Review from book ” TRADITIONAL ARTS AND CRAFTS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA”, the UNESCO Secretariat


Trench art from Mostar

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“Ismet Kurt stand out among all these standardized pieces. His embossed and chiselled figures have a monumental quality about them and an expressive immediacy. His patterns are mostly figurative and recall the stećci and local folklore, but there are also elements associated with his painful war experiences, that inevitably affect the way he feels and works. In addition to going through a mourning process expressed in patterns such as graveyards or door symbols – taken to mean ways of escape from the difficulties of life – he also decorates and transforms the grenades that were thrown in their thousands on Mostar. This art form of recycling the tools of war, such a weapons, bombs and bullets, but even human bones, and transforming them into objects for peaceful uses, so that they lose eve visually their original meaning of aggression and death, is known as ‘trench art’. This term was coined originally to indicate the works created by soldiers and civilians during and after the Great War, not only in the trenches, but nowadays it is used with a broader meaning that includes objects from any war.”

/text from book ” TRADITIONAL ARTS AND CRAFTS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA“, the UNESCO Secretariat ISBN 88-902157-0-4/

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