IVANA PETAN. zgodba o glini 2002-2020 : spremna beseda MARKO POGAČNIK / IVANA PETAN. a story of clay 2002-2020 : afterword by MARKO POGAČNIK

U m e t n o s t,   n a r e j e n a   i z   Z e m l j e

Kdor se ukvarja z lončarstvom ali keramiko, ima to srečo, da dela z zemljo samo. Vprašanje je, ali dela samo z zemljo, ali pa tudi sodeluje z Zemljo. Od neolitika sem zna človek oblikovati stvari iz posebne vrste zemlje, imenovane glina ali ilovica. Lahko pa se z glino dela tako, kot to dela Ivana Petan. Ona se pri svojem delu zaveda priložnosti, da hkrati, ko dela z zemljo kot ilovico, lahko sodeluje z Zemljo kot univerzalnim bitjem in pri tem razvija izvirne možnosti soustvarjanja z Materjo življenja. Ali se da trditev opravičiti s primeri iz njenega dela?

D o t i k   Z e m l j e

Leta 2011 je začela Ivana izdelovati ploskim opekam podobne keramične plošče nepravilnih pravokotnih oblik. V ilovico primeša kamenine in okside, plošče žge v sodu in uporablja tehniko dimnega žganja. Ciklus imenuje „Dotik Zemlje“. Ko postavlja svoje keramične instalacije, kot na primer v Sarajevu ali Sežani, jih praviloma v vrstah polaga na pod. Dajejo občutek prvotne snovi (prima materia). Zdi se, da izvirajo iz začetkov Zemlje kot planeta, utelešenega v elementu zemlje (materije).

Pri ploščah „Dotika Zemlje“ se zavem, da je delovanje ognja pri njihovem žganju pomembnejše kot material, iz katerega so plošče narejene. Plošče so neme priče odsotnega ognja. Iz takega testa so zgnetene in tako so pečene, da snov vsrka informacijo ognja in jo potem lahko neomejeno sprošča – podobno kot Zemlja vsrka ogenj Sonca, potem pa silno vročino, zdaj prepojeno in ohlajeno s svojo nežno bitjo, postopoma spušča na površje, tako da se bitja Zemlje lahko kopamo v zdaj prijetni toploti, smo z njo prepojeni in srečni.

Že res, da grobo oblikovane plošče „Dotika Zemlje“ dajejo človeku občutek kot da se s pogledom dotika prvinske ravni Zemlje. Vendar vidim v tem drugoten (površen) namen plošč. Trdim, da je prvotni namen plošč „Dotika Zemlje“ ta, „da se te Zemlja dotakne“. Atomska (prvinska) sila ognja, shranjena v keramičnih ploščah, deluje kot medij, s pomočjo katerega se Zemlja lahko dotakne intuitivne zavesti v srčiki opazovalca. Plošče „Dotika Zemlje“ omogočajo intimen dotik z Zemljo kot drobcem univerzalne zavesti. Ni slučajno, da so plošče postavljene v dolgih vrstah. Ko človek hodi mimo, se izpostavlja žarčenju njihovega ognja.

Verjamem, da Zemljo veseli, da se lahko dotakne človeka, ki se ji je medtem usodno odtujil.

L a s j e   Z e m l j e

Ivana drevesa primerja z lasmi Zemlje. Res štrlijo iz zemeljske krogle kot nepočesano lasišče. Leta 2008 je ob ciklu „Lasje Zemlje“ napisala: „Drevesa, lase Zemlje, sama doživljam kot manifestacijo nedojemljive moči Zemlje. So tiha starodavna bitja …“.

Res je, ko človek gleda množico njenih vertikalno postavljenih, kipcem podobnih glinenih stebričkov, dobi vtis, da gleda skupino bitij. Nikjer ni videti povezave z drevesi, niti z lasmi. Bitja iz zemlje nastopajo osvobojena prvotnega navdiha, ki jih je potisnil na pot utelešenja.

Kdo pa potem so ta dvakrat preobražena bitja – če niso niti drevesa niti lasje Zemlje? Kdo so ta „tretja bitja“? Navadno jih imenujem „elementarna bitja“. Elementarna bitja utelešajo inteligenco Zemlje v manifestiranem svetu. Zavest Zemlje s pomočjo elementarnih bitij usmerja rast in razvoj štirih evolucij, odvijajočih se na njeni materializirani ravni. Mislim na evolucije rastlin, živali, kamenin in človeških bitij. Potemtakem je res oboje, o čemer govori Ivana v povezavi s svojim ciklom „Lasje Zemlje“. Podobno lasem Zemlje segajo elementarna bitja vsepovsod iz jedra Zemlje na njeno površje, delujoč znotraj bitij omenjenih štirih evolucij, posledično tudi znotraj dreves.

Elementarna bitja so z zavestjo prepojena „energijska“ (eterična) bitja. Samo kot taka se lahko prosto gibljejo znotraj svetov narave, vključno s človekom. Nimajo ne rok, ne nog, niti definiranega obličja. So z inteligenco prežeti vibracijski stebrički, spreminjajoč svojo pojavnost v vsakem trenutku. Prav takšni se pojavljajo v Ivaninem ciklu „Lasje Zemlje“. Vsak je drugačen in vsi so enaki.

S r c e   v   g l a v i

Med letoma 2011 in 2012 je Ivana Petan delala s projektom „Srce v glavi“. Keramični objekti imajo obliko lobanjskega pokrova, preobraženega v bipolarno obliko, značilno za srce. Človek vzhičen pomisli, kako nujno je treba prepojiti razumski način mišljenja in njegovo ozkost z intuitivno zavestjo srca.

Vendar temna tekstura keramičnih kosov in podobnost z arheološkimi najdbami čelad iz bronaste dobe pozornost usmerjata še v drugo smer. Lobanjski pokrov dojemam v resonanci s paralelnim svetom prednikov in zanamcev. Resonanca sama pa stika z našimi dragimi pokojniki ne more vzpostaviti, če ni prepojena s srčno kvaliteto ljubezni in čaščenja.

Podobno skulpturam „Srca v glavi“ je tudi človeško bivanje bipolarne narave. Spanju sledi budno stanje. Življenju v utelešenem svetu sledi (posmrtno) bivanje v pokrajinah duhovnega sveta.

Opazil sem, da se na „srcih v glavi“ pojavlja komaj opazen lik nosu, kar me vodi k domnevi, da stvaritve z imenom „Srce v glavi“ niso mišljene samo kot opomin, da človek, pozabljajoč vez med glavo in srcem, izgubi možnost bivati v celoviti skupnosti človeškega rodu, ki obsega tako žive kot (navidezno) ne-žive člane. Hkrati vidim v teh stvaritvah izraz zavesti, ki ve, kako predniki in zanamci bivajo. Nimajo več ali nimajo še telesa. Njihovo bitje je čista zavest, prepojena s srčno kvaliteto. Bivajo kot „Srce v glavi“.

B i n a r n i   r  i t e m   n e š t e t i h   d o j k

Ogromno število „dojk“ (po domače jim pravi „joškice“) je Ivana izdelala za svojo instalacijo leta 2010. Več njihovih značilnosti se ne da spregledati. Vse so polarizirane na belo in temno rjavo barvo – ene so bele, druge skoraj črne. Za razliko od prej opazovanih stvaritev, kot so denimo „Lasje Zemlje“, dojke ne kažejo nobenih znakov primarne zemlje. Komaj zaznavni obroči na njihovi površini so priče njihovega nastanka na lončarskem vretenu. Ploskev, na kateri stojijo, ima štiri luknjice, kar pove, da so votle oziroma napolnjene z zrakom.

Ognja, ki se močno izraža pri delih „Dotika Zemlje“, tokrat ni moč občutiti. Pač pa se na osnovi koncentričnih pasov, znamenj dela na lončarskem kolovratu, občuti blaga in močna navzočnost vode. Slednja dejansko sodeluje pri delu na vretenu, pri čemer se glino kar naprej moči.

Elementu vode se tokrat pridružuje zrak, napolnjujoč notranji prostor dojk in v smislu ravnotežja skupaj z vodo in zemljo nadomešča vlogo ognja, ki se je navidezno umaknil v ozadje. Posledično se možni spolni magnetizem dojk sploh ne pojavi. Dojke tukaj delujejo kot členi organskega mehanizma Zemlje, s katerim ona uravnava pretoke življenja na njenem površju.

Zato lahko vendarle trdim, da se ogenj ni umaknil, temveč se pojavlja na drugi, sublimirani ravni. Belo-črni ritem polarizacije omogoča ognju, da se pojavi kot svetloba biti. Binarni ritem množične izmenjave med svetlim in temnim (med dnevno in nočno svetlobo) povzroči, da zažarijo koničasti izrastki, podobni bradavicam pri dojkah. Žar „bradavic“ preskoči z dojke na dojko in ustvarja „električno“ polje instalacije, ki ga primerjam s poljem življenjske energije, ki napaja pokrajine Zemlje in vsa njena živa bitja, tista utelešena in ona, ki bivajo blizu utelešene ravni eksistence.

Na tej ravni je množica „joškic“ (dojk) sposobna pomagati človeku, da občuti ali celo ozavesti nevidni organizem pokrajine (maternice, ki jih Ivana utelesi v instalaciji v obliki posodic), s pomočjo katerega Zemlja doji vse nas, živa bitja, podobno kot mati doji svojega otroka – brez namena, da ga posvoji, temveč prosto, darujoč življenje na neobvezen, a sladek način.

K u k a l n i c e   –   p o g l e j   s k o z i   l u k n j i c o !

Vodno-zračna narava instalacije keramičnih dojk je še bolj subtilna, ko voda pri instalaciji „Kukalnic“ (2007) iz kreativne igre izpade, zrak pa ostane skoraj edini nosilec sporočila.

Da bi to lahko dosegla, Ivana sploh ne uporablja gline (ki bi bila v tem primeru pretežka) temveč krhek belo bel porcelan in papirnati porcelan. Zrak napiha v balon iz tanke plastike in ga obda s skrajno krhko plastjo (papirnatega) porcelana. Tam kjer izpraznjen balon izvleče, nastane luknjica. Slednja omogoča, potem, ko je bil porcelan pečen, vpogled v notranjost porcelanaste lupine. Izraz „kukati“ pomeni opazovati nekaj skozi špranjo ali luknjico. Od tod ime instalacije „Kukalnice“.

„Kukalnice“ vidim kot vabilo, naj človek ne gleda kar naprej sveta okrog sebe, temveč naj pogled obrne tudi vase – morda ne le vase, temveč v bistvo katere koli stvari ali bitja. Ker pa so voda, ogenj in skoraj vsa zemlja izključeni iz obnebja „Kukalnic“, to pomeni, da vabilo k pogledu, obrnjenem navznoter, ne misli na spoznavanje notranje narave posameznih pojavov življenja, temveč pogled v bistvo, ki je bliže niču kot ozadju katerega koli pojava. Gledanje v prazen notranji prostor „Kukalnic“ pomeni odpoved zanimanja za vse različno obstoječe in preusmerjanje pogleda k bistvu celote.

K r o ž n i k i   i n   d r u g o   p o s o d j e

Pregled Ivaninega dela ne bi bil pravičen, če ne upoštevamo njenega ustvarjanja uporabne keramike.
Za primer sem si izbral njene krožnike, ki jih dobro poznam, saj iz njih vsakodnevno jem meni ljubo vegetarijansko hrano. Krožniki nikdar enakih razgibanih oblik so podobni širokim listom zelja ali buč. Sicer je res, da je list zelja podoben drugemu listu iste rastline, vendar dva lista nikoli nista identičnih oblik. Tako je vsak krožnik, če ga naredi Ivana, nekoliko drugačen, pa vendar so tako umno oblikovani, da sedejo eden v drugega in skupaj sestavljajo celoto.

Ko dela uporabno keramiko, jo Ivana skuša čim bolj osvoboditi izključno posredniške vloge – pri jedi, denimo. Keramično posodje naj bo čim bliže svetu narave, tako da deluje kot roka Matere življenja, ki človeku nudi fraktal svojega lastnega telesa v užitek, vključno z namenom preživetja. Človeka naj krožnik ali posoda opominja, da namen hranjenja ni le v tem, da preživimo, temveč da predstavlja obliko komunikacije z bitji rastlin in živali, ki so se umno predelane v hrano znašle na našem krožniku.

K e r a m i č n a   s e m e n a

Leta 2012 je Ivana Petan začela oblikovati obsežno zbirko keramičnih semen. Pokazala jih je javnosti v obliki različnih instalacij (2012–2015).

Semena so okrog 18 cm visoke tvorbe zaobljenega volumna s konicama na obeh straneh. Tako nastane lik prostorske mandorle. Mandlju podobna oblika mandorle je arhetipska oblika. Nastane, kadar se dva kroga – v našem primeru dve krogli – med sabo prekrižata. Če oba kroga razumemo kot mater in očeta, potem je mandorla simbol njunega otroka. V primeru Ivaninih „Semen“ pa otrok še ni bil rojen, temveč je navzoč v zametku, podobnem semenu pri rastlinah.

Semena so pri rastlinah praviloma položena znotraj trdne ovojnice, ki seme varuje do trenutka, ko napoči čas za njegovo klitje. Pri keramičnih semenih pa je položaj obraten. Seme je obrnjeno navzven. Trda keramična lupina semena je obrnjena navznoter in oklepa prazen prostor njegove notranjosti. Navzven je obrnjena slutnja njegove vsebine v obliki arhetipsko-ornamentalnih zarisov in barvnih prelivov oksidov. Keramična semena ne čakajo ugodnega trenutka za vzklitje, ampak so že vzklila. Od kvalitete zemlje v duhovni notranjosti obiskovalca instalacije ali njenega opazovalca je odvisno, če se bo kalček lahko razvil v rastlino nove zavesti oziroma ustvarjalnega navdiha.

Vendar Ivanina keramična semena ne čakajo le pasivno na možnost njihovega vzklitja. Opazil sem, da obe konici mandorli podobnega semena vsebujeta nekakšen „mehanizem“, ki seme „meče v prostor“ med obiskovalce, kot to znajo nekatere rastline, ki seme izstrelijo v svoje širše okolje. V okolje semen, na ta ali oni način postavljenih v instalacijo, se širi navdih, spodbujajoč človeka, naj opusti svojo prislovično zaprtost pred neznanimi vzgibi in se odpre novim horizontom biti, trenutno še ne uresničenih, a že navzočih v obliki semen.

K r a j   t u l i p a n o v

Ivanini „Tulipani“ imajo arhetipsko obliko vstajenja. Srednja konica je usmerjena navzgor, obe stranski pa diagonalno k nebu. Snežno bela keramika je popisana z različnimi odtenki oksidov. Žgani so na poseben način v sodu, odeti v folijo. Na vrtu Muzeja Staroga Grada, Stari Grad na Hvaru, kjer je razstavljala, je „Tulipane“ postavila tako, da vstajajo iz zemlje.

Postavljeni tako na zemlji v naravnem okolju delujejo „tulipani“ kot kalčki neke rastline, zrasli iz tal. Če poskušam kot opazovalec locirati kraj njihovega vstajenja, potem sem nezmotljivo voden v svoj srčni prostor. „Tulipani“ klijejo tam. Zato jih doživljam kot vstajenje nekega novega časa ali prostora znotraj človeka – preden se utelesita v otipljivem in očem vidnem svetu.

Naslednje, kar doživljam pri instalaciji, je podobno neverjetni moči, ki jo kali rastlin razvijejo, da lahko predrejo trdno plast zemlje in pokukajo kot zametek rastline na dan.

Čutiti je, kot da „Tulipani“, postavljeni tako v skupini, spodbujajo človeka, naj premaga svoje strahove in dovoli, da si kal nove dobe osebnega ali kolektivnega bitja odpre pot v utelešenje oziroma uresničenje.

Če pogled še poglobim, odkrijem, da keramično obliko „Tulipanov“ dopolnjuje eterična oblika, ki je za 180 stopinj obrnjena. Tako da so liki podobni črki „X“ z vertikalo v sečišču obeh krakov.

Ko se instalacija tako vzpostavi v kombinaciji keramičnih in eteričnih „Tulipanov“, se okrog njih začne veselo rajanje življenjske sile in njenih bitij, kot da se na tem kraju sprosti potencial njegove tik pred tem še speče življenjske moči.

Pod pritiskom življenju vse bolj odtujene človeške civilizacije življenjska moč prostora, znotraj katerega bivamo, dramatično upada. Instalacija „Tulipani“ je primer, kako se da s pomočjo umetniškega dela spodbuditi človeka, da začne zavestno sodelovati s procesi oživljanja prostora in časa utelešenega sveta. Umetniško delo samo tega ne more, pač pa lahko v človeku prižge plamen inspiracije, ki ga spodbuja k takemu sodelovanju z Gajo in njenimi bitji, stvarniki življenja.

P o s o d e   b r e z   d n a

V Galeriji Dominikanskega samostana v Starem Gradu na Hvaru je Ivana Petan skupaj z Bojanom Brecljem leta 2017 razstavila lončene „Posode brez dna“. So različnih oblik, narejene ročno s pomočjo nanašanja glinenih trakov, „kačic“, enega na drugega. Kakšen smisel imajo lahko posode brez dna? Saj je vrednost posod prav v tem, da zadržijo tekočino v svoji notranjosti.

V tem kontekstu ima predstava o posodi brez dna negativni pomen. V slovenskem izročilu se sintagma „polnjenje soda brez dna“ uporablja za označitev nekega nesmiselnega delovanja. Morda pa ima sicer negativna oznaka „posode brez dna“ pri keramičnih delih Ivane Petan nek drugačen, pozitiven pomen?

Logičen premislek človeka usmeri k bistvu trenutne dobe v razvoju Zemlje in njenih bitij, vključno s človekom. Nahajamo se sredi katastrofalnih sprememb, zajetih v pojmu „podnebnih sprememb“. Slednje pa predstavljajo zgolj senco procesa planetarne preobrazbe, ki ga avtorica pozna kot sodelavka in soustvarjalka Društva za sožitje človeka, narave in prostora VITAAA iz Ljubljane, ki se med drugim ukvarja s študijem sodobnih procesov globinske prenove Zemljinega prostora in časa.

V tem kontekstu dobijo posode brez dna svoj smisel. V času velikih sprememb ni smiselno zadrževati prostora in časa v posodah. Posodam, v katerih se prostor in čas zadržujeta, je treba izbiti dno, da lahko izpraznjene in izprijene sile tega prostora in časa odtečejo. Sicer se, zaprte v običajnih posodah z dnom, lahko usmradijo in postanejo nerabne. To se danes žal množično dogaja, ker človeštvo ne razume nuje, spustiti staro in preživeto iz rok in pozornost posvetiti temu, kar novega nastaja.

Na tej točki dobijo Ivanine „Posode brez dna“ še en pomen. Pokažejo se kot cevi (kanali) za pretok novega duha prostora in časa. Cevi ne poznajo ne pokrova ne dna. Tudi zanje kot za „Posode brez dna“ je značilna obojestranska odprtost. Po eni strani omogoča, da odvečno ali skisano lahko odteče, in hkrati, da lahko pritečejo nove življenjske sile, graditeljice neke nove dobe v razvoju Zemlje in človeštva.

K o n t e k s t   „t r e t j e   u m e t n o s t i“

Pojem „tretje umetnosti“ sem opredelil v „Manifestu za tretjo umetnost“, objavljenem v katalogu moje retrospektivne razstave 1962–2012 v Moderni galeriji v Ljubljani s temi uvodnimi besedami:

„Tretja umetnost še ne obstaja in hkrati obstaja, odkar obstaja umetnost.

Tretja umetnost ni zadostna sama sebi. Vpeta v mnoga možna območja bivajočega ali nebivajočega, ne sme izgubiti same sebe kot umetnosti.

Tretja umetnost se zanima za usodo življenja na Zemlji in v vesolju“.

Pri tem označujem klasično umetnost kot „prvo umetnost“. Mišljena je umetnost v službi dane kulture in njenih vladajočih civilizacijskih ter verskih vzorcev. Moderna umetnost je začenši z drugo polovico 19. stoletja odkrila „drugo umetnost“ kot umetnost samo po sebi. Odkrila je umetnost, ki se sprašuje po svojem lastnem bistvu kot umetnosti. Sledi svojemu lastnemu namenu, utemeljenem v njej sami.

V delu Ivane Petan se da razpoznati nekatere značilnosti „tretje umetnosti“. Naj jih nekaj naštejem kot povzetek svojega tolmačenja njenih posameznih del:

  • Ivana svojih stvaritev ne deli na uporabne in na umetniške. Kadar izdeluje uporabno keramiko, vnaša vanjo elemente svobodnih oblik in isto ljubečo zavzetost kot pri ustvarjanju keramičnih delov svojih umetniških instalacij.
  • Njena dela vsebujejo holografske drobce (fraktale) navdiha, presegajočega človeško samo-sposobnost zamisliti si nekaj in to tudi narediti.
  • Dela Ivane Petan – predvsem njene instalacije – so prepojena z vitalno-energijskimi polji, kar jim omogoča soustvarjalnost na ravneh, ki presegajo materialno razsežnost stvarstva.
  • Ne omejuje se zgolj na osebno ustvarjalnost na področju keramike, temveč deluje tudi pri pedagoškem delu na področjih lončarstva in geomantije ter pri kolektivnih projektih v kamnu – kot so geopunkturne instalacije – kjer samostojno oblikuje in kleše kozmograme.
  • Njena dela vodijo pozornega človeka k spoznanjem o naravi sveta in njegovega lastnega bistva.
  • Ivanine stvaritve se aktivno vključujejo v procese sprememb, značilne za naš čas preobrazbe in prenove sveta.

Marko Pogačnik, Unescov umetnik za mir
V Šempasu, 17. aprila 2020

A r t   c r e a t e d   o f   t h e   E a r t h

Anyone engaged in pottery or ceramics is fortunate enough to work with the earth itself. The question is whether they work only with the earth, or they also cooperate with the Earth. Since the Neolithic, man has been able to form things from a special type of earth called clay or loam. But it is also possible to work with clay in the way Ivana Petan does. In her work, she is aware of the opportunity that, while working with the earth in the form of clay, she can cooperate with the Earth as a universal being, and, in doing so, develop original possibilities of co- creating with the Mother of life. Can this statement be illustrated with examples from her work?

T h e   T o u c h   o f   t h e   E a r t h

In 2011, Ivana started creating flat brick-like ceramic tiles of irregular rectangular shapes. She mixes stones and oxides into the clay, fires the plates in a barrel and uses the smoke-firing technique. She named this cycle “The Touch of the Earth”. When she exhibits her ceramic installations, like in Sarajevo or Sežana, she usually lays them on the floor in rows. They evoke a feeling of primordial matter (prima materia), as they seem to originate from the beginnings of the Earth as a planet, embodied in the element of earth (matter).

With the “Touch of the Earth” plates, I am aware that the action of fire in firing them is more important than the material from which the plates are made. The plates are silent witnesses of the absent fire. They are kneaded from such a dough and fired in such a particular manner that allows the substance to absorb the information of the fire in a way it can be unlimitedly released – just like the Earth absorbs the fire of the Sun and then the intense heat, soaked and cooled by its gentle being, gradually descends to the surface, so that the Earth’s beings can bathe in the now pleasant warmth, are soaked in it and happy with it.

It is true that the roughly shaped plates “The Touch of the Earth” give you the feeling as if by looking at them you touch the primordial plane of the Earth. However, I see in this a secondary (superficial) purpose of the plates. I argue that the original purpose of “The Touch of the Earth” is “for the Earth to touch you”. The atomic (primordial) force of fire stored in ceramic plates acts as a medium through which the Earth can touch the intuitive consciousness in the heart of the observer. “The Touch of the Earth” panels enable an intimate contact with the Earth as a fragment of universal consciousness. It is no coincidence that the panels are placed in long rows. When one walks past, she is exposed to the radiation of their fire.

I believe that the Earth is happy to touch someone who has meanwhile been fatally alienated from it.

T h e   H a i r   o f   t h e   E a r t h

Ivana compares trees to the hair of the Earth. Truly, they do stick out of the globe like an uncombed scalp. In 2008, during her “Hair of the Earth” cycle, she wrote: “I experience trees, the hair of the Earth, as a manifestation of the incomprehensible power of the Earth. They are silent ancient beings …”.

It is true, when looking at the multitude of her vertically placed pillar-like clay statues, one gets the impression of looking at a group of beings. A connection with the trees is nowhere to be seen, not even a resemblance to hair. Beings made of earth appear to be liberated from the original inspiration that pushed them on the path of incarnation.

Who, then, are these twice-transformed beings — neither trees nor hair of the Earth? Who are these “third beings”? I usually call them “elemental beings”. Elemental beings embody the intelligence of the Earth in the manifested world. It is with the help of elemental beings that the consciousness of the Earth directs the growth and development of the four evolutions taking place on its materialized level. I am thinking of the evolution of plants, animals, rocks, and human beings. Therefore, both what Ivana is talking about in connection with her cycle “The Hair of the Earth”, is true. Similar to the hair of the Earth, elemental beings reach everyone from the core of the Earth to its surface and are active within beings of all four above- mentioned evolutions, also within trees.

Elemental beings are “energy” (etheric) beings imbued with consciousness. Only as such can they move freely within the worlds of nature, including the human one. They have no arms, no legs, nor a defined face. They are vibrating columns permeated with intelligence, changing its appearance at any given moment. These are the ones that appear in Ivana’s cycle “Hair of the Earth”. Everyone is different and everyone is the same.

T h e   H e a r t   i n   t h e   H e a d

Between 2011 and 2012, Ivana Petan worked on the “The Heart in the Head” project. The ceramic objects have the shape of a cranial cover transformed into a bipolar shape characteristic of the heart. Excited, one thinks of the urgent need for the rational way of thinking and its narrowness to be soaked in the intuitive consciousness of the heart.

However, the dark texture of the ceramic pieces and their resemblance to archaeological finds of helmets from the Bronze Age draw the attention into still another direction. I perceive our cranial cover to be in resonance with the parallel world of ancestors and descendants. Resonance alone, however, cannot establish a contact with our dear deceased unless it is imbued with a heartfelt quality of love and worship.

Similar to the “Heart in the Head” sculptures, the human existence also has two polarities. Sleep is followed by an awake state of mind. Life in the embodied world is followed by our (posthumous) stay in the landscapes of the spiritual world.

I can see a barely noticeable shape of a nose on these “hearts in the head”, which leads me to assume that the creations are not meant only as a reminder that by forgetting the connection between head and heart, one loses the opportunity to live in the entire community of the human race, with both its living and (seemingly) non-living members. At the same time, in these creations I see an expression of consciousness that knows how our ancestors and descendants live. They no longer have a body or they do not have it yet. Their being is pure consciousness imbued with heart quality. They live like a “Heart in the head”.

T h e   b i n a r y   r h y t h m   o f   c o u n t l e s s   b r e a s t s

A number of “breasts” (Ivana likes to joke and call them joškice, “titties”) were made by Ivana for an installation in 2010. Several of their characteristics cannot be overlooked. They are all polarized to white and dark brown – some are white, others almost black. Unlike previously observed creations, such as “The Earth’s Hair”, the breasts show no signs of the primary earth. Barely perceptible rings on their surface bear witness to their formation on a potter’s wheel. The surface on which they stand has four holes, which indicates that they are hollow or filled with air.

The fire, strongly expressed in the “Touch of the Earth”, cannot be felt this time. Here, based on concentric belts, signs of work on the potter’s wheel, it is rather the mild and strong presence of water. In fact, water is very much involved in the work on the pottery wheel where the clay continually has to be wetted.

This time, the element of water is joined by air, filling the inner space of the breast and, in terms of balance, together with water and earth, it replaces the role of fire, which has seemingly retreated into the background. As a result, the possible sexual magnetism of the breasts does not occur at all. The breasts here act as parts of the organic mechanism of the Earth with which the flow of life on her surface is regulated. Therefore, one can say, however, that the fire did not recede, but that it appears on another, sublimated level. The black and white rhythm of polarization enables the fire to appear like the light of being.

The binary rhythm of mass exchange between light and dark (between daylight and the light at night), causes the pointed nipple-like tips to glow. The glow of the “nipples” jumps from breast to breast and creates an “electric” field of the installation, which I compare to the field of life energy that powers landscapes of the Earth and all its living beings, those embodied and those who dwell near the embodied level of existence.

At this level, the multitude of “titties” (breasts) is able to help a person to feel or even become aware of the invisible organism of the landscape (the uterus that Ivana embodied in this installation in the form of “vessels”), with the help of which the Earth breastfeeds all living beings, like a mother breastfeeds her child – without the intention of adopting it, but freely, giving life in a limitless and sweet way.

O b j e c t s   t o   p e e k   i n s i d e  –  a   l o o k   t h r o u g h   t h e   h o l e !

The watery and airy nature of the installation with ceramic breasts is even more subtle when water falls out of the creative game like in the installation “Objects to peek inside” (2007), and air remains almost the only carrier of the message.

To achieve this, Ivana does not use any clay (which would be too heavy in this case) but fragile, all-white porcelain and paper porcelain. She inflates air into a balloon made of thin plastic and surrounds it with an extremely fragile layer of (paper) porcelain. A hole is created where the deflated balloon is pulled out. After the porcelain has been fired, this hole allows an insight into the inside of the porcelain shell. The term “to peek” means to observe something through a slit or a hole. Hence the name of the installation “Objects to peek inside”.

I see the “Objects to peek inside” as an invitation for a person not to continuously look only at the world around him, but to turn his gaze into themselves as well – perhaps not only into themselves but into the essence of anything or any being. However, since water, fire and almost all the earth are excluded from the sphere of “Objects to peek inside”, this means that the invitation to look inwards does not entail getting to know the inner nature of individual phenomena of life, but looking into an essence that is closer to nothingness than the to the background of any phenomenon. By looking into the empty interior of “Objects to peek inside” one chooses the omission of interest in all that exists in its difference and directs the gaze to the essence of the whole.

P l a t e s   a n d   o t h e r   d i s h e s

An overview of Ivana’s work would not be just if one would not consider her creation of utility ceramics.
As an example, I have chosen her plates, which I know well because I eat my favourite vegetarian food from them every day. Plates of variegated, never the same shapes resemble broad leaves of cabbage or pumpkin. It is true that a cabbage leaf is similar to another leaf of the same plant, but two leaves are never identical in shape. So each plate, if made by Ivana, is a little different, and yet they are so cleverly shaped that they sit inside each other and together form a whole.

When making utility ceramics, Ivana tries to liberate it as much as possible from the role of a mediator – i.e. for food. A ceramic vessel should be as close as possible to the world of nature, so that it acts as the hand of the Mother of life, offering us a fractal of her own body for pleasure, including the purpose of survival. The plate or vessel reminds us that the purpose of feeding is not only to survive but is a form of communication with the beings of plants and animals that have been cleverly processed into food on our plate.

C e r a m i c   s e e d s

In 2012, Ivana Petan began to design an extensive collection of ceramic seeds. She showed them to the public in various installations (2012–2015).

The seeds are about 18 centimetres tall forms with a round volume and two pointy ends. This is how the shape of a spatial mandorla is created. The almond-like shape of the mandorla is archetypal. It occurs when two circles – in our case two spheres – intersect. If the circles are understood as mother and father, then the mandorla is a symbol of their child. In the case of Ivana’s “Seeds”, the child has not been born yet but is present as a beginning, like seeds in plants.

In the case of plants, the seeds are usually inside a solid shell that protects them until the time for germination comes. With ceramic seeds, the situation is reversed. The seed is turned outwards. The hard ceramic shell of the seed is turned inwards and encloses the empty space of its interior. What is open towards the outside world is the hint of its content in the form of archetypal ornamental outlines and colour gradients of oxides.

Ceramic seeds do not wait for the right moment to germinate but have already germinated. The ability for the sprout to develop into a plant of new consciousness or creative inspiration depends on the quality of the soil in the spiritual interior of the visitor of the installation or its observer.

However, Ivana’s ceramic seeds are not just passively waiting for the possibility of their germination. I noticed that both tips of the mandorlas contain a kind of “mechanism” that “throws the seed into space” among visitors just like some plants shoot their seeds into their wider environment. Inspiration spreads into the environment of seeds, placed in one way or another in the installation, encouraging people to abandon our proverbial confinement in which we close ourselves off to unknown impulses and to open ourselves to new horizons of being that are not yet realized, but already present in the form of seeds.

A   P l a c e   o f   T u l i p s

Ivana’s “Tulips” have the archetypal form of resurrection. The middle tip is directed upwards, and both sides are turned diagonally towards the sky. Snow-white ceramics are painted in various shades of oxides. They were fired in a particular way in the barrel, wrapped in aluminium foil. In the garden of the Stari Grad Museum on the island of Hvar, where they were exhibited, she placed the “tulips” so that they rise from the ground.

Placed on the ground in the natural environment, the “Tulips” act like the sprouts of a plant that grow from the ground. If, as an observer, I try to locate the place of their resurrection, I am unmistakably guided into my heart space. The “Tulips” germinate from there. That is why I experience them like the resurrection of a new kind of time or space within a human – before they incarnate in a tangible and visible world.

The next thing I experience with the installation is similar to the amazing strength that the sprouts of plants develop so they can penetrate the solid layer of soil and peek as the germ of a plant into the light of the day.

It feels like “Tulips” placed in a group encourage people to overcome their fears and allow the sprout of a new era for their personal or collective being to open on its way to incarnation or realization.

If I look deeper, I discover that the ceramic shape of the “Tulips” is complemented by an ethereal shape that is turned upside-down by 180 degrees. So the figures are similar to the letter “X” with a vertical line through the intersection.

When the installation is made as such a combination of ceramic and ethereal “Tulips”, the joyful delight of the life forces and its beings begins to dance around them, as if the potential of the dormant life forces in that particular place is released.

Under the pressure a human civilization that is increasingly alienated from life, the life force of the spaces within which we live is dramatically declining. The installation “Tulips” is an example of how an artwork could help to encourage people to consciously participate in the processes of reviving the space and time of the embodied world. A work of art alone cannot do this, but it can ignite a flame of inspiration in a person to encourage them for such cooperation with Gaia and her beings, creators of life.

B o t t o m l e s s   V e s s e l s

In 2017, Ivana Petan, together with Bojan Brecelj, exhibited ceramic “Bottomless Vessels” in the Gallery of the Dominican Monastery in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. They are of various shapes, handmade with the coiling method, applying clay coils one on top of the other. What purpose can bottomless vessels have? After all, the value of vessels lies in the fact that they can contain something.

In this context, the notion of a bottomless vessel has a negative connotation. In Slovenian tradition, the phrase “to fill a bottomless barrel” is used to denote a meaningless operation. But perhaps the otherwise negative label of a “bottomless vessel” has a different, positive meaning in Ivana Petan’s ceramic works?

In the logical consideration of this, one is directed towards the essence of the present age in the evolution of the Earth and its beings, including humans. We are in the midst of catastrophic changes described by the concept of “climate change”. But it represents only a shadow of the planetary transformation process, which Ivana is very much familiar with as a collaborator and co-creator in the Society for the Coexistence of Man, Nature and the Environment, VITAAA from Ljubljana, in which we study modern processes of a deep renewal of the Earth’s space and time.

It is in this context, that bottomless vessels acquire their meaning. In times of big changes, it doesn’t make sense to keep space and time in vessels. The bottom of the vessels in which space and time are kept has to be broken out so that emptied and depraved forces of a given space and time can drain away. Otherwise, sealed in ordinary containers with bottoms, they can start to stink and become useless. Unfortunately, this is happening en masse today, because humanity does not understand the necessity to let go of what is old and outdated and pay attention to what is emerging.

At this point, Ivana’s “Bottomless Vessels” take on another meaning. They appear as pipes (channels) for the flow of a new spirit of space and time. Pipes have neither cover nor bottom. They, just like “Bottomless Vessels”, are characterized by openness on both sides. On the one hand, this allows to drain away what is redundant or spoiled and at the same time for new life forces, builders of a new age in the development of the Earth and humanity, to flow in.

T h e   c o n t e x t   o f   “T h e   T h i r d   A r t”

I defined the term “third art” in the “Third Art Manifesto” published in the catalogue of my retrospective exhibition 1962–2012 in the Modern Gallery of Ljubljana with these introductory words:
“Third Art both does not exist yet and has existed as long as art exists.
Third Art is not self-sufficient. While it is an integral part of all possible areas of being and non-being it should not lose itself as art.
Third Art is interested in the destiny of life on Earth and in the universe”.
In doing so, I refer to classical art as the “first art”. This means art that is serving a given culture and its dominant patterns of civilization and religion. Modern art, starting with the second half of the 19th century, has discovered the “second art” as art in itself. It discovered art that questions its own essence as art. It follows its own purpose whose foundation is in art itself.
In the work of Ivana Petan, it is possible to recognize some of the characteristics of the “third art”. As the summary of my interpretation of her individual works, I can list a few:
  • Ivana does not divide her creations into useful and artistic ones. When she creates utility ceramics, she introduces elements of free forms and makes them with the same loving commitment like when creating ceramic parts of her art installations.
  • Her works contain holographic fragments (fractals) of inspiration that go beyond independent human ability to imagine something and then make it.
  • Ivana Petan’s works – especially her installations – are imbued with vital energy fields which allows them to co-create on levels that go beyond the material dimension of creation.
  • She is not limited to personal creativity in the field of ceramics, but also works in pedagogical work in the fields of pottery and geomancy and in collective projects in stone – such as geopuncture installations – where she independently designs and carves cosmograms.
  • Her works lead attentive people to discover the nature of the world and their own essence.
  • Ivana’s creations are actively involved in the processes of change that are characteristic for our time of transformation and renewal of the world.
Marko Pogačnik, Unesco artist for peace
Šempas, 17 April 2020
This entry was published on November 4, 2020 at 9:36 PM and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “IVANA PETAN. zgodba o glini 2002-2020 : spremna beseda MARKO POGAČNIK / IVANA PETAN. a story of clay 2002-2020 : afterword by MARKO POGAČNIK

  1. Pingback: recenzije/reviews | ivana petan

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