Mestrovic Gallery and Church

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These first 4 photos were taken at the Mestrovic Gallery in Split, a gallery dedicated to the Croatian artist Ivan Mestrovic. I love art galleries and museums, we went to to as many as we could in Paris and we did the same in Croatia.

I hadn't heard of Mestrovic before we got to Split but we saw a lot of his work and I am officially converted to a Mestrovic fan. Although these works above are fairly serene, the rest of his work is so emotive, so delicate and precise, yet free flowing with such beautiful forms. The way he captured human expression through the entire body, not just the face, captured something in me and drew it to the front of my whole being and wouldn't let go.

The grief, the calm, the flow, in each sculpture, I felt it all. I am often moved by art - I cried when I finally saw The Weeping Woman by Picasso in person - but it wasn't just my emotions that stirred, it was my entirety, my soul, my identity, my awareness, whatever you want to call it... the fact that his work was new to me, the rawness of my emotions after such a long year - it all clicked together to provide one of the best gallery experiences I've had.

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As part of the gallery ticket, you also got entry into the Ivan Mestovic Kastelet-Crikvine church just 200m down the road from the gallery... However, we completely missed it on the day we visited the gallery and walked straight passed it. I don't often feel like things happen for a reason, but I completely and utterly believe that if we'd have visited that church on that day, I wouldn't have seen it the same way that I did the next day.

I didn't take any photos inside the church, partly out of respect but also because I was so busy looking around, but I kind of wish I'd taken at least one, just to cling to that moment some more.  I did get photos of the courtyard and see views though.

Inside and along every single wall of the church there are the most beautiful wood panels showing the story of the life of Jesus. Growing up in a predominantly Christian country, I of course knew the story, however what I'd never seen before, was the whole story told to me simply without words which didn't focus on one particular aspect or lesson.

Since returning to the UK, I've thought about that church a lot, not the religious aspect of it but the delicacy of the carvings, the expressions on the faces, the shine of the wood in the lovely light, the simplicity of the story and what I saw - the impact of one man's life on others, of how he inspired emotions and action within people (in any form) and more importantly, I saw what that story inspired within Ivan Mestrovic himself - love.

Cameras: Olympus OM-10 with Agfa Vista 200 Film
and Refurb LC-A with LOmo Xpro Chrome
Location: Split, Croatia