Postoji neko uvriježeno mišljenje kako određene vrijednosti pripadaju samo određenim skupinama ljudi s određenim svjetonazorima. Pa tako krhkost pripada ženama, snaga muškarcima, domoljublje konzervativcima. Duhovnost je rezervirana za vjernike, narodna predaja za tradicionalne, moda površnima, galama aktivistima. Između svih tih crnih i bijelih etiketa postoji čitava galaksija šarene sive. Jure i ja samo se sreli u toj galaksiji. Različiti, a isti, oboje šareno sivi, isti u tome da nas crni ni bijeli nisu poljuljali da uzimamo što osjećamo bez obzira koliko agresivno neki držali zabodene kandže u ono što pripada svima. Živjela (i živjet će) jednom jedna (i još mnogo puta tako) ljubav (i ponos). Omeđena morem, dvjema rijekama i planinama, a zapravo neomeđena. Davno prije tebe i mene, i dugo iza nas, neuništiva dokle god diše netko tko je se sjeća, tko o njoj priča, tko dopušta da kroz njega prolaze i djeluju duhovi onih koji su tu bili prije… i idu dalje od nas, jer su veći od naših života, a bez njih se rasipaju poput niske bisera.

Popular opinion usually assigns certain features to certain groups of people with a certain worldview. For instance, women are fragile, men are strong and conservatives are patriotic. Spirituality is for the religious, folklore for the traditionalists, fashion for the shallow and uproar for the activists. In between those black and white labels, there is a colorful galaxy of gray. This is where Jure and I met each other. Different, but the same, because neither one of those black and white extremes managed to stop us from taking what belongs to everyone, no matter how hard they stuck their claws into it. A love (and pride) lived here once (and it will live, many times more). Bounded by sea, two rivers and mountains but in fact unbounded. It was here long before you and me and it will be here long after we are gone, indestructible while remembered and talked about, while ghosts of those who came before us inspire us… and live on, because they are larger than our lives but bound to them like strings of pearls.

Vjetrovi i kiše tisućama godina južnu su padinu velike planine isklesali u lik vojnika koji spokojno leži te dostojanstveno i strpljivo drži stražu dok oko njega prolaze ciklusi života. Ispraća vojnik tolike generacije, od onih koje su ga štovale kao Boga Peruna, do onih koji su radili sve da zataškaju dokaze tih štovanja ne znajući da dolaze oni koji će zataškavati njihova. Mit kaže da je nekoć ovaj statičan lik bio vrhovno božanstvo koje je udaralo gromovima nakon kojih dolazi kiša, a iz mjesta gdje grom pogodi izrasta cvijet perunika. Fotografija rađanja perunike iz vode na kamenu(jedan od simbola boga Peruna uz Hrast i malj) spoj je stereotipne nježnosti i ženstvenosti povezane s cvijetom uz teoriju da je bog Perun bio žena (zbog položaja kako jaše magarca/konja na reljefnom prikazu kao materijalnom dokazu postojanja staroslavenskih vjerovanja). Golo žensko tijelo oblijepljeno laticama perunike visoko na planini kao jednoj od tri prirodne granice Poljičke republike.

For thousands of years, the winds and rain managed to carve the southern slopes of a large mountain into a shape of a soldier, who lies there peacefully, in his solemn and patient vigil while life goes on around him. He has seen many generations, from those that worshipped him as the god Perun, to those who are trying to cover up the evidence of those worships, not knowing that future generations will cover up theirs in the same manner. The myth surrounding Perun tells a story of this static figure, who was once a supreme deity that, as legend says, would strike certain places with lightning, after which the rain would wash them down and an iris (perunika) would bloom. The photograph of an iris blossoming from the water on a rock (one of Perun’s symbols besides an oak and hammer) is a combination of stereotypical tenderness and femininity connected to the flower, along with the theory that Perun was actually a woman (because of the riding position depicted on an old relief, a physical evidence of old Slavic beliefs). The naked body of a woman is covered in iris petals high on the mountain, one of the three natural borders of the Republic of Poljica.

Suprotno planini ovo se božanstvo vezivalo za nizine i vode. Iako bi trebao predstavljati apsolutnog negativca, upravo su sukobi Peruna s Velesom i bacanje munja u tim borbama rezultirali kišama koje su neophodne za poljoprivredu-hranu-život. Vijenac od bršljana oko glave prikazuje dva lica jedne medalje s obzirom na to da je bršljan ljekovita ali i otrovna biljka. Također, bršljan zbog svog snažnog prianjanja uz podlogu na kojoj raste predstavlja odanost i privrženost, upravo ono što je glavni motiv nastanka ovih fotografija. Vjernost autora kraju kojem pripadaju. Velesova karakteristika je mijenjanje oblika, mitologija kaže kako je uzimao oblike životinja i ljudi da bi činio štetu. Fotografija Velesa homage je metamorfozi i transformaciji. Simbolički smješten u rijeku, brzu tekuću vodu koja sve što u nju stane odnosi dajući šansu za nove početke. Rijeka također predstavlja drugi od tri elementa koja rade prirodnu granicu Poljica.

In contrast to the mountain, this deity was associated with meadows and bodies of water. Although seemingly a villain, Veles’s conflicts with Perun resulted in lightning hurling and ensuing rains, which were essential for farming – food – life. Garland of ivy around the head represents two sides to a coin, considering that ivy is a medicinal plant but also very poisonous. Because of its strong adhesion to every base, ivy also represents loyalty and devotion, which is the central motif to these photographs – the author’s loyalty and devotion to the land. Veles’s attribute is shapeshifting – mythology describes him taking shapes of both animals and humans to do harm. The photograph of Veles is an homage to metamorphosis and transformation. It is symbolically placed in a river, a swift-flowing body of water that takes everything away, giving us a chance for a new beginning. The river also represents the second of the three natural borders to Poljica.

More kao treći element prirodnih granica na fotografijama simbolizira život, sve iz mora dolazi i sve se moru vraća-to je mjesto rođenja. U more je smještena klasična ženska figura ovog podneblja, majka, hraniteljica. Ova serija baš poput mora prikazuje dinamiku života te nas iz svijeta mitologije vraća u stvarnost, sadašnjicu. Ova žena je seljanka, zemljoradnica ali njena odjeća nije tradicionalna te je čitav ambijent slike pomalo mračan. Jer osim što more život daje, ono ga i uzima, more pokriva veći dio naše planete a o njemu znamo jako malo. Mistična atmosfera postavlja pitanje jesmo li se zapravo odaljili od mitologije, hoće li iz napete površine izviriti čudovište ili je surova borba za život i egzistenciju stvarno čudovište naših života?

As the third element of natural borders in photographs, the sea symbolizes life – everything comes from the sea and everything must go back to the sea – it is a place of birth. A stereotypical woman of this region is put in the sea, she is a mother and a caregiver. Just like the sea, this series of photographs represents the dynamic of life and brings us back from mythology to reality, to the present. This woman is a peasant and a farmer, but her clothes are not traditional and the whole ambiance is dark. Because no matter how much the sea gives, it also takes, and even though it covers most of our planet, our knowledge about it is scarce. The mystic atmosphere surrounding the photograph poses the question – have we actually alienated ourselves from mythology, is there a monster lurking under the surface or does the real monster lie in everyday struggles for our lives?

Zadnja serija fotografija smještena je u srcu granica koje prethodne tri zastupaju. Autentična lokacija na kojoj su se birali Poljički knezovi ovog puta prikazuje ženu kneginju. Ali ona nije do titule došla preko brata ili oca (kako poljički statut nalaže). Kneginjinim vena teće krv Mile Gojsalić, ratnice, žene koja u sebi ima gromove i munje, mistično more i nepredvidivu rijeku, koja je bosa generacijama preživjela na golom kamenu. U jednostavnoj haljini čija boja predstavlja tradicionalni ogrtač poljičkog kneza, ogrnuta u kravlju kožu kojom odaje počast uginuloj životinji iskoristivši njen svaki dio, od nakita jedino na glavi ima krunu sačinjenu od biljke vilina kosa. Narodne legend kažu da ta biljka raste na proplancima gdje noću vile plešu kolo. Tako je ova naizgled čisto feministička poruka također je satkana dozom bajke… ili ne.

The last series of photographs is set in the center of borders represented in the former series. An authentic location where the lords of Poljica were elected, depicts a woman as a lord. But she did not gain her title because of her father or her brother (as declared by the Statute of Poljica). Blood in her veins is that of Mila Gojsalić, a warrior, a woman that combines thunder and lightning, the mystic sea and the unpredictable river, who survived for generations barefoot on a bare rock. In a plain dress whose color represents the traditional robe of lords of Poljica, clad in cow skin as an honor to the dead animal by utilizing its every part. The only ornament she is wearing is a crown made out of the dodders plant. The legends say that plant grows on clearings where fairies dance during night time. That’s why this seemingly feminist depiction also remains interwoven with a fairytale… or not.

Negdje na pola između mita i povijesti, tradicije i suvremenog, ispričanog i nikada izrečenog, od izlaska do zalaska sunca kreirana je neka nova stvarnost. Negdje na pola između poštivanja pravila i kršenja istih. Satkana od brzaca neumorne rijeke, stabilnosti pouzdane stijene i mirnoće more dok pozdravlja blijedi mjesec jedva vidljiv na još danjem nebu. Ispred kulisa zlatne planine, crnog pijeska i million nijansi zelene, ispričana je neka nova priča, ona u kojoj je kreirana Perunika.

Halfway between myth and history, traditional and contemporary, told and untold, sunrise to sunset a new reality was formed. Somewhere in between upholding and breaking the rules. Woven from relentless rapids, reliant rocks and tranquility of the sea while it greets the pale moon, barely visible during daylight. A new story was told in the backdrop of a golden mountain, black sand and million shades of green. A story about Perunika.