Arts·Video

Daumante Stirbyte's ceramic sculptures transform insects and monsters into delicate glazed beauties

"When you look at micro shots of insects, there's so much colour and texture, and all these amazing details. But at the same time, you don't want them inside your house."

'When you look at micro shots of insects, there's so much colour and texture, and all these amazing details'

Daumante Stirbyte's ceramic sculptures transform insects and monsters into delicate glazed beauties

1 year ago
Duration 3:37
"When you look at micro shots of insects, there's so much colour and texture, and all these amazing details. But at the same time, you don't want them inside your house." Note: this video was filmed before COVID-19.

London-based ceramic artist and creature creator Daumante Stirbyte's art feels like spring. Her organically shaped sculptures transform insects and monsters — who some would describe as repulsive — into delicate glazed beauties. 

Inspired by the natural world, but disinterested in portraying it exactly as it appears, Stirbyte instead crafts a fantasy-driven universe that feels familiar yet strange. That may be because despite their otherworldly appearances, her goal is to humanize her clay critters. She brings the colourful concoctions to life using subtle cues like body language or naming conventions that trend much more cute than monstrous.

Daumante Stirbyte (CBC Arts)

In this video by Hex Productions (filmed before the pandemic), Stirbyte shows us her meticulous process, from building biomorphic bodies to tiny antennae.

Detail of a sculpture by Daumante Stirbyte. (CBC Arts)

"My work is heavily based on escapism," says Stirbyte. As a child, she recalls exploring her grandparents' farms, surrounded by animals, insects and nature. This experience heavily influenced her practice, and she hopes to share that feeling with others. "If you can immerse yourself in this beautiful, interesting, fantasy world for a minute and it makes you feel a little better, then I think I did my job."

Pieces by Daumante Stirbyte. (CBC Arts)
A sculpture by Daumante Stirbyte (CBC Arts)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucius Dechausay is a video producer at CBC Arts, as well as a freelance illustrator and filmmaker. His short films and animations have been screened at a number of festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival and Hot Docs. Most recently he directed KETTLE, which is currently streaming at CBC Short Docs.

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