By collaborating with the Split artist Andrea Resner, the Museum of Fine Arts continues its participation in the international multi-year GARDENING OF SOUL project, which is conceived around artistic interpretations of the phenomenon of gardens and gardening, understood within a broader social, economic, ecological, and cultural context.

Multimedia conceptual artist Andrea Resner bases her artistic expression on drawing, experimental film and animation, photography, spatial installation, performance, costume design, street art, and poetry, i.e., the written word as an integrative part of the exhibition. By combining these media, the work of this versatile artist is characterised by interdisciplinarity and transmedia practices. Andrea’s art is largely a result of intuition and subconsciousness. Although rooted in personal experience, it is simultaneously also universal. The focus of her work is the motif of women and what has generally been considered the realm of feminine creativity in art, such as motifs related to dreams, mythology, symbols, a magical and intuitive relationship to reality, especially nature. The artist attempts to transfer the direct and powerful influence that nature exerted on her, shaping her worldview and aesthetic attitudes, into the (un)natural, enclosed space of the gallery, thereby negating the boundary between the natural and the artistic (architectural) space, and making the exhibition space an entirely contemplative realm. A refined artistic sensibility is evident in the delicacy of the works and their high expressive perception. Through her work, Andrea offers us a framework for contemplating our connection with nature and the environment at large. A special relationship with flora and fauna, a sense of subtle currents, the exchange and interaction of life forces that connect the entire universe, are the fundamental drivers of Andrea’s creativity. What she creates are “stories,” but not on the level of narrative, rather in the sense of conveying specific feelings and atmospheres. Set in enigmatic, energy-filled situations, these “stories” can lead us in unexpected directions and to places where everything becomes possible, and where we can almost feel the presence of invisible fairies, elementals, elves, and benevolent nature spirits. Prompting the visitors, enabling them to experience on multiple perceptual levels, goes beyond the realm of visual art, that is, the purely visual, and demands much more from the observer – complete participation and spiritual concentration.

According to the Croatian Encyclopaedia, a constellation in the figurative sense refers to arrangement, disposition; combination of circumstances, opportunity; position, situation. According to the artist herself, a constellation is a closed (sometimes open) system in which all elements are interrelational. It is only when all elements within the constellation are included and vibrant that the whole is healthy and vibrant as well. Through understanding nature and the sky above us we see constellations everywhere. A greater order emerging from chaos. Andrea’s constellating spirit is a practice of bringing ancient knowledge of our ancestors into a new context. Using the mediums of drawing, sculpture, installation, and video, the artist brings to life ubiquitous symbols of the natural world and places them into correlation, thus giving life to a new vibrant constellation that serves as an open invitation to step into a new story. This further emphasises the idea of the energy of nature, to which one returns, into which one merges, and which actually represents the energy of the mind and consciousness, as vital energies in space and time. What happens as a result of this is an experience of the world that appears fresh and infinite to us, as if it is pulsating once again in its vitality and is truly “bursting with love.”

Lastly, Andrea’s work radiates a poetics that is an escape into the beyond, a natural state of things wherein the connection between man and environment is completely harmonious and congruent. It is currently entirely legitimate and relevant in its utopian vision, as it warns against the unacceptable and imbalanced human relationship with the environment, with global consequences that we are increasingly feeling. However, the overall atmosphere of Andrea’s installations still exudes a calming, almost therapeutic effect, which is far from inconsequential in today’s context. Despite the exceptional beauty of her works, as well as the emphasis on the “virtue of tenderness,” and even, in recent times, mostly avoided and unpopular category of “femininity” in art, I would still not characterise Andrea Resner’s style as feminine or of having a typical feminine sensibility. This is because her art is elevated to the realms of universal meaning and seriously articulated artistic ideas, conveying a maximum of visual and artistic messages, rich in associations and metaphors, opulent in their significance. I believe that all her works speak of another possibility, another path in defence of human vulnerability and primal nature. Her works always reject cynicism, for she believes in the strength and energy of beauty – not just as an aesthetic principle, as that would then be mere makeup, but beauty as a strong ethical choice and principle.

Andrea Resner’s multimedia installation, after being presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, will, in December this year, be showcased at a major international exhibition at the Faculty of Art and Design in Ústí nad Labem, the Czech Republic, which is the host of this international project.

Andrea Resner was born in Split in 1987. She obtained a degree in Art Education (printmaking department) from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2012, and a degree in Film and Video from the Arts Academy in Split in 2019. She has been working in the mediums of drawing, animation, film, spatial installations, and poetry. Through various media, she explores the poetics and aesthetics of the mythological and archetypal language through which the world of nature and the spiritual aspects of reality communicate.