Croatian Saints and Blesseds in Our Nation
In the gallery ”St. Nikola Tavelić” within the Interpretation Centre of St. James Cathedral – “Civitas Sacra” in Šibenik, on Tuesday, August 31, another exhibition was opened in the series of exhibitions “Croatian Saints and Blesseds in Our Nation”. It is a 13-year continuity of annual exhibitions depicting Croatian saints and beatitudes, interpreted by established Croatian artists organized by the National Sanctuary of St. Joseph, Karlovac.
For the first time, the exhibition was designed by the sculptor Karin Grenc, a sculptor from Split and a painter with a distinctive expression, with an opus mostly dedicated to sacral themes whose material of artistic expression is wood. With each of her exhibitions, she attracted the attention of audiences and critics with her originality of approach, showing in her works a deep understanding of the motifs of Christian iconography, bringing the depth of her own spirituality into her works.
Art historian and critic, prof. Stanko Špoljarić says for Karin that with her talent and enthusiasm she literally lived the devotion to God of the people we invoke and worship, and she developed her relationship with heavenly protectors, creating sculptures and paintings, both in the studio and meditating on them in other life situations of everyday life. He further adds that the artist wanted to show the soul of the saints revealing the unquenchable light in suffering and sacrifice, their joy at the nearness of God’s presence, showing that it is not just holy lives completed by walking the earth, but persons still involved in living the faith.
In creating sculptures, Grenc uses different parts of a trunk, its protrusions and depressions, scratches and rings, and on the surface she add minimal colors, just a few details to realize the work of art and thus transform the wounded gift of nature. The artist uses wood as well as a painting background and paints portraits of the blessed Alojzije Stepinac and Ivan Merz on them. Among the exhibited wooden sculptures are: Fr. Ante Antić, St. Leopold Mandić, St. Donat, St. Duje, St. Jerome, St. Nikola Tavelić, Martyrs of Drina…
As the organizer of the exhibition, Msgr. Antun Sente, Jr. points out to the saints that they were often fragile, even inconspicuous bodies, but great men of spirit. “This is exactly how this year’s candidate Karin Grenc presented them. Using most of the already worn wood material, our attention is directed not to the substance itself, but to the fact that the inconspicuous matter in the hands of the artist becomes a miraculous beauty that clearly speaks of the spiritual greatness of a man dedicated to God.
The exhibition is for sale and remains open until October 10, 2021. Admission to the exhibition is free.