Gianni Borta, Italy
Natalia Ignatyeva, Russia
Kateryna Burlyna, Ukraine
Milan Erič, Slovenia
Cvetka Hojnik, Slovenia
Rajmund Kocbek, Slovenia
Gregor Žitko, Slovenia
Andrej Pavlič, Slovenija
Opening of the exhibition:
17. 7. at 12.00 pm, Knights’ Hall, Križanke
This year’s fine arts colony, organised by the Ljubljana Festival, has like the majority of other activities fallen into the extremely difficult COVID-19 period, the likes of which none of us could have imagined before now. Preparations for the event have proceeded in an atmosphere of the utmost uncertainty, with countless changes and much speculation over whether it would even be possible to go ahead. Although everything was conceived in the solid conviction that “everything will be all right”, the fear of a worsening of epidemiological conditions and, consequently, the possibility of cancellations continued to simmer in the background. For the international artists with whom we had made agreements before the appearance of the virus, we did not know until practically the last minute whether their participation would even be possible. Border closures, quarantine regulations, the shutting down of air traffic – all this information indispensable for the organisation of the fine arts colony was constantly changing. Cities have gone into isolation and closed down – but this colony, one of the few creative gatherings for painters of its type, takes place in a distinctly urban environment. Yet this is the environment worst affected by the pandemic. Museums, art galleries and concert halls have been closed for months: the consequences of this will continue to be felt for a long time. Major national institutions will of course survive, but the big question is whether this will also be true of the galaxy of smaller, private institutions – perhaps the most essential for the enrichment of the fine arts, since it is they that create the beauty of art for the good of society and through it help enrich the entire world. There is no doubt that the time of the pandemic has contributed to increasing people’s desire for culture. In this historic moment, in which millions of us have been physically separated from each other, it is culture that has connected us, helped us and offered us consolation, inspiration and hope. It has turned out, in fact, that no virtual surrogates can take the place of actual contact with a work of art. We want to feel and touch original works of art and see them with our own eyes.
So, we will keep our fingers crossed and hope we are successful, and that once again this year works of art will be created in the wonderful setting of Plečnik’s Križanke and proclaim our joie de vivre. It is a fact that all the words that swirl round a work of art actually mean very little, since what the artist wishes to say is contained in his or her painting. Only a work of art gives new impulses, new emotions and new ideas. And it is now, in this current moment marked by our painful experience, that we need beauty and art, positivity and courage, in order to believe and continue on into the future.
This year, just as in every previous year, it falls to eight artists to face these challenges. They are from Italy, Gianni Borta; from Russia, Natalia Ignatyeva; from Ukraine, Kateryna Burlyna; and from Slovenia, Cvetka Hojnik, Milan Erič, Rajmund Kocbek, Andrej Pavlič and Gregor Žitko.
Once again, this year, we will be joined by the well-known multimedia artist LADO JAKŠA, who will be with us for the entire week.
At the opening of the exhibition that concludes the fine arts colony, he will use his own artistic vision to provide a musical and visual presentation of the participating artists’ work.
I wish all the participants a great deal of creative inspiration and an enjoyable – if socially distanced – gathering. I hope that the weather is kind to us and that Ljubljana will enchant this year’s artists as much as it has their predecessors.