Whenever we were connecting with nature, we felt our best.
Growing up in villages and small towns, we were always close to the outdoors.
During the last few years, we've been leaning more towards not only connecting but also understanding the changes happening in nature caused by our actions as a society.
What has connected us since day one is our deep love and appreciation for animals and nature. Around 2016, we started to educate ourselves and understand the multitude of ways that we as humans exploit animals in the worst imaginable ways, mainly within the food industry, but also in fashion and entertainment.
It all affected us deeply. The stark conditions in overcrowded industrial halls, the transportation of dehydrated, weak, and injured animals to slaughterhouses, where the workers don’t even have enough time to ensure that the animals are dead before they are chopped into pieces.
What was even more shocking was the direct connection between the meat industry and its extreme impacts on the environment, as well as the negative long-term medical effects on the consumer.
This is when we made a crucial choice and embraced the vegan lifestyle, aligning our values with our daily decisions. Amidst this change, a perplexing constant remained – those familiar supermarket flyers. Every week, three to four supermarket chains send out printed updates featuring pages upon pages of meat and meat products, often priced way too cheaply. Images over images. The incredible number of animals slaughtered for the constant flow of meat was insanely high.
Confronted with this striking disparity, we sought an outlet for our discomfort and unease, a way to provoke thought without pointing fingers. This is when the art series "Natura Morta" was born.
Still-life collages depicting flowers, yet the intrigue lies beneath the surface. The petals of the flowers are composed of meat and meat products.
This gave "Natura Morta" – a contemporary twist on classic still-life art. It encourages reflection under the theme of "Food for thought."
These meticulously crafted flowers are assembled from the very images we found in those supermarket flyers – a subtle commentary on the disconnection between the animal that becomes a part, a renamed product, such as bacon, cold cuts, or fillet.
This rebranding is a common tool used to make us forget that steaks and sausages are actually parts of killed animals.
In "Natura Morta," we are borrowing this tool and further manipulating the spectator by inviting them to come closer and admire the beautiful flowers, only for them to realize that they are looking at animal flesh.
"Natura Morta," Italian for "still life," and "Mrtva Priroda" in Serbian, refer to still-life paintings often depicting fruits and flowers.
However, when translated literally, they mean 'Dead Nature.' This could not be a more fitting name for our series – a collection of artworks composed of carefully collected and cataloged cut-out images of meat and animal products.
Each artwork bears names tied to food and social gatherings: "Lachsschinken," "Bockwurst," "The Feast"... "The Buffet"... "The Lavish Dinner"... "The Banquette."
Today, our decisions go further than just the plant-based diet. We stopped air traveling, we only drive electric-powered cars, we do not wear leather or wool, and we are reducing waste and water consumption to a minimum.
Transformation is an ongoing journey. The road ahead stretches long, and we're embracing every step toward progress.