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The idea is to brighten up the daily walk with your pet and make you reflect on modern life’s issues
For two weeks now, Riga walkers and park enthusiasts, especially those accompanied by a dog or two, have been able to enjoy the offerings of the ‘People’s Stories’ project. Part of the Latvian capital’s Summer Culture Programme, it invites people to visit 10 city parks and locate a bench with a dog statue on it and listen to a short story.
Sadly, two of the statues have not survived – so, hurry up!
The cultural project is a truly collaborative piece that pools the efforts of a variety of creative people, such as artists, sculptors, writers and actors.
The dog sculptures, each of which bears a different name and a unique design, sit on benches in the parks. The designs of the ten sculptures were created by various artists, who sought inspiration in Aivars Vilipsons’ illustrations for the book “Dog’s Life. Stories and sunsets”, written by Nora Ikstena.
The creative process included the artists listening to one of the stories from the book by random draw and then visualizing the colours on the sculpture.
QR codes were placed on the statues, which are also the work of sculptor Kristaps Anderson. By scanning the code with a smartphone, it is possible to take a break in your walk with the dog and enjoy a cultural break. You can listen to one audio story (per park) as told by the actress from the Latvian National Theater Marija Bērziņa.
The project organizers promise that these stories let the listener reflect on contemporary life’s problems, such as health, co-creation and culture, from a brand-new perspective. Unfortunately, two of the dog statues, Pepper and Frieda, were victims of vandalism and are no longer in their places. However, their QR codes are still available and so are the stories that accompany them.
Art enthusiasts and dog lovers can find a map of the dog sculptures by going on the project’s website: www.sunsarmisiju.lv.
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