Branka Ridicki (b. 1966, Zadar, Croatia) earned her BA and MA in History of Art and Italian Literature and Language at the University of Zagreb. She has worked as an independent documentary film producer and film-maker since 1991, and began her career as an artist in 2001. Since mid 2017 she is based in New Delhi, but she is active in India, Croatia and Sri Lanka. Branka is best known for the itinerary and cartographic elements in her paintings marked with fragments of urban architecture. This stems from the cultural framework she grew up in, within the historical urban architecture of her native town, Zadar. She preserved this inclination and reinforced it in the context of multicultural experiences, throughout her constant relocations to New York, Cairo, Colombo and New Delhi.
In Faces of the Town, her paintings develop the theme of a town that is not a megalopolis, but a place where space and time are perceived on a small scale. She combines different viewpoints, presenting the town from a bird's eye view, while the houses appear in a two-dimensional profile. With this approach she creates a disengaged space which opens the way to different variations of a single story. Addressing public spaces through poetic and creative play on the concept of town, exploring the millenia-old experience of urban living, Branka questions the position of the individual in our modern, migrational society.
Branka has represented Croatia at the 10th International Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt (2007). Major exhibitions of Branka's work have been held in Vladimir Filakovac Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia (2016); Museum of Ancient Glass, Zadar, Croatia (2010) and Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum, Cairo, Egypt (2007). Branka is a member of the Croatian Association of Artists Zadar (HDLU Zadar) and the Croatian Association of Artists Zagreb (HDLU Zagreb).
My art is a process of self-discovery through the inspiration I draw from nature, architecture and different cultures. My paintings depict histories of urban heritage, parallels between my childhood memories and the cultures that I encounter on my journeys.
During my formative years in Dalmatia, I witnessed the aging architecture and time-worn columns of a residual ancient town existing side by side with contemporary urban life. Space therefore became a methodological instrument in my art. I identify the borders and notions of ‘place’ as changing products of human invention.
I explore the boundaries between the memory and the reality of a place. It is an attempt at representing our existence through the dichotomy of history versus the present time. The space I create is somewhere between the abstract and the representational.
My work presents images of volume units, free-standing edifices, architecture and urban design as a constant of human definition of space. These objects are part of my study of human history because they provide a concrete basis for ideas of the space we live in. Their preservation demonstrates a recognition of the importance of the past and the narration derived from it.