An interview with Dina Jakšić Pavasović
SIYP: Dear Dina, can you briefly present yourself to our readers?
Dina: I am a painter, though I often change the medium of expression. I come from the island of Brač but I do not reside their permanently. I studied in Rome at the Accademia di Belle Arti and then graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. I am very active on the art scene, but I prefer to exhibit in unusual spaces such as quarries, abandoned houses and even sculptural workshops. I am currently devoted to working at an art studio.
SIYP: When did your love of art awaken, especially towards painting?
Dina: It is difficult to say when exactly, it seems to me that it has always existed, perhaps because of the fact that I was born and raised in an artistic family, so love of art has been present throughout my life. However, a love for painting was born through education at a time when I was discovering my own free expression. We are all looking to find ourselves in a particular medium or an expression, and I have found myself in colours and in free art forms.
SIYP: Do the surroundings of the island of Brač and the town of Split affect your inspiration when creating new works? Are there any places or customs on the island that inspire you in particular?
Dina: It certainly does have an influence; I think the environment always affects the artist as does the production of his or her works, either directly through a certain concept or through the mediation of certain filters that transform reality into a new dimension. Both of those factors are present in my works. The first one relates to my doctoral dissertation in which the island’s identity; and the cultural heritage of dowry on the island of Brač is one of the folk customs that is slowly disappearing. The entire research is embodied in a work of art and implemented on one road. It is a road linking two neighbouring towns, Donji Humac and Nerežišća, and it was that particular road that has always fascinated me because it is a place of memory (both individual and collective). In fact, the whole study and work is about the cultural identity of a local community.
SIYP: Can you tell us something about your new stone work?
Dina: First, I must point out that stone masonry has been running in my family for 116 years. When you are surrounded by stone since childhood, you cannot remain indifferent but you fall in love with this material. What is different in my works is that I combine stone and colour and as a result I get interesting stone drawings. Last year, I displayed new works to the public for the first time with an exhibition at my father’s workshop. By choosing a workshop as an exhibition space, I wanted to emphasise our family tradition of working with stone and focus attention on the process rather than the final artefacts.
SIYP: And in the end, where can we visit you and find your works?
Dina: Most of my works are exhibited in our family galleries. We own two galleries, the first is Jakšić Gallery located in Donji Humac on the island of Brač. It was built more than ten years ago in the backyard of our family house next to our ateliers and workshops. The second gallery was opened four years ago in the centre of Split. In the galleries, besides my works, there are also sculptures made by my brother Lovre, jewellery by my mother Ida and many other interesting stone objects.