Jelena Paunkovic was born in 22.10.1995. in Belgrade, Serbia. She graduated from the High School of Graphic, Department of Graphic Design in 2014. Same year she enrolled in the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade. She graduated in 2018 from the program of applied arts, module applied painting, in the class of Professor Miroslav Lazovic. Master ’ s degree in 2019 at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, module applied painting. She received the status of an Independent artist from The Applied Artists and Designers Association of Serbia in 2021.
Aleksandar Paunkovic was born on 11. 03. 1994. in Prokuplje, Serbia. He graduated from the High School of Electrical Engineering, Department of electrical technician of automation in 2013. He enrolled in the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade in 2014. He graduated in 2018 from the program of applied arts, module applied painting, in the class of Professor Miroslav Lazovic. Master ’ s degree in 2019 at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade, module applied painting. He received the status of an Independent artist from The Applied Artists and Designers Association of Serbia in 2021.
We are a married couple and artists who started their journey together in 2014. at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade.
Our growing up was colored by the green colors of the nature that surrounded us.
As children, we loved to plant and grow plants, vegetables, fruits with our parents… Connection with nature, thanks to our parents, remained with us and became an inseparable part of our personality. Contact with the earth has developed a special relationship and respect for the earth that gives us so much, and above all life.
We were brought up to never throw garbage where it does not belong, which we tried to respect, but also to think about it. Today we think a little differently. We don’t think it’s necessary to create unnecessary garbage that will end up somewhere away from our eyes. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean that It’s still not garbage somewhere far away, in a landfill that is spreading… Thinking, the idea of living with as little garbage as possible was born in parallel when the series of paintings “Life” (Oil on canvas).
The series of paintings “Life” was preceded by a series of paintings that Jelena studied at her studies. She dealt with the problem of waste and today’s modern way of life, which does not allow us to worry too much about nature. By painting paintings showing large amounts of waste, emotions piled up mixed with information about landfills, environmental disasters, and natural changes produced by human hands. During this period, one question will influence the start of work on a new series of paintings, and the question is: “Will people ever in the future be able to see plants and nature only on photographs as we can see some extinct species of animals today?”. With a conversation between Alexander and me, we come to the idea that it may be healthier not to deal exclusively with criticism of society and other people in theory, but to change our bad habits in practice and start thinking about how we as individuals can take small significant steps that will initiate others to start thinking on the problems that arise in nature caused by our modern way of life. We cannot change the world but we can change ourselves. That is when our first series of paintings “Life” was created, which consists of segments of nature presented on larger paintings formats in the oil on canvas technique. During the creation of the paintings, we also made small changes in our new chapter of life with less garbage.
From the big city we moved our studio near the mountain Kosmaj where we started with the production of paintings. We throw plastic bags out of everyday life and instead of them we made our canvas bags that still serve us today. We establish our own small garden, and started producing our natural non-hybrid food. We started composting organic food residues which we will use later as a soil that is rich in ingredients that will help other plants during growth. We meet new people and come to incredible information and knowledge. There will be more about that and other topics on our blog. When we harvested our first fruits after two months, there was no end to our happiness. For a moment we went back to our childhood, we remembered growing up, beautiful moments, and we had the privilege of feeling like a kids again.
With the pleasure of contact with plants, we discovered that we love hiking, but not for the reason of conquering the peaks, they are free and there is nothing to conquer. They can teach us that what we see there should be respected. All the paintings we create are created on those places. Each tour on new mountain, or visiting new environment, becomes material that will later serve us in the studio as a sketch for a new painting. We have found a way to bring the nature to a home or gallery and hang it on the wall to serve as a reminder that we need to think more about how our modern lifestyle affects the environment. The series of paintings “Life” is conceived as a project that will include a series of exhibitions both in the country and abroad. The paintings will include oil on canvas as well as drawings, graphics, prints that you can find on our website JA PAUNKOVIC art studio. For all information or possible cooperation you can contact us here.