Our eighty third interview in this series of intimate interviews is with talented mobile photographer and artist Juta Jazz from Cyprus, originally from Lithuania. When I asked her within this interview ‘what drives you on?‘, she replied ‘Something I can’t reach…‘ – this response touched me because isn’t that essentially what drives us all on? I believe, in many ways, we can all answer this question in the same way but what is it, that we cannot reach? We see life through the lens of our earliest relationships, though we usually don’t realise it. Our conscious minds are tiny iceberg-tips on the dark ocean of the unconscious. Each life is unique and each person has their own unique story and this is revealed over a lifetime. It’s important that each artist stays watchfully receptive to their consciousness and then utilise all the ingredients at their disposal to make meaning of their lives. This is a magnificent interview with an artist full of aesthetic grace. Enjoy.
To read the other published interviews in this series including artists, Adria Ellis, Rino Rossi, Mehmet Duyulmus, Alexis Rotella, Lou Ann Sanford Donahue, Irene Oleksiuk, Kerry Mitchell, Filiz Ak, Dale Botha, Lisa Mitchell, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Deborah McMillion, Rita Colantonio, Amy Ecenbarger, Jane Schultz, Anca Balaj, Joyce Harkin, Armineh Hovanesian, Kate Zari Roberts, Vicki Cooper, Peter Wilkin, Barbara Braman, Becky Menzies, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Sarah Bichachi, Michel Pretterklieber, Alon Goldsmith, Judy Lurie Wahlberg, Andrea Bigiarini, Sean Hayes, Oola Cristina, Kathleen Magner-Rios Linda Toki, Deb Field, Emilo Nadales, Lydia Cassatt, David Hayes, Jean Hutter, Frederic Deschênes, Mark Schnidman, Fatma Korkut, Fleur Schim, Rob Pearson-Wright, Dieter Gaebel, James Ellis, Marco P Prado, Jeronimo Sanz, Manuela Matos Monteiro, Bleu Chemiko, Manuela Basaldella, Stefania Piccioni, Luis Rodríguez, Marilisa Andriani (@mitrydate) Mayte Balcells (@artofmayte), Nicole Christophe, Jennifer Graham, Cathrine Halsør Paul Toussaint, Carol Wiebe, Julie Denning, Kim Clayton (@berleyart), Karen Messick, Serap Utaş, MaryJane Rosenfeld, Paul Suciu, Susan Latty (@pause.and.breathe),John Nieto, Phyllis Shenny, Joy Barry, Max Lies Derdonk, Rita Tipunina, Violet Martins, Nizzar Ben Chekroune, Lynette Sheppard, Paul-Andre Hamel, Rejane Rubino, Susan Detroy, Rosalie Heller, Wayman Stairs, Cintia Malhotra, Anita Elle and myself, go here.
All images ©Juta Jazz
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
Oh yes…my ambition was a huge one…I wanted to be a ballet star…
Definitely, when I started studying in the School of Arts in Lithuania, I was about 10 years old. The school had a tour together with the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, that traveled to Moscow, to the Bolshoi theatre. I was selected from many of my classmates, together with another five children…I really felt proud, to dance to the highest standards theatre in those times…
As you can understand, I was studying at a professional ballet school. The school was having liabilities with a national opera and ballet theatre to send their students into opera or ballet performances. So I had these liabilities too. After a difficult day of 6 hours every day dance practice and other school lessons, I also had to go to the theatre, on some evenings, to take part in performances. Sometimes, it was really short, maybe 15 minutes or so, but I had to be there from the beginning to the end of the performance. Some operas or ballets had 3-4 parts…about 3 hours or more…yes…. it was really hard work for 12 years as a teenager to wait behind the scenes all those hours, just to perform for a 15 minute piece after a difficult day at school…and yes…in those times the soviet system was prohibited to pay teenagers…so as a payment I received my knowledge to remember, mentally, each track of music and scene from each of the spectacles.
Private or State School?
State. In those days we didn’t have private ones.
University or work?
Work. The school I finished, was a specialised one. Dancers didn’t needed to go to university, except those, who wanted to go into teaching straight from the school. I had a contract with a theatre as soon as I finished my schooling.
But yes, years later, I moved to Cyprus and I had short studies in university for the graphic design field, in which I’m currently working.
Who was or still is your mentor?
Each period of my life I had different ones. From each one I get the most precious lessons.
How physically fit are you?
I can’t say that I’m at my best fitness right now, but still, I can’t complain, ever.
Ambition or Talent. What matters more to success?
I think it goes both ways. If I select only one then maybe there’s very little chance to succeed.
How politically committed are you?
Maybe not that much, I could be more, that’s for sure… Years ago I had optimism to believe in good politics and positive changes. As days go by, and the facts are shown, my optimism and interest in politics has started to disappear…
What would you like to own that you don’t currently possess?
Difficult to answer….maybe complete reconciliation and peace with myself?…
What is your biggest extravagance?
To feel only happiness and bliss, at the moment I’m without any worries, without having any liabilities, without having the huge pressure of time limits.
In which places are you happiest?
In any place, just in the way when I’m feeling only happiness and bliss that I mentioned above.
What ambitions do you still have?
To be bolder with my mobile art, to have more time for it. To travel, to see all the beautiful places the world is offering….and many things more…
What drives you on?
Something that I can’t reach, but would love to…also art, music – inspirations from it…communication with the people, who have positive energy.
What is the greatest achievement of your life so far ?
My past career as a ballet dancer, family, Mobile Art awards, exhibitions.
What do you find most irritating in other people ?
Rudeness, torpor, stupidity, arrogance.
If your twenty year old self could see you now, what would she think ?
Oh my….look what I have become! Where I brought myself to live! And what about ballet?….yessss….I changed a lot…….
Which object that you’ve lost do you wish you still had ?
I’m not sure if I have such that thought at the moment, everything is temporary…
What is the greatest challenge of our time ?
To change the way of materialistic thinking for people generally worldwide, especially those, who rule countries, who control the economy. So to not get more issues with climate change, wars, refugees…
Do you believe in the afterlife ?
Yes, I do. In the way I want to believe – that we are one huge energy, just divided into positive and negative, from there we came and there we will be back, we are just having our temporary shield right now, and then…..
If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
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