Event Programme “Empathy for the Other. Exploring Mental Health through Art”

The Eija-Liisa Ahtila exhibition Potentiality for Love is accompanied by a programme focusing on art and mental health, organised by the National Gallery of Art together with Kaunas Artists' House and Šiauliai Art Gallery. As a part of the programme, Eija-Liisa Ahtila's 55-minute film Love is a Treasure(2002) about the world of women who have developed psychoses, will be screened in Vilnius, Kaunas and Šiauliai. The film consists of five episodes, each telling the story of one woman. The episodes are based on research and interviews, but the stories and dialogues are fiction, combinations of different elements. The film brings out the similarities between the ordered mind and the disordered mind: the ways in which the mind works and creates solutions in unusual situations.

The phenomenon of psychosis explored in the film is one of the most stigmatising mental health phenomena. People with psychosis may experience various kinds of hallucinations or delusions - peculiar beliefs about reality that intersect with the perception of reality of those around them. Society, and even the person undergoing psychosis, often associates such experiences with the final stop on the "road to madness." In our series of events, we define psychosis as a "radical" starting point in terms of the perception of the other in the context of mental health. While some of the events are dedicated to the phenomenon of psychosis itself, others are preoccupied with broader mental health topics and their relationship to art. To what extent and in what way is art capable of participating in bringing closer the "other" - person that is dealing with mental problems? This question, among the others, will be raised in the upcoming conference, conversations and workshops.

The programme is compiled by curator Eglė Mikalajūnė and psychologist Dr. Juliana Lozovska.

All events are free of charge.


31 August, Tuesday, Kaunas Artists' House 

7.00 pm 

Screening of Eija-Liisa Ahtila's film "Love is a Treasure" and a talk "Psycholandscapes. Representation of Mental Health Issues in Art". Moderated by the historian and writer Dr. Tomas Vaiseta. Participants in the discussion: the film director and screenwriter Marija Kavtaradzė, the theatre director, song author and singer  Kamilė Gudmonaitė.

The event is a part of the events' cycle "Insomnia Salon", organised by Kaunas Artists' house. 


16 September, Thursday, Šiauliai Art Gallery

6.00 pm

Screening of Eija-Liisa Ahtila's film "Love is a Treasure" and a talk "Ways of Mind and Constructive (Self-)Help". Moderated by the culture manager and artist Kotryna Kvedarytė. Participants in the discussion: the art therapist Ilona Būdavaitė and the psychologist-psychotherapist, Jungian psychoanalyst Andžela Rybakovienė.

The event is co-organised with Šiauliai Art Gallery.


19 September, Sunday, National Gallery of Art

2.00 pm

A screening of Eija-Liisa Ahtila' film "Love is a Treasure" and drama and movement workshop on the subject of psychosis. Lead by interdisciplinary artist Greta Jalmokaitė.

Registration: edukacija@ndg.lt, (8-5) 219 5961


24 September, Friday, National Gallery of Art

11.00 am - 6.00 pm

Screening of Eija-Liisa Ahtila's film "Love is a Treasure" and an international conference "Psychosis and Art in Contemporary Society. Interdisciplinary Approach". Participants: neurobiologist dr. Inga Griškova-Bulanova (LT), storyteller, filmmaker and transformational guide Susan Florries (SW), art critic and curator Mathias Kryger (DK),  social worker, dance and movement therapist Tanja Pihlaja (FIN), psychologist-psychotherapist Dr. Ieva Povilaitienė (LT). Discussion moderated by art curator Eglė Mikalajūnė.

The conference will be held in Lithuanian and English. Simultaneous interpreting to both languages will be provided.


30 September, Thursday, National Gallery of Art

6.00 pm

A guided tour by Eija-Liisa Ahtila of the exhibition "Potentiality for Love" and a lecture about her recent work

The event will be held in English.

Registration for the guided tour: edukacija@ndg.lt, (8-5) 219 5961


3 October, Sunday, National Gallery of Art

12.00 pm

"Life Forms Around Me". A workshop about empathy for children aged 8 to 12. Lead by art educators Eglė Nedzinskaitė and Povilas Šnaras.

Registration: edukacija@ndg.lt, (8-5) 219 5961


Organiser: National Gallery of Art of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art

Partners: Kaunas Artists' House, Šiauliai Art Gallery

Project financed by Lithuanian Council for Culture

Sponsors: Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Embassy of Finland in Vilnius, Finnish Institute in Estonia, Pro AV Saarikko Oy, Exterus, Fundermax, Best Western

Media sponsors: lrytas.lt, Media Traffic

2021 08 31

Psychosis in Modern Society: an Interdisciplinary Approach

Event program accompanying Eija-Liisa Ahtila's exhibition Potentiality for Love starts August 31st and will last till October 3rd. The events will take place in the Kaunas Artists' House, the Šiauliai Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Art.