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Croquis in The Garden

“Croquis in the Garden” was an art and literature workshop where in front of a live audience, ten artists made fast sketches inspired by listening to extracts from contemporary European literature.

On the one hand the idea of this workshop and subsequent exhibition was to present the croquis as a technique and on the other to show how reading can inspire the visual arts. This event was a part of the Year of Cultural Heritage programme and was supported by the EU.
The workshop took place at the gallery’s garden on 28.04.2018 The exhibition was shown in
the period 13.06. 2018-24.08.2018

Stories are kept alive through their telling and retelling. Every culture has its own oral traditions in storytelling, using different figures to give symbolism to expression. Through curating a reading experience in the inspirational ambiance of the Acanthus Gallery’s garden, artists were introduced to carefully selected literature intended to stimulate “a spiritual movement simultaneously focused in two directions” (Pierre Francastel).
Celebrating the joining of word and sketch art as it unfolds in front of your eyes and it (the object, the idea, the technique) becomes a living pleasure revealing the phenomenology of symbols.
With the sketch and literature oration event, the Acanthus Gallery made a step forward in preserving the spiritual and cultural heritage of the rereading of European and Macedonian authors in the context of the
European Year of Cultural Heritage by selecting authors and works that speak of cultural and religious diversity; of vanity, and of the rebelliousness which is our duty; of moral and fake virtue, of empathy, and of fantastic customs; of the quest for beauty, and of the lust for life (D. Atanasova – Lori, T. Bernhard, D. Buzzati, J-M. Geunassia, G. Gospodinov, M. Grubor, N. Joldevski, I. Calvino, A. Kristof, M.Murgia, J. Saramago , I. Shopov, B. Stain).
A Croquis is a fast sketch of a life model that quickly changes its position. It is drawn in several minutes, thus leaving the author to concentrate only on crucial instances that attract his or her attention and to focus on the most important points of the sketch. Such a sketch is generally used as a starting reference for the creation of an artwork; however, it is also an oeuvre in itself.
In this particular case the root for the creation of the coquis for the ten selected authors was an extract from a novel, story, poem, essay, used as a model which changed the dynamics of the stage and interest during the reading. The excitement of the next scene, the next word, the perspectives of the imagination was easily transformed by them, the artists, into new lines and movements, while each one of them was deeply entwined in their own visualization and individual process of nation and drawing.
The sketches of these artists carry their unique signature and sensibility, each with their own captivation by the writers and their own interests for the subjects in the texts. The audience is powerful, it is present, but above all, it is purely connected with the artists as their work unfolds. The imagination is under control when the artist begins to create an artwork, and object. The potential is at its highest when the artist draws the first line, leaving the first trace, but as the work slowly forms and grows it is transformed into a personal handwriting. As the oldest technique of expression, drawing is a sincere reflection of the need to leave a legacy, and to inscribe symbols and words, is always living custom. The artist’s fear that by mastering techniques he or she will forfeit fantasy and imagination, leaves a need for fast croquis dashes, which will be the initial sentence that will lead to the development of the entire story, the whole idea, the artwork. The fingerprints of the artist’s touch are everywhere on the sketch, only (s)he knows how to get there. They speak of the artist’s discipline, strength and yet feebleness.
With the present selection of artists, we wanted to combine different energies. Different in temperament, in sensibility, in the hand in which they create, and these accepted the call, avid to listen to readers as in the days of their childhood. Eager for competitiveness, excited for the creation of their own inscription, and willing to share all of that with us. For this we are grateful to them.
Dijana Tomik Radevska, academic painter.