Hrvoje Dumančić is one of the rare contemporary authors who discovered his artistic vocation in the classical motif of the horse. From the very beginnings, the artist perseveres in following his own intuition, doing what he loves, and is not discouraged by the pressures of relevant trends in contemporary art. Persistence, quality and dedication resulted in numerous acknowledgments and awards, especially in the United Kingdom and France. Although he exclusively deals with horses, the author’s versatility transpires in the classical motif of this noble animal.
Hrvoje Dumančić draws his creative strength from the moment. Each of his sculptures’ title and narrative refers to emotions and events from the artist’s personal life. Important real life events are transformed into art life through the form of sculpture. The theme of equestrian sculpture is far more complex than the mere motif of the artist’s favoured animal. It becomes a medium for interpreting his own world and communicating with his surroundings.
Ambient sculpture ‘Forgotten Emotions’ was made during Dumančić’s postgraduate study. The author uses it as means of communicating with himself and his environment, recalling the most intensive and sincere emotions, kind of those expressed without any restrictions or suppressions by children, as opposed to adults who usually keep them inside during their lifetime and gradually bury them down in the process of adapting to the standard patterns of behaviour. Desiring to create a work that would serve as a trigger for the most earnest emotions, Hrvoje Dumančić uses his distinctive style in modelling a magnificent monumental equestrian sculpture. Classical beauty, harmonious proportions and balance, and simplicity of shapes transform the motif of a childhood toy into imposing sculpture that captures attention with its fine modelling, whiteness and harmony of shapes. Archetypical symbol, it becomes an expression in time and sign in space. Oversized rocking horse sculpture is the final challenge put by the artist in front the spectators.
Equestrian sculpture is placed onto grass surface covering the gallery floor completely. In order for the spectators to reach the sculpture, they have to take off their shoes and step onto grass surface, which is the first step towards removing the boundaries, leaving personal comfort zone and recalling childhood emotions and memories, that is, the times when all of us freely and light-heartedly ran across the fields. Instead of sterile white cube within which spectators walk around in silence and quietly exchange opinions on exhibited artworks, this kind of annulling the norms and formalities enables creating a carefree and relaxed atmosphere within the exhibition space. After the initial step of removing barriers and introspection is made, it is up to the spectators to decide in what measure they will allow the unconscious within to recall childhood memories potentiated by the whole exhibition ambient. The accent is put on perceiving and experiencing centrally positioned sculpture representing a rocking horse as the archetypal motif from collective heritage that awakens various emotions and memories within an individual spectator.
The size of the sculpture does not match the size of the actual toy; it is adapted for adults. This way, the audience cannot negate its existence. In the same way we daily repress our basic purpose in order to satisfy the norms of our society and community, that genuine feeling, desire and urge for freedom, play or different way of thinking develops and yearns for realisation.
Hrvoje Dumančić never adhered to the actual trends in order to achieve general acceptance on the art scene. His main priority was always to stay true to himself, work on things he sincerely feels and intuitively follow his own creative nerve. In the time of general bleakness, depressiveness, and dramatic events, Dumančić instils his work with genuine beauty, sincere emotions and raw energy, creating unique sensibility of accentuated uniqueness. In the area of classical equestrian motif, he creates ambient concept that visually, sensually and emotionally brings us back to the time when our sentiments were most truthful and intense, devoid of adult life encumbrances.
The motif of the horse is recognisable thematic style used by Hrvoje Dumančić to record his autobiography, and every new artwork, including “Forgotten Emotions”, shows that horses are Dumančić’s perpetual motif, inspiration and uncompromising artistic choice.