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Exhibitions and Projects
8 February–1 March 2009

Youthful Impressions

accompanying the exhibition The Slovene Impressionists and their Time

During the last few days of the resounding exhibition The Slovene Impressionists and their Time 1890-1920, we are showcasing the impressions created by our young visitors, thus symbolically joining two worlds: we are passing on the legacy of the great Slovene Impressionists to those youngest and growing up. We extend our thanks to all parents, relatives, nursery and school teachers, lecturers and mentors for directing the sparkles in the eyes of their children, grandchildren, charges, pupils and students towards the visual arts.

The exhibition was visited by 1,800 pre-school children, 8,700 primary school children and 12,600 high school children. To the breadth of experiences in the exhibition spaces, where we joined and compared various forms of art: visual, literary, music and dance, we also added the aspect of creative practice in the painting workshop, thus following a holistic approach in gaining knowledge, acceptance and expression of art in children. We wanted to extend and upgrade the way in which high school pupils experienced Impressionism in the exhibition by adding the element of their own creative quest. We prepared a literary-photographic competition for them. 84 high school pupils responded. Observing the path of sunlight, reflections on the smooth surface of water, decorative intertwining of tree trunks, are all ideas that the high school pupils reproduced as contemporary Impressionists, enveloping them with their own cognitive world and understanding. The high school pupils also searched for the complex intertwining of types of artwork between 1890 and 1920, which was bound to the Impressionist dogma.  In the motif of a tree, their thinking intertwined with the past and the current mood, enveloped with existential questions.

In almost a year, the duration of the exhibition, we prepared 50 Saturday and holiday workshops, which were attended by almost 500 children. The workshop programme formed under the title Four Impressionists, Four Seasons. During spring we investigated Grohar’s paintings, in the summer we were warmed by Jakopič’s bright suns, the autumn was a time of discovery of Sternen’s mysteries, and the winter brought us the cold feeling that emanates from Jama’s paintings. Whereas Jakopič’s Birches, Križanke and Sunny Hillside, Grohar’s Larch, The Sower and Hayrakers, Jama’s Willows and Haystacks, Sternen’s Springtime Sun … all became living paintings in our workshops. Music and movement helped us to experience the mood of spring, summer, autumn and winter in such a way as caught into colour by Jakopič’s, Sternen’s and Jama’s paintbrush, and Grohar’s palette knife. Like the Impressionists, the children too, ventured into nature, to the nearby Tivoli Park, to paint. The children’s exhibition before us forms into an elementally experienced mosaic of seasons and in its own way reflects the traditional iconography of the four seasons series.

We believe that the exhibition of the Slovene Impressionists was also something special to experience and will remain in the memory of the 46 blind and visually impaired children and adolescents from the Ljubljana Home for the Blind and Weak-eyed Youth. Special programmes were prepared that included various sensory stimuli, by which the motifs and visual challenges of the Slovene Impressionist were brought closer to the children. However, their greatest enjoyment came from standing in front of an easel and taking paintbrushes, palette knives and paint-filled palettes into their hands. Their creations touch our hearts in a special manner, in the way that their motifs have been presented so forcefully, using vibrant colours and contrasts and eruptive applications of paint.

On 8 February 2009, at 11 am, in the entrance hall, the competition winners of the literary-photographic competition will be announced and the work of our young visitors at the Saturday and holiday workshops will be unveiled.

The prize winners of the literary-photographic competition

First Prize: Sašo Štih: Štih's Psychoanalysis
Second Prize: Matej Arko: Morning Mist
Third Prize: Veronika Senekovič: No Exit

First Prize: Rok Amon: Oak Tree
Second Prize: Sebastijan Zupančič: Listopad (November)
Third Prize: Polona Gams: Through Tree Leaves

Project Leader
Kristina Preininger

Selection of works
Kristina Preininger, Tina Ponebšek, Sabina Mattersdorfer

Preparation of educational programmes
Kristina Preininger, Tina Ponebšek, Sabina Mattersdorfer, Mojca Leben

Concept for exhibition set-up
Meta Hočevar

The exhibition was supported by:
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia
Lek, d.d.

8 February–1 March 2009
Entrance Hall of the National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana