Diaries as direct recordings of personal observations, deliberations, experiences and memories, are among a person’s most intimate possessions. The content is (mostly) determined by the subjective experience of the author. In addition to written diaries, visual artists create photographic diaries, drawing diaries, diary-collages as well as diaries that exceed the traditional two-dimensional form. Utajené denníky / Secret Diaries by Júlia Sabová has a three-dimensional form. Although her original field of activities is in textile, in her “diaries” this is only one of the possible components of her “diaries”. Their method benefits from the natural need to collect, unite and connect various items and materials, including fragments of natural materials, as well as artifacts, handmade paper and machine-made objects – packing materials, as well as small personal “souvenirs” – objects discarded, found, collected, preserved, loved. But none of these items is emphasized. They rather create a metonymic chain of links holding the artist’s memories together. The fact that she inserts them in special protective boxes or “shrines” give them a strong memory aura. Memories are frequently hidden in things. Ordinary items, accidentally found while cleaning drawers become an instrument for “traveling in time”. Thanks to them, in a split second, we are able to experience events, and remember places, feelings and people we’ve met. Júlia Sabová’s “Diaries” represent mysterious microworlds filled with memories hidden in objects. And although they are quiet about memories, they do not lose their attractiveness. They attract the spectator by their artistic depiction. Before using an item, Sabová carefully recreates it by various artistic means and adapts it to her own idea. In today’s world of virtual designing and technical images this can also be perceived as an expression of faith in craftsmanship and the artistic, narrative and poetic potential of found material reality.
Naďa Kančeva, 2023
Júlia Sabová (1958, Žilina) studied textile (1977 – 1982) at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. From 1983 to 1985 she worked as a designer at Bavlnárske závody (a textile factory) in Ružomberok, and in 1986 she taught at the School of Applied Arts of Jozef Vydra in Bratislava. In 1995 she became the head of the Fashion Design Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, and since 2002 she has served as the head of the Textile Department there. Along with her pedagogical activities, she designs fashion accessories and headgear and engages in free textile design with overlaps with object art, interior textile design and painting. She has participated in creative stays in Israel (1994, Kiriat Tivon) and Paris (2005, La Cité internationale des arts); she has also exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions at home and abroad.