Croatian artists in the town of Koprivnica have swapped their canvasses for giant eggs to celebrate Easter.
The unusual creations, measuring up to two metres high, are the work of painters from the Podravina region, the heart of Croatian naive art.
Born in the 1930s, Croatian naive art gained international acclaim over the following decades with works on show at leading art exhibitions around the world.
“The idea is to promote ‘naive’ painting, mostly to boost tourism. We wanted to merge naive art and the tradition of egg painting. We also wanted to bring art closer to people, so they don’t have to go to galleries to see it, so we thought of making giant eggs, big formats that will work well in public spaces,” says Zdravko Mihevc, head of the Podravina Tourism Office.
Naive painters sought inspiration in everyday village life, serene landscapes and bright colours. Naive art was a popular form of artistic expression in Croatia, making a strong social statement about the harshness of rural life.
“The ancient Easter tradition here in the Podravina region involved decorating and giving away Easter eggs. They symbolise the birth of new life and it’s also a spring custom. They are mostly given to children, but there is an interesting custom whereby when young girls decorate and give each other eggs,” says Vesna Persic Kovac, Podravina county’s culture adviser.
Like naive art before them, the giant eggs will be off to travel the world, going on show in cities across Europe.