Photo by Rūta Kalmuka

From March 15 to May 9, the ISSP Gallery in Riga will host Rūta Kalmuka’s exhibition Interconnections, in which the artist documents her family and home, revealing the multiple roles and identities of women. The exhibition will open on March 14 at 18:00.

Stories Editorial March 4, 2024

Rūta Kalmuka’s large-format black-and-white photographs, taken over more than a decade, portray her family members and her home by the river, searching for connections between nature, people, and the events that surround them. «There once stood an apple tree that withered until just a stump remained, yet beside it, an elder tree blossoms profusely. Though something has been lost, in its absence, something new perpetually blooms. And everything is interconnected,» says the artist.


Portraits of loved ones are interwoven with fragments of nature, in particular the river and its ever-changing essence. In Rūta Kalmuka’s series, the flow of water, its constant circulation, and its ability to take and adapt to any form point to a woman’s ability to embody several roles in her lifetime, from daughter to wife and later to mother, while maintaining her own personal identity. The Interconnections series also reflects on the inevitable connection between a woman and her professional vocation, in this case, photography. The woman’s role in the family must meld with the mother’s creative interests and ambitions, as she appears to merely observe and document the everyday. As a result, a new identity emerges, that of the «mother-artist», serving as a reminder of the importance of not forgetting, understanding, and reclaiming ourselves in the rush and challenges of everyday life.

Rūta Kalmuka (1974) began studying photography in 1992 at the Annas 2 Centre for Creative Learning  with Andrejs Grants, who gave her a deep understanding of visual language, looking and seeing, aesthetics and ethics. She has worked in photojournalism for almost 20 years collaborating with print media such as Santa, Dienas žurnāli, NRA, Ir Magazine, etc. Currently Rūta works with analogue photography and large format techniques, and is interested in historical photographic processes and photobooks. She has participated in several group exhibitions in Latvia and abroad, and has had three solo exhibitions. Her work has been published in Foto Kvartāls, Fotofilmic JRTL, and World Press Photo.


The exhibition will be on view at the ISSP Gallery from March 15 to May 9. The exhibition will open on March 14 at 18.00.


Izstāde ISSP Galerijā būs skatāma no 15. marta līdz 9. maijam. Izstādes atklāšana notiks 14. martā plkst. 18.00.


The exhibition Interconnections is organised by ISSP, a platform for contemporary photography, art, and education. ISSP organises local and international education and exchange programmes, produces exhibitions, publications and events, and has gathered a thriving community of artists in Latvia and abroad, while exploring the connections between art and society. The ISSP School offers educational programmes, masterclasses, and mentoring programmes, nurturing a new generation of local photographers and artists. The ISSP Gallery is the central exhibition and events space for contemporary photography in Riga.