Barbara Kastelec - Plant cells
In 2001, Barbara Kastelec graduated in painting from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design of the University of Ljubljana with prof. Emerik Bernard and Assoc. dr. Nadji Zgonik. At the same faculty in 2004, under the mentorship of prof. Gustav Gnamuš and dr. Aleš Erjavec received her master’s degree in painting. Since 2006, she has the status of an independent cultural worker. Barbara Kastelec’s creative work includes painting, illustration, animation and video.
In her artistic creation since 2001, she has been exploring the subject of food, especially from the point of view of experiencing the relationship between visual, memory and taste, and at the same time she is also exploring the multifaceted meaning of objects. In recent years, she has been focusing on the life sciences in his artistic work, especially from the point of view of science’s manipulation of plants and animals. In her paintings, she depicts the vital interdependence of people and food, and consequently of plants and animals. Barbara has been exhibiting at home and abroad since 1997.
In the cycle Plant cells, art becomes more and more like a record under a microscope – the painter approaches the depiction of social criticism and the expression of her own concern for the preservation of the world and the living in it through the eyes of a microbiologist. It intervenes in microscopic images of pollen, seeds and plant cells, which are not detectable with the naked eye. She places them in the representational grandeur of her canvases as basic parts of food, as forces that are actually life itself. With extremely strong colours and attractive images, Barbara encourages us to take a closer look at the world of microorganisms, which are the source of visible life itself – seeds, pollen, plant cells – all of this is the building block, the very beginning of the tangible. Without seed, without pollen, without mold, without slime, the world as we know it would cease to exist. Barbara is aware of this and, through her own medium, painting, urges individuals and society to wake up. With plant cells, which she started working with years ago, she primarily represents a personal reflection on scientific research, which, due to increasing climate change, predicts a famine of global proportions in the not-so-distant future and not just on a foreign, distant doorstep.