Artists residency

Giulia Berra (IT), Elizabeth Karina Balado (UK/NL), Lovro Ivančić (HR), Dominika Gacka (PL), Julia Piekarska (PL)
March 22, 2024
to April 30, 2024
Layer House, Horticultural Garden
Five textile artists within the Culture Moves Europe residency initiative are exploring the significance of green spaces in the city.

When contemplating urban green areas and seeking practical and creative solutions to strengthen the connections between the natural environment and local communities, a group of international artists responds on two levels. At the micro-area level, they focus on the exploration and revitalization of a small but highly significant horticultural garden for the local community. On the macro level, they explore local phenomena, infused with strong natural and cultural heritage, in connection with reflections on best practices from abroad and in the context of contemporary environmental crisis.

In Kranj, textile artists from Italy, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Poland are exploring the intersections between humans and nature, between textile craft and natural fibers. Their ethos is strongly aligned with sustainable practice, fostered by their ongoing exploration of natural raw materials and materials experimentation. The residency will be accompanied by accompanying activities (workshops, presentations, exhibitions) at and between Layer House (Tomšičeva 32) and the Horticultural Garden (Gregorčičeva 18).

Giulia Berra (IT)

Textile artist and painter, with a master’s degree in painting completed in 2010 at the Brera Fine Arts Academy in Milan. Currently teaching artistic anatomy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin. Her understanding of contemporaneity is intertwined with her exploration of nature and its processes, cycles, interactions, and barriers. In her artistic practice, she examines voids, mutations, fluctuations, and limitations. The scarcity in nature is a metaphor for modernity, while the specificity and dignity of all connected parts of the continuous movement of the natural cycle are its poetry.

Elizabeth Karina Balado (UK/NL)

A graduate of the Design Academy in Eindhoven, she develops practices in understanding, designing, and technological properties of artistic textiles. She has enhanced her artistic journey with diverse experiences, including collaboration with GGzE in mental health and numerous projects related to designing and maintaining spaces and gardens. Her practice is based on experimenting with natural materials, their transformation, and reuse.

Lovro Ivančić (HR)

An artist and scenographer from Zagreb, he completed his studies in textile and clothing design at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering in Ljubljana. He explores natural processes, forms, states, uses, and their placement in various contexts. He creates new textiles with added physical properties and a different visual identity. He experiments with biosilicones, bioplastic foam, and biosmalt, creating composites with them.

Dominika Gacka (PL)

A pianist, textile artist, and textile designer specializing in jacquard weaving and design, she completed her studies at the W. Strzemiński Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź. She is a co-founder of REST Studio, where she explores the lack of touch in the developed post-pandemic world dominated by the virtual environment. She is interested in multisensory experiences, haptic sensations, and reuse.

Julia Piekarska (PL)

She completed a master’s program at the Polish Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź within three studios: decorative textile studio, paper studio, and sustainable design. She is the author of textile structures and objects, where she explores modularity, tactility, haptic sensations, and the positive impact of textiles on individuals. She is a co-founder of REST Studio, which focuses on waste-free creation. The studio’s research stream examines the transformation and solidification of textile production waste.

The artistic residency BIEN Life takes place under the thematic framework of the New European Bauhaus, which, as part of the postpandemic recovery mechanisms, combines the goals of the European Green Deal and the integration of art, science, and social inclusion.

This residency project was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union and implemented by the Goethe-Institut. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.

The author of the cover sketch is Giulia Berra.
The drawing depicts architectural elements of the Faculty of Architecture, which were studied last year as part of BIEN 2023 by architect Marjan Šorli.

Photo: Maša Pirc
Group photo at the bridge: Matej Artač