waving of harmony | school of weaving | macrobiotics

"Beauty of the Shepherd Fashion" from the magazine "Magazin" - download (150kb)
"Paper Pictures" from the magazine "Magazin, Politika" - download (185kb)

The Byzantine key

Surrounded by the piles of colorful threads, Zagorka Stojanovic sits in front of her loom as if on a confession. "This is a monastery work", Zagorka extends the parabole. "The rythm of weaving aims for slowness, unlike the daily routine of modern crafts. The thread is woven line by line, and if the hands are devoted, thoughts get appeased like in a prayer." The inner peace enabled Zagorka Stojanovic an unusual life dynamics. She has graduated in 1964 at the Textile department of the Academy of Applied arts in Belgrade, at professor Dragutin Mitrinovic's class. Quite a rich production confirms turning a practical skill into an art of a high level of freedom

Designing costumes, often the entire scenography in textile, Zagorka completed over a hundred theatre plays, numerous movies, TV dramas and series. The search for limits of the technique reaches a peak in woven sculptures, of such an abstract figuration that they almost lose touch with the old craft. In recent years Zagorka Stojanovic found a new form of expression in icon-weaving. Loyal to the Byzantine canons, the woven icons avoid literal citation as the author discovers her modern reading of the source. The polyptych Deisis, five woven icons, won the Grand Prix at the Mileseva art colony in 1993, to be exhibited later in Paris and New York. "I've learned the craft in villages, from old weavers. They didn't know to explain why or how", says Zagorka, "their craft is in their fingers. Arts that had been tied to the survival for so long, are deeply rooted in colective memory. People have an intimate, atavistic need for the warmth which is ignored by the spaces of modern architecture and
its cold materials.

In numerous courses, summer schools, workshops, Zagorka passes on her knowledge hoping tradition would step out from the archives of etnology. "By this craftsman's licence" says the Charter of the Alliance for preserving the traditional weaving, presided by Zagorka Stojanovic, "the weaver maintains the pure intention to charish and pass on the love for this noble craft". Traces of the ancient art mysteries are kept in metaphores - the feelings are intertwined, a story is woven, an entire life follows a thread that can weave miracles. And after the basis is made, the emptiness is filled with a new shade of meaning. The materials themselves are poetic.

As the visiting professor at the Bucharest Academy, following her exhibition or at study travells in Italy and Poland, Zagorka Stojanovic, among else, recognized the need to present her work as often possible. In former Yugoslavia she exhibited in Slovenian as well as in Macedonian galleries; today, she is prepared to visit small towns as well as cities abroad. The United States, England, Gabon - are some of the points in her cultural mission.

Among countless awards and prizes, the most recent are the ULUPUDS 1997 Annual Award and the KPZ 1998 Golden pin. Not long ago a TV documentary "Zagorka" was filmed, directed by Petar Cvejic, resembling itself to a weaving, composed of stories told by the artist's friends and recordings of her various interests - from drawings and collages to Thai-Chi practice and gatherings in the kitchen, where Zagorka prepares food according to macrobiotic recepies. The film won a special diploma at Zlatibor MEFEST in 1998, and the acknowledgment of the outdoors Museum of Sirogojno - Old village, "for the harmony and beauty of living and creating in mutual understanding of a human and the nature".

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