The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden

Round Tower, Škofja Loka Museum
12 May–5 September 2021

Team: Tadej Curk (project coordinator), Branka Gradišar, Nina Misson (exhibition curator), Simona Žvanut

The exhibition is dedicated to the project The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden and its implementation, placing it in the context of the history of the Škofja Loka Castle's garden areas, whose appearance and purpose have changed over time.

From 1890 onwards, the castle garden was managed and tended by the Ursuline Sisters, who grew fruit and vegetables for their own use and as a source of income, as well as medicinal herbs for their pharmacy. The garden played a particularly important role for the Ursulines' girls' school, which focused on holistic education, so classes were often held on the linden tree-lined path and the girls spent a lot of time in nature.

After the Ursulines left Škofja Loka in the 1950s, the Škofja Loka Museum moved into the Škofja Loka Castle building and set up one of Slovenia's first open-air museums in the castle garden. The garden became a popular place for walking and a venue for various events.

The garden that serves as a successor of the Ursuline Sisters' garden in terms of herb-growing and educational activities is an enclosed garden on the north-eastern side of the castle. It was designed in 2008 and was then renovated as part of the project ‘The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden’ according to a conservation and restoration plan using traditional skills and procedures, as well as natural materials. Under the guidance of a mentor, members of the Škofja Loka-based Sožitje – Society for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities planted various herbs, tended the garden and then used dried plants to make natural soap and paper. The members thus learnt some basic gardening skills and gained work experience. The project was also a step towards their greater inclusion in the local community. The name of the Sožitje Society means coexistence, so the name of the project is a play on words, referring to both the society and coexistence as such.

A big part of the project was the collaboration between the Škofja Loka Museum and the Sožitje Society. The castle garden became a place for education, socialising and cooperation, and a place that will allow the local community to grow hand in hand with it.

The project was one of the 15 best practice examples of sustainable urban development in Slovenia, selected as part of the Institute for Spatial Policies' invitation to tender Mesta mestom in 2020.

The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden Project

Partners: Škofja Loka Museum, Sožitje – Society for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Municipality of Škofja Loka, and Sora Development Agency.

Project duration: 1 August 2019–30 September 2021

The project is funded by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
The Sožitje Society in the Castle Garden <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko

Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition

Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition

Arts and Crafts Centre Škofja Loka: 15 Sep 2021–16 Oct 2021
Škofja Loka Museum, Round Tower: 15 Sep 2021–23 Jan 2022

Team: Mojca Šifrer Bulovec, Nina Misson (Škofja Loka Museum), Kati Sekirnik, Tajda Jerkič (Arts and Crafts Centre Škofja Loka)

Wickerwork weaving was a widespread home craft in the past, but today only a few craftsmen continue this tradition. In the Škofja Loka area, weavers were producing a wide variety of products, mainly from willow whips and hazel rods. The exhibition Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition, which was created in cooperation between the Škofja Loka Museum and the Arts and Crafts Center of Škofja Loka, presents wickerwork products and photographs from the museum's archives. The Arts and Crafts Center of Škofja Loka documented the story of Janez Krišelj, who comes from a family of weavers and continues the century-old tradition of weaving wicker products in the Gorenjska region by using traditional methods and materials. His working processes are presented in the form of a documentary film and are also included in a handcraft manual.

The exhibition is part of the Roko-delci (Hand-crafters) project, which aims not only to document traditional handcraft skills, but also to develop, present and market them. The project contributes to the preservation of Slovenia's intangible cultural heritage.

Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko
Wickerwork – A Braid of Tradition <em>Photo: Janez Pelko</em>
Photo: Janez Pelko

Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage

Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage <em>Photo: Jana Jocif</em>
Photo: Jana Jocif
Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage <em>Photo: Jana Jocif</em>
Photo: Jana Jocif
+1Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage <em>Photo: Jana Jocif</em>
Photo: Jana Jocif
Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage <em>Photo: Jana Jocif</em>

Round Tower, Škofja Loka Museum
6 April–5 June 2022

Jana Jocif: Hidden Heritage
Portraits of Centuries Past

Curator: Nina Misson

Photographer Jana Jocif's exhibition, which consists of five series and fifty-two photographs, is dedicated to cultural heritage and its (non-)conservation. All the presented monuments – some of which are included in the Register of the Immovable Cultural Heritage of Slovenia – are examples of architectural heritage from the Škofja Loka area. The captured worlds of abandoned spaces reveal the stories written by centuries-old buildings, houses and homes. The images are intimate portraits of the spaces that used to be inhabited by people, while today they stand desolate, collapsing into themselves and awaiting either ruin or salvation.

The photographer's oeuvre includes photos of both famous historical buildings and those that are hidden or even unknown. She has created a photographic body of work that is often the only (known) testament to the existence of some buildings. Her Facebook profile serves as a platform for advocating the protection of cultural heritage, where she posts photos of dilapidated monuments and initiates discussions about possible solutions for specific buildings with experts and non-experts alike. In terms of their aesthetics, the exhibited photographs adhere to wabi-sabi, the Japanese concept that roughly translates as imperfect, aged beauty. Such art reflects the transience and imperfection that is a common subject of Jana Jocif's work, especially in the works that show the derelict cultural heritage. Her photographs show centuries of patina, wood scars and plaster cracks. The artist does not view these imperfections as flaws, in fact, she presents them in the light of decadent beauty.

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