žulji prepotenih dlani
najino poletje v vinogradih
the ploughed field
blisters of sweaty palms
our summer in the vineyards
The painter, designer, graphic artist, photographer and poetess Catherina Zavodnik comprehensively interweaves all of her artistic passions and knowledge into the planning and execution of her visual art projects. Various creative techniques democratically take part in her visual art expression. Her work is characterised by a high-level of poeticism and aesthetisation.
The authoress is putting her When water leaves the touches (Ko voda zapusti dotike) series on display, composed of two technically and visually diverse sets. The first set is composed of six graphics, printed on plexiglass. The images are complemented by written-out authorial poetry. The visual and verbal part are interwoven and organically inseparable in visual art symbiosis: it is impossible to tell whether images are complemented by the texts or if the latter are illustrated by the images. The photographic image, with a painter's vehemence applied colour planes and the colourful authoress' manuscript, often decisively scratched into fresh paint, are equal visual art elements. The visual image is complemented by other meaningful and visually rich elements, such as lacework or the organic timber structure.
The self-portrait motif, which corresponds with the poetic self-expression well, must be emphasised. Including her own image has a performative character in Catherina Zavodnik's work. That is indicated by staged and directed photography and well-considered costume design. The blurred or overexposed photographic image, as if caught while it was about to unfold or disappear, emphasises the romantic submersion in the past and the feeling of yearning. Mirrored and doubled images suggest an artistic split of the soul. The graphic prints are emotionally charged with visual and textual interpretation of the “sweet pain”, caused by yearning. The inner struggle's duality is emphasised by red and black, symbolising joy and pain, life and death, closeness and loneliness, expecting optimism and bitter realisation...
The relationship between contents and form is also of a dual nature. Even though the contents emphasise an almost anachronistic romantic mood, the material, technical execution and aestheticism are considerably modern. The graphic prints are printed on plexiglass plates, do not have a frame and give the impression of an autonomous object. The bearers' transparency finds its greatest expression when placed into space, where two-dimensional plates gain a unique spatial dimension.
The When water leaves the touches series also includes a large number of colour graphic prints in an intimate format, depicting a female nude. These works are marked by a large extent of self-portraitism and self-poeticism as well. Various bodily positions with their non-verbal language tell the story of the depicted figure's various psychical states. Those are also put into words by the metaphorical subtitles of the individual graphics. Rainbow colours correspond to the colourful palette of moods and feelings – from tranquillity, relaxation, loneliness and yearning to excitement, rapture, seduction and disappointment.
Catherina Zavodnik's graphics in their technical execution in a special way combine the oldest wood engraving graphics and the so-called "giclée" graphics, developing only for the last twenty years. “Giclée” graphics means a repeated digital graphic print treatment from the original wood carving matrixes. In this sense, a digital matrix holds several advantages – it facilitates experimenting with colours and proportions, endless reproduction and printing on demand.
Monika Ivančič Fajfar