“It is the most beautiful experience for an artist when his works gain recognition”, said Ankica Karačić in an interview I conducted with her in early October 2018, just after her participation at the Peru International Art Festival ICCA 2018, held from 20 to 28 of September.
As professional artist she started her career 1970, after graduating from the School of Applied Arts, Department of Textile Design in Novi Sad and the Academy of Fine Arts in Novi Sad. She has been equally successful as a fashion designer and as a teacher of art, and today she is an internationally renowned painter.
For her fashion creations she has received different prizes in Milan, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Belgrade and Skopje. As a art teacher together with her art group Pčelica (Honeybees – group of school children from the city of Šid) has won over 200 prizes in different countries, including China, Japan and India. She and her Pčelica has been presented on Croatian TV (RTV Zagreb) and in the year 1990 she edited the program for children on Radio Television Belgrade.
At the end of 1991, together with her husband and her two children, because of the war in Croatia, she left her house in Ilok in Croatia and came to Germany to Iserlohn, where she soon became recognised as a painter and art teacher and gained the status of a free artist. She has exhibited independently over forty times and participated in more than 100 group exhibitions in Germany, South Korea, China, Azerbaijan, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia and Serbia. Her triptych “Momačko kolo” has been displayed permanently at Croatian National Council in Subotica.
For two years, 2016 and 2017, she was member of the Jury for Assessment and Approval of School Projects in Märkisch District in the German province of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Since 2000 she has organized The Art Competition for children of Croatian emigrants from all over the world who attend Croatian language classes.
She is a member of the Artists Association of the The Ruhr (BBK – Bundesverband Bildender Künstler Bezirksverband Ruhrgebiet e.V.), DINA 4 Malaga in Spain, atelier -L – Kordi in Vienna, Arttotal in Croatia and CROART in Subotica. As a member of the International Creative Artists Association (ICAA), she has exhibited in South Korea, China and this year, in September, in Peru. She is appointed Director of ICAA for Croatia.
Jasna Lovrincevic: What does it mean for you, your involvement in Peru International Art Festival ICCA 2018?”
Ankica Karačić: “It means so much to me! This is extraordinary world Festival. There were three wonderful exhibitions in Trujillo, Salpo and Lima with 60 artists from different parts of the world. We have learnd about a different way of living and about another culture. The first exhibition, held at a beautiful gallery in Trujillo, was opened by artist Carlos Cuadra Mercado and Mayor of Trujillo, who prepared a solemn reception and amazing program for all of us. Carlos Cuadra Mercado is a appointed Director of the ICAA for Peru.
Another exhibition was in Salpo, situated at an altitude of 3500 meters. It is a sanctuary of the the Virgin of Mercy (La Virgen de la Merced), patron of Peru. In Salpo, each artist painted a new picture to give it to this sanctuary and every one tried to make a most beautiful work. All circumstances were inspirational for us to do it. Before we started to paint in front of the church, we had attended the holy mass and had prayed together. At that altitude, among those people with their warmth which we had particularly experienced, all of us had a special feeling. It was blissful experience for all. We had acrylic paints available for our paintings. The artists made wonderful pictures. I painted Jesus head with a thorn crown in black and yellow colors.
The last exhibition was arranged in Lima, at El Parque Reducto n.º 02.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “The title of Peru International Art Festival ICCA 2018 was Voice of God.
It is extremely challenging and very significant title. You have chosen a biblical theme?”
Ankica Karačić: “I have painted Moses in the momemt when the dear God spoke to him on the Holy Mountain. It is mixed technique, 1.2 m x 1m. Moses is facing viewer, he is concentraited, his eyes are closed and in the background is Holy Mountain. The Words of God, “the place on which you are standing is holy ground” I wrote by a Glagolitic letters. I painted it in black and white, only the Holy Mountain is reddish. It looks mysteriously. That is what I wanted to achieve and have achieved it.
My picture with Moses attracted attention of the people. Glagolitic script, beautiful and decorative old Croatian alphabet, which I had learned before I arrived to Germany, was particularly interesting for the participants of the Festival. They touched the picture by their fingers in order to feel its extraordinary texture and they asked me many questions about the theme and Glagolitic script.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “The theme Voice Of God is surprising for today world. How did the other participants approach that topic?”
Ankica Karačić: “Artists have done wonderful works, many of them have painted Jesus in a special way. The messages of their art pieces are beautiful. Each artist presented his or her work and talked about it in relation to the Voice of God.”
Jasna Lovrincevic:”You have exhibited you works all over the world. How do you find your life as an artist’s life?”
Ankica Karačić: “That’s a good question. Art creation is fun for me. That profession (proffessional artist) suits me well and I do not consider it as a real work, but I always try to do my work correctly. But the artist’s life is not easy, because your are twenty four hours occupied with that (with the art), and you don’t have any time free of that because I watch the world on the different way. I observe whole world differently. My brain constantly works; what I could use, draw, paint, make… And while I am lying to get some rest, I think about my art; what I’m going to paint, how to do it, how to shape it…?
I always have it in mind, even while I’m prepearing the meal. Also, it is always possible to recognise an artist; they dress differently, they have different way of eating, … It is obvious that those persons are a little bit different. It does not mean that I am positive, but I’m a little bit different.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “How do you find the other side, more beautiful part of your artistic life, participation to different exhibitions?”
Ankica Karačić: “The most important thing for the artists is when the people recognize their works, their effort and talent. I think it is the most beautiful experience for an artist when his works gain recognition.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “The art has brougtht you to different parts of the world. What does it mean for you?”
Ankica Karačić: “That is wonderful. I have more opportunities than others to travel and to learn about the world and in the same time to show my works. If you see my exhibition catalogues, you can see who are those exhibitors at the different evenst around the world. You can see their profiles. It is extremely high level.
Meeting the other artists and connecting with them is the greatest treasure for me and the best thing that I as an artist can receive on my travels around the world.”
Jasna Lovrincevic: “When you consider different exhibitions of your art, which one do you remember most vividly?”
Ankica Karačić: “I have exhibited in many countries, but Rome has remained in my heart. There were exceptionally nice exhibitions in South Korea, Peru is also special, but Rome still touches me.”
During the conversation, Ankica Karačić also talked about beautiful nature of Peru and people she had met there. “I am delighted with Peru, and its people with great heart”, she said.
In Peru, she was surfing for the first time and sandboarding in desert dunes. She was especially excited about meetingt the Croats, who live there and about her participation in the church choir during the holy mass in the Croatian language. Her painting, the watercolor depiction of the town of Dubrovnik has remained in the possession of the Croatian Club Dubrovnik in Lima.
She stressed that all exhibitions of her works around the world were connected with profound experiences with people.
Ankica Karačić: “And so beautiful things happen to you that you can never forget it.”