Animal; beginnings

The exhibition Animal; beginnings marks the start of a project that explores the role that animals have in our society and of how we look at them and relate to them in our daily lives. The project explores the demarcation line between the natural and the constructed environment, as well as the romantic idea of representation in zoological and private gardens, and how it has evolved through history.

The subject of animals has been present since the very beginning of my practice and it has manifested itself in various ways in my projects. In my last series Silent Islands, Brijuni, I had the opportunity to explore the role of the animals in a controlled environment that was created as a concept of a private paradise, a garden that gives the impression of wilderness.

In fact, Brijuni are marked by the idea of creating a place of ideal harmony between the natural and modified. This idea modeled them in a near-imaginary space in which the imported animals adapted perfectly to their new environment and so today we can witness remarkable scenes, like the doe swimming, at sunset, from one island to the other.

Animal; beginnings brings together different approaches to the theme of the animal through various projects and creates a cross section of perspectives on the role of the animal in society. It serves as an introduction to contemplating about animals in the urban environment, and an exploration of the subject of zoos as the most direct reflection of the state of society.

The unique space of the Studio Golo brdo, which is surrounded by nature, will especially contribute to experiencing the work and to the contemplation about the human connection to animals and nature.



SofijaSilvia (Silvia Potočki Smiljanić) is based in Pula, Croatia.
She received her BA honours in 2002, from FAMU – The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic and her MA honours in 2007 from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design London, UK.
Her work has been published internationally in the Camera Austria International magazine, Czech Blok and Fotograf,  Slovenian Fotografija, Serbian Nova Misao and Croatian Kontura, Čovjek i prostor and Oris.
In 2011 HRT (Croatian National Television) filmed two documentaries about her work SofijaSilvia – Photography in Croatia and Sofija’s World.
Alongside her artwork she organizes and curates international exhibitions and symposiums in Croatia.
Since 2013, with the multimedia artist Ilija ILIA Smiljanić she runs Singular gallery in Pula. The gallery has an international exhibition and residency programmue.
She organises workshops, lectures and curates exhibitions of young upcoming artists and designers.


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