Joni Zakonjšek: From the book of serenity |

17.12.2021 – 8.02.2022 | Piran Civic Gallery | 

Opening: Friday, December 17, 2021, at 7 p.m.

Beli veter, Velika sela, Autumn 2013 – Summer 2017, Oil on canvas, 132 x 230 cm

O, RadosTi!, Velika sela, Spring 2017- Spring 2021, Oil on canvas, 175 x 220 cm

Samostanska pomlad, Velika sela, Winter – Autumn 2021, Oil on canvas, 118 x 78cm

We have been following the painter from Piran Joni Zakonjšek and her painting in the Piran Coastal Galleries since the very beginnings of her independent creative path. In 2004, a year after graduating, she was awarded with the Grand prix by the expert jury at the Piran International Painting Ex-Tempore. A year later, she presented her solo exhibition Časenje at the Civic Gallery Piran and in the A+A Gallery in Venice. In 2007, she received the award for the best watercolor at the International Painting Ex-Tempore Piran.

She also participated in several group exhibitions hosted by the Piran Coastal Galleries: in 2008, in the exhibition dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Herman Pečarič, Olive Grove with Red Earth; in 2011, in the Figural, figuratively, figurative at the Monfort Gallery; in 2012, in the Face to face at the Piran Civic Gallery; in 2015, in the My 5 favorites at the Loža Gallery Koper and finally in this year's group exhibition at the Monfort Gallery Painting now! Slovenia 2021.

This time around, Joni Zakonjšek will present a solo exhibition entitled From the Book of Serenity at the Piran Civic Gallery. The central motif of her paintings, watercolors and drawings, which she has created in the last three years, are images of landscapes, meadows, trees, water, which are painted with the precision of a painter who is focused on perfection.

The common thread of the exhibition, which covers both, large and majestic as well as small formats of paintings and works on paper, is Joni's relationship to nature, her connection to it, to life itself, to the universe, to everything visible and invisible (to our eyes), but still present and real.
The works are densely interwoven tapisseries, they are expressions of self-reflecting on life's most important questions that are always asked anew. The depicted natural patterns – colorful leaves, tree bark, meadow flowers, and water reflections flicker and invite us to delve into their depths.
Joni Zakonjšek has been interested in natural motifs since very early on in her life. At the academy, during breaks, she walked to the trees during breaks, and in the cities where she was, she strolled through the nearby parks, where the view of the tangle of branches calmed her and revived her at the same time.

As the artist herself explains: “The painting is created in such a way that it is as close as possible to the inner sensation of the world. Our natural tendency is to mirror our soul, the image of experiencing the world, the cosmos, the whole … You can paint life based on this inner image, not just a picture of it. Or better yet, painting and life can paint you. A sense of expansion, limitlessness, a vibration of beauty and omni-intertwining that I feel as the essence of life. The intensity of this calls for it to be painted, to expand itself, and the energy of the painting does not stop where its frame is.”

After high school, Joni Zakonjšek spent two years in London and graduated from the Foundation Course of Art at the Whitechapel Art School. Upon her return to Slovenia, she started her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ljubljana, where she graduated under the mentorship of professors Emerik Bernard and Marko Uršič with a thesis entitled Landscape as an area of spiritual zone (2003). Since 2004 she has been an independent artist. After a decade of living above the Dragonja river valley and in other coastal villages, she now lives in the White Carniola region of Slovenia. Since 2002, she has set up many solo exhibitions at renowned exhibition centers and participated in numerous group exhibitions at home and abroad; she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her creative work.

The trilingual catalogue about the painter and her works will be published for the exhibition. In addition to the texts by the poet, philosopher and art historian Miklavž Komelj and the curator of the exhibition Ana Papež, the catalogue also contains reproductions of the exhibited works. The exhibition will be on view until 8th February 2022.

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