Forever and a Day

by Danilo Brunetti

A new exhibit at the Dorothy Circus Gallery explores nature and regeneration through the adolescent female experience.

Jana Brike is a surrealist painter creating extraordinary whimsical scenarios through which the viewer catches a glimpse of the intimate world of the artist, what she describes as a “poetic visual autobiography.” The wondrous and regenerative presence of nature is present in all her works, particularly the archetype of water, which, together with other elements, composes an intuitive and personal symbolism through which the artist explores themes of exploration, growth, innocence, curiosity, transcendence, and love.


Brike’s detailed dreamscapes show human figures, often adolescent females, in playful and unselfconscious discovery of the world around them. There is often a juxtaposition of harshness with hope in her paintings, with figures showing bloody scratches, incisions, or redness on their skin, only to be surrounded by butterflies or flowers. Nakedness and nature often go together in her paintings, and she frequently depicts adolescent girls in scenes of erotic exploration, a metaphor for the continual discovery of the self and personal growth that continues throughout life, regardless of biological age or gender. In this way, the works can be seen to represent free-spirited femininity, a celebration of Earth and nature, and freedom from oppression.

Brike lives and works in her hometown of Riga. The native Latvian history, a rich inter-generational oral tradition of storytelling, folklore, and close relationship with nature, continues to inspire Brike’s creativity. She speaks about the deep abstract symbolism of ancient Latvian poems and their insights about the relationship of humans to nature as well as the cycles of life and death that connect them. She seeks to portray “a real pure wild woman in her girlhood body, her path, trial, catharsis, symbolic death, and rebirth.” 


On all month at the Dorothy Circus Gallery. Via dei Pettinari, 76. Tel 0668805928.