“Natural Women”

Kaunas Picture Gallery
D. Ščiuka. Ilona Balsytė

“Natural Women” is a collection of sophisticated portraits by young & aspiring photographer Dainius Ščiuka. Inspired by photographer Peter Lindberg, It is a journey of authentic femininity, paving a way to a different perception of female beauty, void of stereotypes & prejudices. This exhibition is a tribute to WOMEN – real, active, courageous women with stories to tell and immense self-confidence. It took Dainius 9 months to arrange this exhibition and it was first opened in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Mass media relentlessly contaminates the public opinion on what the perfect woman is like. A slim waist, perfect hair, plump lips, perfect skin – no matter what it takes. These purely physical features are exalted, masquerading as the most important core values. The phenomena of narcissism in the era of social media, selfies & Kim Kardashian is more prevalent than ever. Photoshop & the cosmetics industry have equalized and cloned the image of the perfect woman, it has become easily recognizable, predictable and boring. According to various surveys, only 2% of women worldwide actually feel beautiful, while young girls strive to fit the conventional “perfect woman” standard set in society. Representing one’s self as a perfect, emotionless porcelain doll has seemingly become the norm. Is femininity really nothing more than Vanity Fair?

The “Natural Women” exhibition is a series of thematically sensitive, visually impressive and genuine portraits which feature unique, interesting Lithuanian women who do outstanding work in a wide array of fields.

Classic black & white portraits allow us to distance ourselves from the desensitized modern understanding of beauty. On the contrary, they emphasize the importance of individuality, character and authentic appearance. 

Dainius Ščiuka (b. 1991) was born and raised in Kaunas. In 2014 he graduated the University of Portsmouth, UK, photography studies. While living here, D. Ščiuka released his first creative album “Taste the Street”, and presented the series in several spaces for artists. After returning to Lithuania, the photographer continued to develop social themes, which can be seen in many artist’s series. D. Ščiuka has presented his creative work in ten personal exhibitions, his works have been evaluated by various awards in Lithuania. Currently, the artist is interested in the anthropology, typology and the creative continuation of the Lithuanian School of Photography.