“In this world, only permanent thing is change!”, a quote by Petar Preradović that neatly suits our next participant of Sketchbook Station project. Every new experience in the work of Dubrovnik’s artist Mercedes Bratoš results in new ways of transforming reality, thereby enriching her artistic expression, but also stopping the guessing of a next step. During many years, there are shifts and changes in author’s expression, yet there is a constant in her work – and that is collage.
Mecedes Bratoš was born in 1979 in Dubrovnik where she graduated at Luka Sorkočević Art School. She graduated painting at Accademia di Belle Arti in the class of prof. Umberto Borello. In 2014, she started pedagogical-psychological education at Teacher’s Faculty in Zagreb. From 2017 she works in Association Svitanje, engaged with safeguarding and promotion of mental health. Until now she had several solo and collective exhibitions in Croatia and abroad. She lives and creates art in Zagreb and Dubrovnik.
Observing the opus of Mercedes Bratoš, it is possible to follow steady development of her artistic procédé. Constant changes in her artistic opus reflect changes of author’s inner states. Consistence of expression is confirmed through adherence to the technique of collage and dedication to constant search of balance and harmony in the artwork. Choice of painting technique that creates visual enigmas by connecting different materials defines the complex character of Mercedes Bratoš.
Creative process is marked by collaging on paper and making of around one hundred sketches out of which the artist chooses those mutually connected and fits them into a meaningful whole. Mercedes favors intuition over reason, indulging in creative expression with true joy. She finds her natural expression in compositions made in combined technique of acryl paint on canvas, chalk, India ink, charcoal and rapidograph, together with a series of fragments made of paper, newspaper cuts and canvas prints. Aligning with the subconscious, the author forms artworks of harmonious colors and compositions.
With her artworks, Mercedes Bratoš wants to rouse all those affirmative feelings we associate with experiencing an artwork. It’s not a provocative art, but art that fosters indulging in and enjoying the observed. Feelings of contentment and happiness are reachable if we live life fully and do what we love. It is that feeling of fulfillment and contentment that Mercedes wants to transfer onto the observer with the aim of fostering positive emotions and creativity.
Tree, life and blood were the basic motives guiding Mercedes Bratoš in creating her artwork for Sketchbook Station. Archetypal drawing celebrating joy of living is based on the idea of a tree as a symbol of immortality, that is cyclical nature of life. A detailed drawing carefully made using a rapidograph focuses on the form of a hand that reminds of a tree. Outspread fingers symbolize number five that, according to philosophy of Taoism, classifies all natural phenomena into five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Individualized version of a family tree in the form of a hand is filled with a sequence of blood vessels that symbolize strong family connections. Hills and mountains at the back represent the ways of our ancestors, while birds in the distance connect sky and earth.
After such powerful artwork full of life symbolism, we can only ask you which artworks and stories behind them have influenced you most?
You can find out more about Mercedes Bratoš’s art on:
Approaching the very end of representing Sketchbook Station project participants, we invite you to revisit all our authors:
Greta Mockutė | Anastassia Korstinskaja | Flávia Rodrigues Piątkiewicz | Timothy Hofmann | Nikol Greplová | Marie Sandahl | Dóra Pernyész | Marija Lovrić | Silvia Golja | Maruša Štibelj | Mia Maraković | Nikolina Knežević
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