This is me - Aiste. Photographer, Illustrator, Writer, Witch.
My story is a story of a little girl, a thumbelina with blue eyes and a heart as big as the moon. A girl searching for magic in a grey-coloured world.
I learnt about the magic of the world by treading paths in the snow and gathering early spring flowers. My mother taught me how to see: with awe-filled eyes. She taught me how to love every sunrise, and kiss goodbye every sunset, every moon, every winter.
I grew up in a small country. A land on the shores of the Baltic sea called Lietuva. Lithuania. Aistė is a woman of the Aisčiai (Aesti) people, the tribes that inhabited these lands before statehood. Saulytė, directly translated, means ‘little sun’ (Saulė - sun, saulytė - little sun, a diminutive version of the word). Today, my name carries my home.
I left Lithuania at the age of 18 and moved to London. My blood always boiled with the desire to travel. I needed to grow beyond the boundaries of what I knew. I wished to learn about the world at large, I wanted to understand what it’s like to be people brought up in other cultures, other lands. I wanted to know how that defines us, how that decides the world we live in, and the world we create. I can certainly say that living in the melting pot of cultures and experiences that London is taught me great many things.
My passion for knowing, studying and understanding the world drove me to do a BA in Politics and International Relations. That was my reason & my ticket for moving to London. But it wasn’t my purpose. A lot of my decisions at the time were made by fear, guided by expectations and followed by feelings of being completely lost and failing to live up to anything that was expected.
In life, one needs a purpose. How else do we know what path to choose amongst the myriad of ways we could wander?
So my road was winding. I got involved in many exciting and interesting projects and hoped for a time to build a career growing food, writing about food issues, being political. But whilst it all fascinated and interested me, it didn’t light me up. I didn't want 'a career', I felt that I simply needed one.
So I took a long and difficult journey deep within myself, to dark forests and barren lands, gathering and dusting old bones. Howling. Witching. Resurrecting.
Since those days picking wild flowers, the little blue-eyed girl learnt about loss, about grief and pain, and her world slowly but surely turned cold. So I went searching for that wild little child with a spark in her eyes. And I found her. I found myself again. And with it - my creativity, my passion, my purpose. I wanted to give the world magic. The magic of being alive. The magic of love. Of this world. Of our imagination and creativity.
My photography, my illustrations, my writings - these are all ways for me to capture and express the beauty and the power of the world, of our experience here as human beings, of our own inner thoughts and feelings. What I wish to express through my art is visions, feelings and a sense of magic, of wonder.
My imagination is fueled by folk stories and Baltic myths. It’s filled with witches, wolves and forest creatures. I call myself a witch, because for me that is a recognition of a woman who knows the depth of her own power, and has faced herself, deep within, the dark and the light.
In my art, I seek to capture and express all those feelings and moments that makes us human. Those things that are beneath the surface, but ever present, like tenderness, connection, vulnerability, spirit, freedom, passion, love, adventure, heart, soul, poetry and light.