Review of Eva Petrič's photography work by Prof. Dr. Milček Komelj at the occassion of "The art critics's selection: Eva Petrič", Cultural and performing center Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Feb. 15, 2008
Fairy of the night sky
Eva Petrič, as the biblical Eve, observes life after the exodus from Paradise. At the earthly world she stares at life in the light of the ideal heavenly beauty with her innovative photographic images. She searches for the humanly consecrated sublimity and beauty through the perspective of the ancient art as well as contemporary dance movements and even in the most common scenes – but for her artistically meaningful. Thus she specially likes to look at them also with the eyes of the biblical Old and New Testament, though she calls on all biblical persons only through the image of a woman. The view on herself and human yearningly inner transformations she perhaps prefers to "arrange" into very mysterious figures, that are enlivened and stirred up by the light with its silhouetted contours, shadows, reflections, contrasts and soft aquarelle iridescence. All these brings into her work a very special meaningful veiling and creative inspiration of lyrical poetry.
The selection at this small-scale presentation consists of only five images, yet these present her in her all essence. The first one (Jesus, ministering) flattens the shadow of a girl with her head lowered and indicated shadowy wings into a metamorphosis. Here, the outline, sunken into luminous softness, like in a creative prayer softly melts into a spread out blossom while the light sets ablaze the mystical love heart into its fragile body. The transparent, ochre colored image, the so called "photo-fresco", with a girl that freely swims in the sky, alludes to the illusionist ceiling paintings, framed into the lace of ceiling decoration. It appears as a memory that greets us out of the courtesy of the aristocratic Barock (We could see it already at the artist's first exhibition in Slovenia, projected at the arch of the chapel in the Bled island church.)
The floating vision of a jerkily elated transparent abstract winged figure, based on dynamic stirs of a photographic shot, announces yearning for angelic soaring into spiritual heights. The dark woman silhouette, charged with a concealed Eros, in the midst of a ritually mysterious "adornment" in the light of a window, enlivened by the blinking light, reminiscent of a hanging garland, moves the intimate scene from the girl's interior into the exotics of the Old Testament. It encompasses the eternal themes, among them of course also love. The last of the exhibited images, with the title Angel Gabriel, represents an angel, perhaps in the image of the artist herself, lost in front of impenetrable earthly darkness, but at the same time also determined, with the trust into fastened wings and with a significant inviting gesture. It seems as if a lost child would remain on the train tracks having no train stop, where the eventual snow changes into white flower blossoms; these seem as a memory on the angelic procession, while the angel's shadow as a hope or an angelic announcement moves obliquely upwards, through the impermeable darkness of the every-day and every-night life, as a symbolic ladder without wedges that will take her back to itself, into creative sky.
The photographic expression is to the young artist evidently only the most convenient visual medium, which she subordinates with sovereignty to her visions. With it she fixes motifs and effects that she herself defines in all their exactness and at the same time blurriness, not only passively catching them from the changeable fleeting of life. Thus each of these images carries in itself the artist's entirely authentic and for her decisive personal meaning that she tries to melt into humanly and even mythically comprehended universality.
Their poetics that inhales the creative spell into them, seems even more understandable when we remind ourselves that Eva Petrič is also a poetess, the authoress of a poems' collection This space is a box, which is the most naturally complemented by her own photographic images. In the introduction to this poetry collection the universal creator wrote: "I create so that I can grasp a part of myself and let it to express as a shadow through the words or any other medium." In all mediums she evidently deals in essence with one and the same, with love, compassion, the richness of creative imagination and the floating, with whiteness and blackness with all the shades in between, and in connection to the exhibited images also with the artist's wish not only to "fly, soar into the heights, swim, float, but GALOP t h r o u g h the sky" as "the fairy of the night sky".