Interviews and talks with artist Natalija Šeruga Golob. The artist (painter) talks about her love with decay and modification of things. For her art is a matter of the spirit, and its mission is to approach the meaning of life. The painter is faithful to her recognisable style: painted canvas, visibly stitched on a metal sub frame, and to topics such as time, passing, and decay.

Natalija Šeruga Golob in her studio, 2016
(photo: Maja Škerbot)





CRÉDO* (slo)

* I wrote thise crédo for the purpoe of my last exhibition (Salve Regina, 2018), but next day I feel quite differently ...

I'm a painter. In recent years, I have been developing a painting model that conforms to the basic structure of the world, in which transformation is a constant, and the end is the precondition for a restart. My painting model is based on both the ancient and the eternal in visual creation. For me, painting is a ritual, a bridge between the real and the transcendental. A ritual as standardised, reproducible behaviour that connects me with the concept of the transcendental. If I assume the division of the real and the imaginary world into two poles—the sacred and the profane (as two absolutely different realities)—the ritual of creation, for me, represents a bridge between these two worlds. Art is a matter of the spirit, and its mission is to approach the meaning of life. There is no mysticism, I wrote blasphemously in my painting diary long ago. Mystery is regarded as being bewildered with the supernatural, the irrational. Mysterious is what exists and remains incomprehensible throughout and in every case. (Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen. / Whereof one cannot speak, thereof must one be silent. - Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein) Fundamental philosophical truths can only be touched, indicated to, and left to relinquish to a place in which they settle down and reveal themselves. Therefore I merely touch the mystical as a fundamental structure of the world and let it be revealed to me. The visual and the verbal languages never fully overlap. By dismembering the world into various meta-languages, we approximately define and get to know the world, and by doing so we approach the knowledge of the world and thus the knowledge of ourselves.

I stitch the canvases with visible seams on a metal subframe. Using this painting support, I wish to raise associations with the old, the primeval, and the archaic. Ever since I can remember, I have been focusing in my work on time, the passing of time and decay. I do not portray these as a motif, because they became part of my painting practice in recent years. I literally imbue the technology of painting with destruction. I cover my paintings with ‘ash’—a mixture of white (PW6) and black pigment (PBk7)—or with ‘soil’—earth pigments (α-FeOOH). I then remove the colour and leave it to the material to reveal or conceal parts of the painting. This step of destruction or disappearance of the image is usually carried out by time. In recent years, by applying my final painting intervention, I myself have been rearranging, shrinking, accelerating time, and concentrating it into the painting process. The passing of time, the transformation are not just answers to the question of ‘What is depicted?’ but also of ‘How it is depicted?’. In the paintings, I thus create the past within the present.

Natalija Šeruga Golob, 2018