Eglė Kontrimienė Degutis „DEEP SHALLOWS“ Rust and Dust

The “Rust and Dust” series by painter Eglė Kontrimienė-Degutis sounds like a reflection on the passage of time and the fleeting nature of human existence. The abstract canvases represent what seems to be easily forgotten and lost, but could once have been perceived as eternal and imperishable things. The paintings commemorate not only physical objects, but also human experiences, memories and relationships that fade and transform over time. Kontrimienė-Degutis’ paintings of rust and dust textures and shapes convey this constant process of change that is inevitable and often unpredictable. Rust represents what has once been solid and strong, and dust embodies what is ultimately left behind. The subtle, hazy shapes and colours evoke a sense of something ephemeral, on the brink of vanishing or already belonging to the past. It could be the fragility of our lives and the realisation of how quickly even the most significant moments pass, leaving only faint traces in our memory. 

The paintings focus on texture, tonality and the movement of lines, suggesting layers of soil or the folds of human skin. The series, created using mixed media, acrylic and aerosol paints, can be interpreted as a realm between the ephemeral and the beautiful, embodying the principles of the traditional Japanese aesthetic philosophy of Wabi Sabi (meaning “modest simplicity”). The deliberate absence of clearly identifiable objects initiates a meditative dialogue about the passage of time, natural forms, or even the traces of human experience — or rather what will remain of them thousands or even millions of years later; humanity’s spiritual erosion, cultural decline, cosmic and existential insignificance, atomic extinction, and ultimate oblivion, in which it is also possible to discover aesthetics and, oddly enough, even some form of harmony. 

Kontrimienė-Degutis’ aesthetic works speak of the inevitable processes of transformation and the perpetual creative endeavor to maintain beauty and order in the face of disorder and death. They are transitions from one state to another, emphasising the importance of metamorphosis both in nature and in human life. This motif reflects the idea that even as something seems to age or fade away, it is merely a part of an eternal process of change. A process essential for the emergence of something new — for life, for ideas, for the void itself, creating out of its own lack. 

Comparing Kontrimienė-Degutis’ paintings with other abstractionist works, one can notice a certain connection with the Italian artist Alberto Burri’s “Sacchi” series, in which he similarly portrays the signs of time and decay; or with Anselm Kiefer’s works, in which the artist employs different textures to create a powerful visual and historical narrative. Kontrimienė-Degutis’ paintings also reflect certain aspects of Antoni Tàpies’ works, where we see a similar interest in texture and the transformation of materials. 

The “Rust and Dust” series becomes a philosophical meditation on the cyclical nature of time and the perpetual renewal of life. The subtlety of Kontrimienė-Degutis’ works reveals a deeper meaning: what may seem like collapse or disappearance to our eyes is, in fact, only a part of a grander design — the harmony of the universe. Each line, softness of colour or roughness of texture becomes a symbol inviting the viewer to see the world through the lens of death and rebirth, where every conclusion inevitably leads to a symphony of new beginnings. 






The creative field of Eglė Kontrimienė-Degutis is characterized by abstract, textural, gestural, painterly expressions, with themes mostly drawn from her emotional connection to Lithuanian landscapes. 

The “Fata Morgana” series is inspired by the intricate optical phenomena created by mirage shapes, which appear due to temperature inversion. This phenomena makes the objects on the horizon appear elongated and elevated above the ground.  

The artist’s expressive, textural, spontaneous, gestural paintings evoke Zen Buddhist aesthetics. Over many years, she has continually explored new ways of plastic expression and creative experimentation. 

The artist combines various painting techniques and materials, from traditional oil to contemporary methods like graffiti, in search of a dialogue between different artistic approaches. 

        Rimantas Šiekštelė  


Eglė’s paintings possess a musical quality, resonating with compositions of Baroque maestro Johann Sebastian Bach and contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. If I were to assign her work to a stylistic era, I would call it Minimalist Baroque. If traditional Baroque art is characterized by opulence and extravagance, Eglė’s interpretation embodies restraint and minimalism. 

Dr. Tomas Kiauka, philosopher