Gordana Špoljar-Andrašić

Gordana Špoljar-Andrašić is an artist who paints with a sensitivity to two realms, the earth and the ethereal.

Her shapes of green, suggesting vegetation, can represent anything that grows. If the graceful, slender stalks are trees, we are dwarfed when we look at them. We might be the size of a grain of sand standing in a forest painting within a pastel countryside. Lost in the waving green we are forced to look up, suggesting our diminutive stance in comparison to the creator of the forest, of the grass, and of all things which grow.

In Gordana’s world the scent of sweet loam is brought forth from our memory. We balance on our knees and smell the rich aroma of freshly tilled soil. Dirt passes through our fingers. The promise of the miracle of life is as destined and predictable as spring. In Gordana’s paintings you can depend on the gentle hand of nature working magic within the dark earth, bringing forth soft, but strong life.

When I look at the refined shapes Gordana has painted I see nature in a pure form, rising gracefully from the earth. Just as a dancer unfurls from a crouched position into a leap of joy, so do her shapes of life. The green, living silhouettes are healthy, rooted, strong. As much as I love Gordana’s world of refined nature, and as dearly as I appreciate the soft colors of spring she has chosen to reveal life, it is the portrait of the essence of growth from earth that inspires me most.

It might be argued that unless you hold a deep understanding of what occurs on the earth it is impossible to guess what happens in the higher realms of thought, above earth. I have seen a tree, many of them, growing together in a forest setting. I have witnessed trees growing wildly, without human control, with no trace of a human hand holding them back. In dark shadows I have sat silently in a cathedral of forests, and I have heard the symphonies of music trees make. Trees have allowed me, a human, to enter into their realms, and in this way I can begin to understand their sacred work on this planet, much more important than my own.

If you have faced death, or, if you have witnessed the agony and suffering of a loved one, chances are you have called upon the invisible power of the angelic realms. It is written that angels are messengers from the force that created life on earth. Angels appear throughout human history, etched in stone, painted on canvas, wood, and on paper. Angels, it is said, play trumpets, and are just a prayer away, available whenever we call out to them, in our human confusion, in temporary separation from our creator.

I have never seen an angel, but I know they are real. Had my prayers not been answered along the way of my life, the obstacles I have faced would have been much worse, at least my ability to face them with courage would have been lessened. When I seek an angel, looking with the eyes on my heart, it is from that perspective that I am able to see Gordana’s angels.

It could be that Gordana Špoljar-Andrašić’s angels are self portraits. Here we find females, fully human, with bemused expressions. The angels live in a region above the earth, populated by clouds in a blue reality. The purity of the angels shines through in their white hair and rustling feathered wings. The angels are telling us that they are with us, only a thought away, willing to listen to our troubles. They are, after all, messengers from another place, far away, but yet, close enough to understand our concerns. Gordana’s angels have human faces that are recognizable, which allow us to trust them. Their beauty, created from Gordana’s hand, is just like a second miracle because now we can at last see them. We can catch a glimpse of what we instinctively know to be so close when we look at the paintings. They are as suddenly familiar as their whispers and songs, which we sense and long for.

- L. M. Erricson

GORDANA ŠPOLJAR-ANDRAŠIĆ lives and works in Croatia.

Špoljar-Andrašić’s past exhibitions