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Vytas Kapociunas Lost Children in the Outback

The Artist

Painter, Sculptor, print-maker and illustrator, Vytas Kapociunas  was born in Kaunas, Lithuania in 1943 before immigrating with his family at the age of six to Adelaide in 1949. In 1962, Kapociunas was granted a scholarship to study fine arts in 1962 and won the Goya Prize for painting 2 years later and in 1965 graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art from the South Australian School of Art.

Like many artists, following their studies, Vytas spent time travelling  in Europe following an award for a scholarship to travel. This also saw Vytas take up an artist-in-residence position in Bordeaux, France.  On his return, Vytas lectured in the South Australian School of Art between 1968 and 1997. He also was a guest lecturer at the School of Art, West Berlin and the Art Institute of Chicago, US.  Among  his many activities, Vytas also was an Artist in Residence here at the University of Canberra between 1997 to 1998.

Lost Children in the Outback

The Works of Art

Vytas describes his work as essentially dramatic. 'I try  to evoke emotion. It is feeling which I want to transmit above anything else. My  draughtsmanship is the affirmation of life through movement. I try to impart the sensation of living- to excite the spectator into a keener awareness of the mystery, the humour, the variety  and wonder of life. The act of converting an idea into lines and other marks and shapes often excites the mid and free and encourages creative thought, be it literal or abstract.

The Lost Children in the Outback  is very thought provoking and represents the 'stolen generation'. Perhaps as the title suggests and this, rather graphic image, the work places the group of children into a context as one of the figures blends into the shape of a kangaroo.  The work was painted using oils onto  canvas in 1996.

The second work of art by Kapocunas is titled Alwele ( family). It is believed to be an etching using charcoal and ink and was created whilst the artist was in residence at the University of Canberra.  The work was subsequently acquired for the Art Collection by the  then Vice Chancellor, Don Aitken.


Vytas Kapociunas biographical note (University of Canberra Art Collection files).