Slovenian art in Australia

The exhibition opened on 6th July 2002, at the Slovenian Religious and Cultural Centre SS Cyril and Methodius in Melbourne, on the occasion of the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius. The works displayed are by a group of well-known Victorian artists of Slovenian background. Among them are painters who exhibit work in Australia and overseas. The curator was Ivo Leber, who had already taken an exhibition of Australian Slovenian artists to Slovenia, Italy and Austria a few years ago. Thematically, the exhibition reflects the Slovenian background of the painters. Dominant are Slovenian and Australian landscapes and Slovenian cultural and religious themes. There are also beautifully crafted still-lifes painted in oil or acrylic. Prominent among the exhibited works are three striking canvases of Zorka Cernjak, on the theme of childhood experience of Slovenian fairy-tale motifs, painted in a sophisticated naïve style. Noteworthy are also the beautiful mosaics of Lojze Jeric, executed in glass mosaics and natural stone. The Galeria Sloveniana's first online exhibition is a significant art event. It is the beginning of an exciting new venture. With the creation of the online gallery, the artist and his work can reach out to all the corners of the globe. more...

Stanislaus Rapotec, Expressionist Painter

Stanislaus Rapotec’s works are arresting, spontaneous and powerful. In his 2002 discussion of the large-scale painting Experience in the far West 1961. Daniel Thomas described Rapotec’s work as ‘explosive’ and ‘provocatively, pure abstract gestures from the subconscious’. In the words of Miriam Kelly, “Rapotec’s paintings are motivated by a personal and meditative approach to mark-making, which is inspired by memories of emigration, aspects of social and religious history, as well as his travels in Australia and abroad”. Born of Slovenian parents in Trst (Trieste), Stanislaus Rapotec (1913 – 1997) moved to Adelaide, South Australia in the late 1940s. One of the leading proponents of Abstract Expressionism in Australia, the first significant recognition for his talent came with the controversial win of the Blake Prize for religious art in 1961, the first abstract painting to be the recipient of this prize. Untitled (Hephaestos) is a fine example of the spirituality that dominated Rapotec’s artmaking throughout his painting career, it is religiosity that is not necessarily limited by Judaeo-Christianity, but also includes the myths of ancient Greece. Rich reds seemingly explode beyond the rectangular frame of the painting, an effect which is further enhanced through the use of roughly ground pigment to create texture on the board. The composition doesn’t aim to represent anything material but instead aims to capture through gesture in paint the intangible essence of Hephaestos the mythical god of fire and metal craftsmanship, otherwise known as the celestial artist. more...

Art Nouveau Architecture in Ljubljana

The aim of the Art Nouveau movement was to arouse a sense of beauty in the general public by designing buildings and objects for everyday use. The movement started at the turn of the 20th century and quickly spread from Paris, Munich, Vienna and Berlin throughout Europe. It was called Art Nouveau in France, Belgium and Scotland, secession in Austria, Jugendstil in Germany, Liberty in Italy, and Modernismo in Catalonia.
The movement created a characteristic style of architecture, which no longer imitated eclectic styles of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and classicism, but developed an original language of form. Instead of drawing on the history of architecture, the Art Nouveau principles of design drew on nature, plants, animals and earth forms. It can be recognized by its stylized plant movements, irregular organic forms, profiled lines and curves, colourful patterns and combinations of different materials such as glass, wrought iron, copper and ceramics. Opposite the flowing lines and exuberance of organic forms, we have rigid geometric patterns, quadratic grids, and black and white combinations, producing variations of forms, which became characteristic of the new style.
In addition to the departure from historical styles, Art Nouveau artists strived to create freely without any constraints of art forms and academic institutions. The result of this artistic autonomy was a multiform style, which because of its diversity, remained open to interpretations by the architects. The pluralistic language of Art Nouveau encouraged many architects at the time of the Spring of Nations to search for a national style, and opened various pathways to modern architecture.
Janez Koželj Introduction to Photographic Exhibition on Plečnik Rsplanade in 2011:
SECESIJA Architecture and Photography - Art Nouveau more...

Anica Kodila, Home Decorator's Art

Anica Kodila is a native of Doljni Zomun near Ilirska Bistrica. She has lived in Australia for nearly fifty years and resides in Melbourne. She acquired some knowledge and skill at home. She inherited her love of needlework from her mother, who taught her to cross-stitch and embroider pillows and sheets. In Australia she greatly developed her skills and became one of the leading handicraft makers. This is an exhibition of ornamental items which Anica Kodila displays in her home for Christmas season. The rich display of objects which she designed and made herself reflects her extraordinary creativity and also the gift that she makes to her family and friends of her home at Christmas time, which is celebrated according to Slovenian tradition with a great deal of pomp and ceremony, as well as the warmth of the family home. more...

France Gorše, Slovenian sculptor

France Gorše was born in Dolenjska/Lower Carniola in the village Sodražica, in 1897. He studied in Ljubljana, fought on the Italian Front in World War I, and after the war went to Zagreb where where he studied sculpture with Ivan Meštrović. Back in Ljubljana he soon became known for a growing opus of work. He migrated to USA in 1952, by 1970 returned to Europe, constantly developed new ways of expression in his work. He finally settled in Slovenian Koroška/Carynthia, in the village Sveče, where he worked till his death in 1986. He built a studio and gallery, and so created a monument to his creative genius. Just before he passed away, a retrospective of his works was organized in Ljubljana. Its success confirmed his standing as a Slovenian sculptor of note. more...

John Kodrič, Slovenian artist in Australia

John Kodrič has pursued the love for painting for over twenty-five years in Australia. He was born in Brje, Dobravlje, Slovenia in 1941 and settled in Australia permanently in 1960. John studied art while working in New Zealand before he made the decision to stay in Australia. Since childhood John had a love for art, and came to paint prolifically for years. The formative years were spent living on a farm in the famous wine-growing Vipava Valley, in southern Slovenia.

Experience of a traditional farm life in Slovenia, had a significant impact on his life path. John gained insights into the close relationship between man and nature. He studied watercolours at VAS for three years, and found a true passion in oil painting. A natural talent, distinguished with beautiful, delicate landscapes of the Australian outback, Melbourne cityscape and seaside, he studied art and completed a diploma in visual arts at the Victorian University of Melbourne.

The exhibition shows technical advance in the study of Contemporary Realism, Surrealism, and also love for the Australian landscape. John is a member of the Victorian Artist Society and Contemporary Artist Society. He has held many solo and participated in group exhibitions in Australia, Canada, Italy, New Zealand, and Slovenia. In Slovenia his work was shown in 1996 at Grad Dobrovo - Gallery of Zoran Mušič, and in 2001 at Grad Branik. His work has been collected by: the Victorian University, Parliament House of Dublin of Ireland, German Embassy, Electricity Commission, Energy Chemical Katsuo Kojima Japan, and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the Republic of Slovenia. He exhibits regularly throughout Victoria and his paintings can be viewed at Slovenian organizations throughout Australia.

In 2009 John was awarded with four first prizes in watercolour at: Exhibition of Victor Harbour, Rotary Club of Numurkah, Quenos Art Show, Altona and Ballan Vic Today. Works can be found in private collections in: Australia, United Kingdon, New Zealand, Slovenia, USA, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, and Japan. more...

Kostanjevica Forma Viva

The collection of over 100 sculptures in the Open Air Gallery in Kostanjevica, Slovenia arose out of the International Symposiums of Sculptors called Forma viva, an initiative of Slovenian sculptors Jakob Savinšek and Janez Lenassi. Modelled on the symposium held in St Margharethen (Austria, 1959), the first two symposia were organised in Kostanjevica na Krki (local oak-wood) and in Seča near Portorož (stone) in 1961. Two other venues followed later: Ravne na Koroškem (1964, steel) and Maribor (1967, reinforced concrete). This project of sculpture in the open-air has involved sculptors from all over the world. There are now altogether over 300 sculptures.

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Andrew Potocnik

As artist, I continually find inspiration to explore new directions in creating from wood, as a material that gives expression to our view of the world. I continue to explore all those wonderful qualities every piece of wood conceals, just needing a sympathetic cut to expose it to those who see it as nothing more than a renewable resource, ready to be exploited, rather than appreciated. As teacher, I endeavour to pass on knowledge to my students, hoping that they too will be inspired to explore wood celebrating it as a living material growing around us that can lend shape to the ideas conjured in our minds. I gain enormous enjoyment from seeing people of other cultures explore their wood, how they expose and celebrate its beauty, and how it is integrated into their culture and general existence.

Andrew Potocnik is a prominent Australian artist, renown for exceptionally beautiful wood sculptures. In the words of Kaye Phillips-Webb, he is “a wood turner and sculptor of distinction”, and today “one of Australia’s most talented artists”.

His work is well-recognised in Australia and abroad. Pieces are held in collections of several museums in the U.S.A., including the prestigious Los Angeles County Museum of Art.Works, and are owned by private and corporate collections, such as the Texas State Bank Corporate Collection, U.S.A. He has exhibited extensively in Australia - including the Melbourne Museum, in Munich, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Andrew was born in Melbourne, in 1963. of Slovenian parents. Andrew’s passion for wood began in the Arts and Crafts classes, when he discovered wood as a medium of artistic expression.

Winner of numerous prestigious state and national awards, Andrew has participated in Arts and Crafts exhibitions and competitions both as exhibitor and judge. He is a regular contributor of articles and reviews and editorials for books and magazines, and has travelled widely, collecting rare pieces of wood and drawing inspiration from a diversity of cultures.In the course of his professional life, Andrew has achieved, as he says, a satisfying balance between teaching and developing his own work. more...

Romana Zorzut Favier

Romana was born in 1930 in Biljana, in the region of south-west Slovenia called Goriška Brda. She migrated to Australia in 1951. Romana had always loved painting and enrolled in The George Bell Art School. She began painting in 1963 and had since held solo exhibitions in Australia, Slovenia, Germany, Italy - over 25 exhibitions.

In 2007 she held a retrospective exhibiton of 50 years of painting, over 100 paintings, featuring Bright, outback Australia and Slovenia.

Romana draws inspiration from the colours and shapes of her environment. The themes are still-life, landscape and human figure. The main medium is oil painting. She depicts her subjects in terms of light and colour, mostly with loose contours and broad brushstrokes. Colour is applied boldly and the landscapes are atmospheric, creating a world of their own.

Of her exhibition in Germany, Frankfurter Neue Presse write the following: On observing he landscapes we can perceive the Impressionists, whereas sometimes she reminds us of Pointillists. Romana Favier Zorzut applies pure colour dots on the canvas, which merge into a whole in the contours. Mixed tones and colour planes are thus formed. The effect is increased by the artist's preference for working with the spatula. The technical device, intended to reproduce a certain harmony or impression, proves as successful: the twinkling light of a sinking landscape, brilliant, and yet non vilent colours, the play of light and darkness, explained as a characteristic in the depictions of the French artistic quarters in Mortmartre, of the luxiriant orcahrds or of the coasts of Spain, flooded by the sun. The paintings with Australian motifs stand out clearly in contrast. The contours are loose, painted with broad brushstrokes. The colour patches are boldly applied and give the impression of the remoteness and the originality of the countryside..." more...

Jože Jaksetič

Jože Jakšetič was born in Primorska, Slovenia and arrived in Australia in the sixties. He settled in Albury, and married. He always wanted to paint and did a course in painting at the Albury university. His first love is the landscape, and he paints mostly the landscape of the region around Albury, and also the landscapes of his native Slovenia. more...