Living with wolves through the eyes of art
The Biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana, together with the Artists for Nature Foundation (ANF) organization, organised an international art workshop “Living with Wolves”.
The workshop took place from 12 to 18 June 2022 as part of the LIFE WOLFALPS EU project. The workshop brought together 5 international wildlife artists – Federico Gemma from Italy, Szabolcs Kókay from Hungary, Tim Wootton from Scotland, Elwin van der Kolk from the Netherlands, Paschalis Dougalis from Greece and Slovenian academic painter Klarisa Sipoš. During the workshop, the artists visited various local residents who showed them their perspective on coexistence with wolves. The artists also learned about field work from Jaka Črtalič, employed at the Biotechnical faculty and participated in a workshop with the local primary school children in cooperation with an academic painter from Slovenia, Karmen Bajec.
One of the main objectives of the LIFE WOLFALPS EU project is to improve coexistence with wolves. The return of wolves to areas where they have been absent for decades can cause conflicts with the people who live there. Low tolerance is therefore one of the main challenges for the conservation of the species. To this end, the EU LIFE WOLFALPS project organizes a number of events to demonstrate the benefits and positive aspects of coexistence with wolves. Art is an important medium to appeal to the emotional side, attract the general public’s interest, and show the positive aspects of coexistence in a different way.
The artworks produced during the week were presented on 17. June at the ARS VIVA Youth Hostel in Podcerkev, together with the opening of the exhibition IX. Ex-tempore ”Dežela ostrnic”, which was held in cooperation with the Snežnik Public Institute. The event was opened by the Mayor of the Municipality of Loška dolina, Janez Komidar, who emphasized in his speech that we should appreciate the nature that we have around us more and be proud of it. He hopes that local people will also see the beauty that visiting artists see in their environment and be able to appreciate and preserve it accordingly. Co-organizer Ysbrand Bruce, founder of the Artists for Nature Foundation, expressed his enthusiasm for Slovenia and its friendly people and the fact that 60% of Slovenia is covered by forest, while Szabolcs Kókay described his feelings when a wolf ran past him in the forest while he was creating.
Photo By Meta Mavec
The one-week workshop of the LIFE WOLFALPS EU project ended in Bled with a street art festival. Artists exhibited their work in the Health Resort Park between 11 am and 3 pm, and visitors could watch them in action.