Grčevo beach is turning into the bathing site of Balthazartown!
Grčevo beach, better known as Pajol or Šestica, is situated on the southern edge of the city right next to the Viktor Lenac Shipyard. Within reach of the ships that are being renovated there is a community for whom this location is not just a place for bathing. Grčevo, like the other beaches in Rijeka, is a public space and a gathering place, a forum for discussions and cultural events, a café and spot for sports – a place where individual relationships and the community are built and their presence in the place is strengthened. This location was selected for a project which is based on a strategy of communal collaboration, to which the Academy of Applied Arts of the University of Rijeka was invited.
Students are taking part in this project within a course specifically designed for this occasion during the 2019-2020 academic year and under the leadership of the experienced artist and professor Igor Eškinja. Their ideas are focussed on the planning and creation of an artistic work which becomes an integral part of Grčevo beach, along with the improvement of its functionality and symbolic quality. This piece of art does magic with what is visible and invisible to the eye. With its apertures of different shapes, the steel sculpture changes the way we see the world around us, while the fifteen inscriptions on the concrete plateau – visible only in contact with water –encourage all of us, young and old alike, to play.
The artistic process has been inspired by the theme of Balthazar, the world-famous and award-winning animated series, in which Rijeka is the main inspiration for the scenographer in the creation of Balthazartown. Balthazar is a wise professor who solves the problems of the “ordinary man.” The installations are being developed in collaboration with the Children’s House flagship.
Photo: Hrvoje Franjić