Her passion for drawing is matched only by her passion for travel and she has imbued herself in other cultures and landscapes during trips to India, Nepal, Tibet, Malaysia, Thailand and South America. The twenty-six works presented at the Landscapes of My Thoughts exhibition will be available for viewing through to the end of the year.

The Landscapes of My Thoughts (Krajolici mojih misli) exhibition featuring the work of Irena Gayatri Horvat opened at the Croatian Heritage Foundation on the 25th of November. Ljerka Galic, the head of the emigrant heritage department of the Croatian Heritage Foundation, offered a brilliant introduction into the world presented by the artist through painting and verse. On hand to welcome the gathered was CHF director Marin Knezović, followed by a presentation of the exhibited work by art historian Sanda Stanaćev Bajzek.
Welcoming the gathered art aficionados and guests CHF director Knezović noted, “In order to see things as they really area a sharp eye is often as much an impediment as an advantage. Our field of vision is constantly cluttered with irrelevant details. Thus we are always looking, and seeing little. The artwork of Irena Gayatri Horvat, although it derives itself from natural forms, wishes to focus on what is essential, the forms that stand behind what is visible. This exhibition is the author’s guidebook to the essential. We should allow what is essential to come to us.”
Zagreb native Irena Gayatri Horvat (1968) found her suggestive artistic voice during her studies of painting and printmaking, which she completed at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2008. Her passion for drawing is matched only by her passion for travel and she has imbued herself in other cultures and landscapes during trips to India, Nepal, Tibet, Malaysia, Thailand and South America. She chose the name Gayatri from the Hindi sun goddess.
She is involved in graphic design, illustration, photography and shoots documentary material from her distant travels, some of which have been broadcast by national broadcaster HTV, by the Croatia Nova TV channel and for the first Croatian female alpine expedition to Cho-Oyu (8,201 m) in 2007 in which she participated. She is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists and of the Kranj Art Association in Slovenia. Given that she lives in Slovenia she also collaborates with the art section of the Croatian Association of Maribor. She has attended postgraduate interdisciplinary doctoral studies at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts. Since 1993 she has participated in numerous international art symposia and in some thirty solo and a number of group exhibitions in Croatia and abroad.
Speaking of Gayatri Horvat’s work, art historian Sanda Stanaćev Bajzek noted that they are a place of the artist’s emotional and mental outpouring, of her personal thought landscapes, of the landscapes of her imagination and the impressions of mental furrows that, in the very existence of the paintings, reaffirm the author’s world. Nature, then, serves only as an inspiration through which to register that other, mental and spiritual state, thoughts of core values and the purpose of human existence inspired by an intensive experience of nature, but far from a realistic “rewriting”. Furthermore, Bajzek notes, Gayatri Horvat processes the line and all of its derivatives in her imagination, condensing and localising it in an image of great mass, establishing a harmonic rhythm between line and colour. She achieves the independent structure of her drawings in its sundry techniques, in a range from the linear to tonal treatments and rich gradients of frottage, all the way to a reduced closing of the whole, boiling form down to a symbol in the Glagolitic alphabet. Bajzek concludes noting that the artist complements the diligence and minutiae of her drawing form with an explosion of colour.
The exhibition, which introduced Zagreb viewers to twenty-six exceptional creations by Irena Gayatri Horvat, opened and closed with song. Opera singer Marko Mundir, the current president of the oldest Croatian organisation in Slovenia, the Croatian Culture Association of Maribor, performed compositions in Croatian and Slovenian. The Landscapes of My Thoughts exhibition will be open through to the end of the year.

Text by: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photos by: Hrvoje Salopek