February 26, 2021

Darius Dulinskas, Muziejus Metalo Fantazija/Museum of Metal Fantasy


sculptures at the camping site
picture by Darius Dulinskas from website 15min.lt

Located along the edge of Lake Viŝtytis in the south-west of Lithuania, the camping site Pušelė, near the village of Žirgėnai (municipality of Vilkaviškisis characterized by an extensive collection of metal sculptures made by the non-professional artist Darius Renaldas Dulinskas The collection is known as Muziejus Metalo Fantazija (Museum of Metal Fantasy)

Life and works

Born in the early 1970s, Dulinskas after primary and secondary school, did a study of agronomy, a field in which he would not be active however.

In his early years there were no indications that he was interested in artistic activities. He was more of a motorcycle enthusiast. 

Being engaged as a non-professional artist did not come until Dulinskas was in his late thirties, and that, incidentally, to his own surprise.

a number of small sculptures at the camping site
picture from website Vilkaviskisinfo

Around 2008 Dulinskas was unemployed and when a friend of his, a member of the same motorcycle club, celebrated his birthday, he decided to make a present himself, just to save some money. The self made present became a small model motorcycle he welded together from iron scrap that he had lying around.

At first, Dulinskas was a bit worried that his homemade gift might not be appreciated, but the opposite was the case, as both his friend and the guests at the birthday party turned out to be enthusiastic about his self-created present. 

Soon after, he was asked to make another small model of motorcycle, which he did. And so Dulinskas started a new career as a non-professional artist, engaged in making iron creations.

a life-size sculpture of horse 
picture from website Vilkaviskisinfo

Metal scrap became the basic material Dulinskas used to make his creations. As he said "To me a pile of scrap is a pile of gold". 

Initially Dulinskas mainly made small creations of motorcycles, but gradually he also focused on other topics, such as birds and other animals, plants, vehicles, musical instruments ..... 

The small-scale motorcycles made by Dulinskas became a favorite birthday present in circles of motorcyclists and others, so he began to consider giving his creative hobby a more businesslike character by selling his small-scale creations or by working occasionally to order. In general, however, he retained the status of a non-professional artist.

Dulinskas also gained fame as a creator of iron sculptures in other ways. 

For example in the course of 2011 he was involved in a project to equip his hometown Vilkaviškis with a statue. He made a sculpture of a wolf, an animal that played a role in the city's history. Residents, but especially groups of young people, helped to gather iron material to assemble the sculpture, which in October 2011 got a place in the town.

Also due to the donation of materials by inhabitants, the garage of Dulinskas, which he used as a studio, became richly filled with materials to make more sculptures.

a sculpture of a large bird 
 picture from website Vilkaviskisinfo

The Museum of Metal Fantasy

In the few years he meanwhile was engaged in making iron sculptures, Dulinskas had gained a certain fame as an artist and thus he became involved in the initiative of establishing a museum of metal fantasy on the grounds of the camping site Pušelė located in the municipality of Vilkaviškis. 

This, incidentally, together with the forest ranger and fellow self-taught artist living near Vilkaviškis Povilas Penkaitis, who made some eighty sculptures of oak wood for the museum, mostly produced with the circular saw.

On the camping site a considerable amount of space was available, and is plausible that Dulinskas now felt challenged to create also life-size sculptures.

two cranes at the edge of the lake near the camping site
picture from website Vilkaviskisinfo

The pictures in this post mainly depict some of these life-size  sculptures, and they clearly show how Dulinskas time and again succeeded in handling iron materials in such a way that the individual, specific character of the depicted animal was expressed.

The collection of sculptures Dulinskas contributed to the Museum also includes a large number of smaller creations, both a variety of items loosely scattered around the site and items arranged in groups on wooden scaffolds.

All together. the Museum's collection now (2021) has reached a size of more than 800 iron sculptures. 

an animal with a hairdo of (bicycle) chains
picture from website Glotels

Monumental stand-alone creations

Besides the sculptures collected on the camping site, Dulinskas also has created a number of stand alone sculptures, sometimes with a monumental character in terms of theme or size.

A recent example of this is the monument in memory of the motorcyclists of the Baltic States who died in traffic, which was unveiled on Saturday, May 13 2017 near the community of Vievis next to the highway from Kaunas to Vilvius. A video in the documentation below shows the unveiling of the creation.

Another example is a motorcycle sculpture, placed in the village of Girėnai, in the Šakiai district, in May 2015 which is considered the largest motorcycle sculpture in Lithuania. The sculpture weighs 1,621 kg, is 4.3 m long and 2.4 m high. 

Considering that Dulinskas only started making metal sculptures around 2010, initially many small-scale creations, but later also numerous life-size and sometimes monumental works, it can be concluded that he has proved to be an extremely prolific artist. In addition, his creations are often made at the request or with the cooperation of intereste people, which undoubtedly entails great accessibility and appreciation of his artwork.

Documentation
Website of the campsite with a short description of the Museum of Metal Fantasy, a small series of photos
* Touristic website Panatyk Lietuvoje Lt  (See in Lithuania Lt)  with a short referral to the museum and a series of over 20 photos
* Article on website 15min.lt with a series of pictures, including pictures of Dulinskas in his studio
* Article (2014) on website Iritas
Videos
* Video (December 2014, 1.31") with New Year's greetings for 2015 shows Dulinskas at work in his studio



* Video (2017, 1'35", YouTube) by Vidmantas Misevičius entitled Paminklo atidengimas (Unveiling of the monument {in memory of the deceased bikers of the Baltic States})

  

Darius Dulinskas
Museum of Metal Fantasy
Camping site Pušelė
70345 Žirgėnai (municipality of Vilkaviškis), Lithuania
free visits for people staying at the camping, small fee for visitors

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