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The Air Smelt Salty

by Maria Valaitis

Maria makes poetic, considered films about her everyday experiences and familial relations. She is interested in the relationship between sound and image, often working across multiple screens or projections. Her practice is autobiographical and experimental, it also encompasses photography and installation.


“The Air Smelt Salty explores my Lithuanian heritage. The multimedia installation addresses the historical and biographical narrative of my great grandparents’ migration experience from Lithuania to Scotland in the early 1900’s. Anchoring the images are the voices of two Lithuanian actors playing the role of my great grandparents and how I imagined them to be, they speak about their experience to the listener whilst also conversing with each other.

During the 1900s large portions of the Lithuanian population migrated from the country as increasing levels of poverty were worsened by a typhus epidemic and the threat of war looming on the horizon. For my grandparents, these increasing levels of instability and the threat of Russian rule was enough to make them take the leap of faith towards Scotland.”


The Air Smelt Salty was on display in the windows of the Hidden Wardrobe from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February.


Watch the digital launch of The Air Smelt Salty by Maria Valaitis over on our YouTube Channel.

Exhibiting Artists


12/01/24 - 18/02/24


The Hidden Wardrobe