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SOMBOR SEEN BY THE 'EYES OF A BIRD

Sombor vidjen ocima ptice

Architect Jovin's drawing (detail)

AN ARTISTIC VISION OF SOMBOR

It is a town in the plain of Backa whose outlines of roofs, steeples and dimensions of spreading we shall never be able to comprehend. That is why we, its dwellers, have been curious to see it from above, from a bird’s-eye view perspective. The people of Paris have built the Eiffel Tower out of the same curiousity. It is the belvedere rising above the Seine and the whole city built on its banks. Well, what should the people of Sombor have done? Sombor was lucky and honoured in the year 1993 to be visited on several occasions by a well known Belgrade architect, BRANISLAV – BRANA JOVIN, who had already realized impressive projects, and who is a creator possessing encompassed knowledge, experience, science and art. Being a great admirer of Sombor, and inspired by its architectural heritage, he was spurred by a unique creative challenge to try to make a picture of the whole town as seen by a bird. He was determined to try to realize this project, the same one some artists of the Renaissance time in Italy had started, but had given up, discouraged by the immense work that lay ahead. One of the leading world architects of the 1990's, Pei, was explicit in his statement when he said that the project the great artists of the Renaissance had only dreamed of would never become reality. What effort did such a piece of art of rare value and beauty require?
It took the architect, Mr. Jovin, more than a year of intensive work in Belgrade, far from the curios eyes of his admirers, colleagues, and fellow architects, to create a masterpiece that has never been seen before. He used geodetic maps, photographs taken from the air and over 600 photographs of important places in the town he had taken himself. It is really hard to imagine how much time and hard work was needed to create this masterpiece, which includes 15,000 minutely drawn objects in Sombor, in order to make a synthesis of urbanistic skill, engineering and art. First the architect Jovin had to make precise calculations. Then he placed the town on a big rectangular drawing paper, 2.70 by 1.60 m. the drawing was made in combined perspective in the approximate proportion 1:2000. It took almost a year to make the drawing in pencil, on three bands of paper, each about 50 cm wide, in order to make horizontal parts for the aimed drawing. Then a big piece of glass was put on the bands with a big drawing paper on the top of it all. When a source of light was put underneath, it was possible to start the final phase of the project, drawing in ink, which meant making millions of small strokes with a drawing pen. After all that work, the architect Jovin added a lot of shading and oil colours in autumn nuances to complete the filigree. To bring the work to its final stage, in the unique technique he had invented, Mr. Jovin had to use a few thousands of meters of fixing tape. The idea has become reality, the drawing is here to preserve the town for the future centuries. It is a masterpiece that has brought "the spirit of the Renaissance" into our Sombor. The town looks like a bird with spread wings, we hold it on our palms, it pulsates with its lines and signs, and by the means of the language of architecture, constuction and space, Sombor got its identity. The whole project has characteristics of a scientific accomplishment as well as a piece of art. The bird's-eye view of Sombor is a proof how a great love of one's profession, the challenge the artist faces, inventiveness that had no predecessors in the history of urban architecture (measured by the project as a whole), can create an invaluable masterpiece. The whole town of Sombor is in front of us with its fascinating core, "the golden wreath" anchored between its northern and southern knots, with eastern and western peaks that unite the town's history, changes, culture, tradition and space.

"From the map "Sombor seen by the 'eyes of a bird' " by Branislav Jovin
An artistic vision of Sombor" by Danilo Bukvić


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