Palette of my Homeland

Palette of my Homeland is an ongoing multidisciplinary project concentrated on investigation of the visual possibilities and cultural aspects of soil specimens.

After consulting the geological map and the locals I gathered soil samples in my hometown (Knjaževac, Eastern Serbia), which became a painting palette for a set of monochrome paintings. Each of the color had its use, for example the “white“ one - Beljuga (from bela - white) was used for hand-washing of clothes, Leskun for making bricks, Crvenica (from crvena - red) was completely unusable as nothing would grow on it. Franz and Nikola (used for washing hair, was believed to contain nickel - Nikola, a male name) were named by myself. Today, such resources represent a valuable, natural and sustainable cosmetic alternative.

This personal archive is an ironic portrait of my homeland based on natural characteristics of the soil coquetting with the notion of nostalgia. Serbian syntagma rodna gruda, which is a name for the homeland, presupposes the relation between the place of birth and a handful of soil. The act of collecting and presenting soil in the painterly context has underlying political and cultural implications that invert the meaning of the borrowed terminology.

Palette of My Homeland. 2017. Soil on canvas (Beljuga, Leskun, Crvenica, Franz, Plodnjača, X, Nikola). 30x20cm (each)