Danute Vaitekunaite

Artist Statement

Drawing on the everyday, I create walk-in experiences like scenes from a theatre set or chapters in a book, where colour, form, and narrative meet to create alternative worlds. Colour is a hook, a lure, a conduit for storytelling, acting as a gateway to another world. This world, inhabited by forms, both found and created, is where dialogue happens.

Through listening and intuition, I navigate the dialogue that happens in the in-between, in the spaces of tension: natural meets fabricated, here touches there, industrial materials and sinister realities pollute seemingly harmonious colours. These in-betweens are a result of an intuitive reflection, which seeks to grasp floating, unseen stories through juxtaposition and systems of display. I explore this space of the in-betweens, where tension and balance coexist, and where objects transcend their materiality to become living entities with voices of their own. 

Universality comes through a mythopoetic and subjective perspective, as I search for links between seemingly disparate objects to create new associations. I look for connections between the history of the universe and the universe of my studio, of my memories and my senses. Colour acts as a connector of my body of work, of emotion, of universal human experience. Behind the colours, secrets hide. Gouache’s matte fragility, laid down on wood, contains multiple presents. Wood is familiar, safe. Its lines and crevices make drawings from beneath the gouache paint. The will of the material is honoured, its physicality is not altered.

I create visual languages, with stories and poetry serving as vehicles for conveying the essence of human experience. The constantly growing collection attempts to create essential, universal forms of communication that transcend words. My play-like and seemingly child-like way of working is a reflection on symbols, languages, icons, and their weight. Collected objects, colours, emotions become autonomous entities that guide the artistic expression. Play creates impermanent forms and displays that structure visual and theoretical research. Play is both a methodology and a destination. 

I create the rules of the game, rethink systems of exchange, transmission, interactivity. The order of the game is poetic, fragile and, sometimes, steeped in the awareness of human separateness. I go back and forth between mediums, distilling essence and making connections between things and forms that are not necessarily evident. Sensorial languages and intuitive reflection intertwine with words and narratives. How can we understand each other? My work strives to make singular collective experiences that carve out more time and space for reflection.

What does the present feel like in a cave? How do I make sense of change? What do I want to keep safe? The present is where the future and the past collide to create hybrid landscapes. What is my response to the present, the ever-expanding plasticity of time, the displacement, the return, the clash of realities?


Danute Vaitekunaite is a collector, rearranging the present like a fabulating archeologist. Centering her work around the trivial and the intuitive, she creates narratives through unexpected meetings, embracing the tension of the spaces in-between. With an interest in color, sculpture, space, language, and narrative, Danute’s practice remains interdisciplinary, not conforming to limitations of mediums.

Danute (born in Šiauliai, Lithuania) holds a BFA from La Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (HEAR) in Strasbourg, France. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Art and Media at NYU Abu Dhabi. Danute has participated in a cross-disciplinary research artist residency in Maillon Theatre, France (2021) and her work has been exhibited in collective exhibitions in Syndicat Potentiel (2021) and La Chaufferie (2022) in France. She also has work experience in film production in France and Tunisia, as well as in cultural diplomacy in the UAE.