Nikolina Butorac (b. 1986 HR)
Herb Path, installation on Valtakatu 12.–21.5.2014
Mother Earth, Seminar garden and Seppä house.
My environmental art project for RaumArs programme involves planting aromatic herbs in Seminar Garden, a permanent plant installation Mother Earth and a plant installation Herb Path placed on the trees in the town's main street Valtakatu. I will mark a route from downtown to the Seminar Garden by hanging cloth bags with medicinal plants growing in them on the trees.
On the bags I have written some of my recipes like Tea Against Exploitation: ''Mix equal amounts of dried dandelion root, calendula flower and leaf of hyssop. Use as tea: 1 full teaspoon per 1 cup, and drink 2-3 unsweetened cups a day in small sips. Dandelion root cleanses the liver, gallbladder, kidneys and lymph. First of all dandelion root cleanses the liver and gallbladder and stimulates the kidneys so the toxins are sent out of the body.
I met pupils at school and they could design their own plant for a certain new purpose to make their life better. I also exchanged herbal plants into recipes, where herbs are needed, with people in Rauma.
One of the things that influences my artistic work are the problems that more and more young people are experiencing. I am trying to offer a solution to some of the major symptoms of depression such as weakness, apathy, lack of incentives, self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, meaninglessness, lack of energy etc. through planting healthy herbs.
With my project I am researching the ways how community art: planting and positioning art work in a public space, can engage people by offering them a herbal approach into life.
The main idea of my project is to plant a garden of healthy and edible herbs. Herbs are planted in the Seminar Garden in a shape of my silhouette, a young woman, which I call ''Mother Earth''. A garden is a living thing, a place which is marked and sometimes abandoned. Within the process of planting and exchanging the knowledge of medicinal and edible herbs with young and older people, I want to encourage public discussion and articulation of the current problems of the people in the community. Do we still collect, grow and use plants for medical purposes?
Art gardening is a tool which can be used in a wider sense for waking up people in creating a widespread resistance of unnecessary consumption, in relaxation and returning people into the peacefulness of nature."
Nikolina Butorac was born in Zagreb in 1986. She graduated from the School of Arts and Design in Zagreb and finished the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2012. She has a BA in Graphic and MA in New Media under the menthorship of professor Andreja Kuluncic. She is active in the general cultural program of Croatia and has attended and directed numerous workshops, engaged in art actions and furthermore made various city space interventions. She has taken part in several collective exhibitions and projects. She uses her own body as the most important tool to materialize and carry out concepts and ideas of the public space as a possible way of intervention through performance, action and installation in such places. In some parts of her work she interacts with the community of a chosen place. She is interested in researching the borders between perception of natural environment outside the city and public places in the city, and zones where these surroundings touch thoughts, stories and experiences making us more sensitive to all living things around us.