Artist Džemma Skulme to celebrate 90th birthday

On September 20, the acclaimed Latvian painter Džemma Skulme will turn 90. Latvian Television paid her a visit, discovering quite a few things about the artist's outlook on life.

Džemma Skulme, who was born in 1925 in Rīga, has been a great voice both in the development of Latvian modernism painting and in the reinstatement of the Latvian independence in the late eighties and the early nineties. 

She will celebrate neither with great fanfare, nor toasts by a huge table. She will celebrate with an exhibition in Mālpils, where the paintings, many of them several decades old, will touch topics that are still important today.

"An artist is an artist, he always is, he has to be - he has to keep his thoughts strained and arduous, and he wants to express them as much as he can; that's what an artist is. That's probably the difference from a retired person, who has no new tasks left. An artists always has," said Džemma Skulme.

Perhaps the inner tension is what gives Džemma Skulme her fantastic energy. The artist herself says that the source of her power is all the good others give to her. It's also important not to lose yourself to trifles, even though the day and age is much more fragmented as one has to know a lot. But it's important not to lose yourself in it.

"The lack of time is at fault. The lack of time. People don't have the [ability to engage in] the slow contemplation that allows you notice a lot and to be glad about a lot of things and to stop at them," said Skulme.

"Everything happens fast and quickly, sentences are dropped half-way, thoughts are dropped half-way. The warmness of the heart is going away. But, I have to say, in my age and with my feelings, I live in a more heartwarming manner towards others, it's a wonderful recipe that helps to join opposite spirits," the artist said.

Fragments from her work can be found on this website and at the bottom of her Wikipedia page

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