The exhibition “Dreams of Waking Hours” by Anna Baklāne represents, first and foremost, the painting of a very young person. True, there is youth maximalism there, and search for identity, faith, doubts, the desire to be daring and rebellious, to step over the line, as well as self-analysis and gnawing unrest. It is beautiful to be young, but it’s never easy. It thrills to see a young person so taken over by painting. That is where she, Anna Baklāne, belongs. Just like one can belong to a race, ethnicity or faith, there is also belonging to painting. The works exhibited here have been painted during the last year when Anna graduated from the Art Academy and earned her Master’s degree. She’s been painting a lot, indeed, and even through her study years nobody would call her lazy in that department. Anna got noticed both by those who follow and watch for anything appearing on the art scene and by her professors who talked about her approvingly.
Her painting is characterized by metaphysical peace and serenity, such that allows you to hear your heartbeat. Or, by excitement before something unexpected happens stirring fear and allure at the same time. Hers is a cool and restrained palette, in particular her bluish-grey tones bringing us back to the painting of her father, Juris Baklāns (1947–1989), and prompting a conclusion that it is not just the colour of eyes and hair and features of character that get inherited, but a sense of colour as well, since Anna has not studied the painting of her parents to try and learn from it, she just has it in her. But it has long been clear that it is not nearly enough to become an artist yourself. Anna is all work, and that allure of painting is for real. In each work, she sets a goal for herself and the earnestness, perseverance and high demands of herself exhibited in its implementation cannot help but be recognized. Anna is very genuine, straightforward and real in her painting, the pretentiousness and showiness for the sake of attracting the spectator does not interest her. She is keen about the environment, not only as a space but as a medium for emotions, atmosphere, psychological load and aesthetics. In several of her works this environment is charged with a sense of tranquillity, solitude or anxiety. A new, before-unseen element is the background, the environment encompassing the images with graffiti – they are loud, obtrusive and restless, with their own aesthetics as a reminder of those unknown graffiti authors, their desire to express themselves and our attitude to that. In her Masters thesis, Anna writes: “What I am trying to say is that by using the graffiti language in my paintings I can substitute them for people as real images. The important thing for me is to give an inkling of their existence. This is how the message of my work comes about.”
It is an interesting process – to witness the growing pains and the shaping up of a young artist, to observe her aptitude, range of interests and the directions her quests will take her. Nowhere else can the essence of the creative process be captured so vividly as in the art of the young. And, whoever is able to follow through the course of development of the artist in this exciting process will benefit greatly.
In one of the works on exhibit at the gallery, Anna Baklāne has painted herself as St. Sebastian, pierced with arrows. Prompting the creation of this self-portrait, “The Offended”, was the refusal of her participation in the exhibition “The Dainties Ball”. Anna has manifested her attitude caused by her being offended and there is nothing extreme about it, but it presents us with a chance to, once again, make sure that everything happens for the best. Had Anna Baklāne not been given a refusal then, we would not have this work now. She manifests faith in herself. For an artist, it is important.