Juli Bolaños-Durman & Aivaras Simonis on Spirited Waste

Juli Bolaños-Durman and Aivaras Simonis join forces to uplift discarded waste and render it into objects of beauty

Article by Stacey Hunter | 19 May 2022
  • Spirited Waste by Juli Bolaños-Durman & Aivaras Simonis

Juli Bolaños-Durman and Aivaras Simonis' new series, SPIRITED WASTE, showcases a process that they describe as approaching “the unwanted with compassion and patience instead of contempt for what these represent”. The beauty of waste material is reimagined and revealed during a one-day play session between Bolaños-Durman, a Costa Rican artist and designer, and Simonis, a Lithuanian photographer. They worked together for the first time in order to produce and document a new, experimental dialogue between unwanted objects collected from both their local community and their recycling bins.
A disposable coffee cup; a green plastic bottle; a cosmetic glass container; and a piece of foam are juxtaposed with embellished hand-cut glass. These come together as “three-dimensional portraits of courage”. Simonis brings a photographer’s eye and advertising-industry-insider’s attention to detail to these intimate portraits while Bolaños-Durman brings a blend of fearless composition building to a poetic sensibility that marks her out as an emerging force in Scottish craft. The two creatives have worked together to materialise waste into spirited beings; driven by compassion and reinvention. 
Bolaños-Durman is increasingly known for her highly original approach to working with glass. Her signature aesthetic has been forged through the repurposing and subsequent transformation of found objects into precious artefacts – always with strong underlying narratives that deal with topics like memory and remembrance. Her work has been presented at the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) Collection and Bolaños-Durman – who is based at Custom Lane – regularly exhibits internationally in places like Design Miami (2016), Design Days Dubai and London Design Festival (2021). 

With a background in both business and design, Simonis brings a fresh approach to his images, centring his subjects in striking, conceptual worlds. Born and raised in Lithuania, Simonis is now “nourished by the vibrant creative communities of Glasgow, London and Amsterdam.”
By giving breathing space to waste material, objects have the chance to become infused with charm and depth. “The ultimate purpose is to invite a shift in our perception of the potential of waste and how we can reimagine it into something of beauty.”

View the photographic series at both julibd.com and aivarassimonis.com