Indeed, the artist approaches the 19th century German painter’s way of expressing nature’s metaphysical dimension and views her own creations as “metaphors of the indefinable”. Rather than depicting a particular place, explains the artist, she “aim(s) to communicate that energy and feeling of immensity that certain places can give us”. Zilovic thus graphically recreates the dramatic impact of mountain peaks, lakes and vast spaces.
One of Zilovic’s sources of inspiration can be traced back to her Serbian roots. A child of the outdoors, she spent a lot of time climbing, hiking and skiing in the Dinaric Alps. Today the artist continues to take every occasion to seek out heights and snowy glaciers. Her experience of the French Alps, the Rocky Mountains or of the canyons and valleys in the western parts of the USA – awe-inspiring places that reduce any human presence to near insignificance – affect Zilovic deeply. She thus taps into memories of past experiences.
Zilovic also borrows from a variety of visual and artistic references. Photographs, personal or magazine images, TV documentaries and Internet snippets of far away locations allow her mind to travel in a virtual manner and feed her imagination.
Similarly, artworks – contemporary or old – stimulate her mind and provide creative impetus. Zilovic is, for example, currently working on a series of drawings particularly inspired by the rocky cliffs in the background of Mantegna’s Crucifiction (1457-59). She is also carefully studying Japanese prints, in particular Utagawa Hiroshige’s nineteenth-century View of the whirlpools at Naruto, Awa province, in which white spirals evoke the turbulent, foaming waters tamed through a tranquil rendering in blocks of color.
Zilovic’s abstracted landscapes can be informed by real places, experiences, images and artworks, yet her creative process remains deeply intuitive. “I accept states of ambiguity and uncertainty. I allow all images, references, everything that’s within me to rise to the surface,” says the artist. There’s a fine line between the conscious and subconscious. Vague thoughts and emotions materialize, distant memories coagulate, distort themselves, liquefy and re-solidify. Lines, shapes and textures
flow freely and merge into organic wholes.