Russian satellite from Irbene, which we wanted to see, and it’s sick! It’s huge and just standing there in the middle of the forest. We also found a dark 700 meter tunnel and walked it all the way to the end. The tunnel ended in yet another empty and deserted place, it looked like an army barrack.
It’s super weird here. It’s like traveling back in time to the old communist days. Afterwards we visited another deserted town, an old marine town. A drunken Latvian guy was keeping guard here, but we had a little chat with him and gave him some food so we were free to pass.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Today we’ve been on our way to Liepaja. On our way we’ve passed through several towns and cities along the west side coastline of Latvia. On our way we stranded in front of a bridge, which was closed for at least an hour so we wanted to find another way around. We met these four kids who are in a rock band called ‘Black Rose’ who gave us directions. Unfortunately they don’t have any music online just yet.
Along the way we passed this church as well, i believe it’s a Russian orthodox church. Looks stunning, and there are many like it all over Latvia. It’s located in the middle of a ghetto here in Liepaja.
Tonight we’re heading out towards a old Russian marine base here in Liepaja. Tomorrow we’re driving all across the country for 400km to get to Daugapils, which is also know as the russian part of Latvia.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Although there were big plans for today, we decided to take a rest day today. All day long there has been rain, storm and wind, and people suggested that we didn’t take the 400 km drive up to Daugavpils.
So we decided to take a little break from the camper and stay at a Hotel/spa to get some rest. Tomorrow we are driving to Sigulda, with beautiful nature and cultural stuff.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
After the bad weather from yesterday it was a beautiful sunny day today. And we started driving towards Sigulda, which is a lovely nature area with beautiful forests and rivers.
Below are some photos of the Gouja river. Now we are driving towards Cesis, an old traditional city with castles and ruins where i’m going to work some more on my drawings and sketches for the print.
Then tomorrow we have our last day in Riga already before heading back home. The plan is to go to the market, walk around some more and head on the plane.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Last night we camped out in the woods near Cecis, and woke up to the sunrise at a lake around 6.30. We had our last drive waiting for us, back to Riga.
Back in Riga we went to an old market named Tirgus, where they sold all kinds of army stuff and obscure things from the eastern bloc. It was a beautiful market filled with colorful characters.
There was an old lady dancing on the corner of the street, and it turned out she had been dancing there for the last 15 years. She danced to music that she played on an old casette tape. Every time she had to stop dancing to rewind the tape. She told us that back in the days she made pirouettes as well, but now her hip is acting up. Quite heavy to see, but also typical of Latvia
Now back home, full of travels and tiredness.