Last year, Niksic's Bedem was painted with the colors of Montenegro, and artists showed that wool could be even warmer when painted with natural colors. This year JU Museums and Galleries Niksic, led by director Jelena Djukanovic, re-organizes the international art workshop "All colors of Montenegro - coloring wool with plant colors II", but this time, it is held in the recently renovated house Pekic in Savnik.
"The success and good publicity that the project caused last year, obliges us to improve it and enrich it with new content and participants. Participants are institutions and renowned artists, researchers, professors and students from faculties and art academies from Italy, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro," Djukanovic told “Vijesti”.
Jelena Djukanovic (Photo: Svetlana Mandić)
She reminded that 18 famous artists, professors and students from Belgrade, Trebinje and Podgorica participated last year, and this year, not only the number of participants but also the countries and institutions are higher. The event will be held from July 22nd to 26th and will start with the exhibition "Start of the Beginning", which will show the works that were created last year. Djukanovic explains that Savnik is not chosen by accident for this year's event.
"Savnik is an unofficial center of the region Drobnjaci. It is located on the three rivers, Bukovica, Bijela and Savnik, at an altitude of 840 meters, which guarantees a pleasant climate in the summer. The surroundings of Savnik are rich in pastures and forests with flora characterized by medicinal and pigmentary herbs. The tradition in livestock breeding, in particular, the cultivation of sheep and the processing of wool, which has remained and has a tendency to develop, is one more reason why we selected Savnik to hold this event," she said. The event will, according to Djukanovic, through the sublimation of science, tradition and art, contribute to the presentation and popularization of our cultural heritage, autochthonous flora and creativity in artistic expression, which will result in even better tourist valorization of Savnik, and therefore of Montenegro as well.
From last year's workshop (Photo: Svetlana Mandic)
"Such innovative projects contribute to the valorization and popularization of our natural resources, cultural heritage, agriculture, tourism, ecology and creative potential, while at the same time they contribute to the valorization of an underdeveloped municipality from the north - Savnik, which gravitates to the municipality of Niksic and has great potential for development, and agriculture," said the director of the Museum and Gallery.
While the 20th century was marked by the industrial production of synthetic textile colors, today, due to environmental and human health requirements and increasingly frequent occurrences of allergic reactions, interest in the use of natural colors in the processes of textile dyeing of different origin is current again.
From last year's workshop (Photo: Svetlana Mandic)
"The process of dying itself is ecologically pure technology, and the extracts of pigments of plants are obtained from renewable sources. The colors obtained in this way are unusually beautiful, and their mutual combination creates harmonious, artistic units, which can be seen in the ethnological collections in our museums. Intuitive and lucid solutions in the use of available materials such as ash, alum, in combination with herbal pigments, have led to the durability of colored materials that cannot be surpassed even by modern technology," said Djukanovic.
The botanist of the project, Dr. Nada Bubanja from the Natural History Museum of Montenegro, will be responsible for the selection of pigmented plants, and in circulation is brooch, birch, honey, smoke tree, black ash tree, quince, and walnut. The participants will use techniques such as dry and wet felting, knitting, weaving, and spinning.
"The process of selecting and preparing plant material, processing raw wool, wool painting, spinning, weaving or knitting are an attraction for the audience and tourists themselves. The characteristic of the whole process, the presentation of traditional wool-shaping techniques, as well as the possibility of participation, offers visitors a unique experience," she said.
Some of the last year's pieces (Photo: Svetlana Mandic)
In the framework of the art workshop, three lectures will be held - Dr Ana Sutlović, Faculty of Textile Technology, Zagreb, will talk about the technological process of coloring with herbs, Dr. Nada Bubanja will talk about Montenegrin medicinal herbs as part of the “Tea Party” and organize tea tasting, while Jelena Glusica Nikolic will hold a lecture on natural cosmetics based on Montenegrin medicinal herbs. Aida Brenko from Zagreb Ethnographic Museum will also be introduced to the participants of the workshop, familiar with the problems and symbolism of colors, as well as the history of coloring, all through the exhibition "Power of Colors".
Last year's project was supported by the Ministry of Culture through the Cultural Property Protection Program, while this year it is partially supported by the mentioned ministry to the Cultural Center Savnik, which is a contributor to the project.
Text by Svetlana Mandic, on July 14th, 2019, read more at Vijesti