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VIDEO: 1000 Pepeljuga – A thousand shoes collected on the beaches of Hvar

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

HVAR, 16 May 2020 – Although it was planned for the end of March, before the largest square on the Croatian coast is filled with tourists from all over the world, on Saturday, an impressive installation by artist Mark Boellaard was organised on the main square on the island of Hvar. 

Hoping that soon everything will return to normal, in these strange and uncertain times, the empty scenery of the beautiful Pjaca proved to be an ideal place to send a very important message.

The 1000 pepeljuga (1000 Cinderellas) installation by the artist is a commentary on our current attitude towards waste and a warning of the terrible consequences we are already seeing around us today. 

The installation consists of an impressive collection of footwear washed up by the sea and collected over the past two years in the winter months on the beaches of the island of Hvar.

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

The author of the installation is Mark Boellaard, a Dutch artist who has been living on Hvar since 2012. At the core of his idea, Boellaard has an ethic of recycling and restoring the value of waste. This can be seen both in his works in his collage and in the Assemplage collection – assemblages from the beach, through which he found a way to turn the waste found on the beaches into something else – art.

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

Neatly arranged next to each other, the shoes found create a strong emotional and visual message, but they also tell 1000 stories. Children’s sandals, grandmother’s slippers, dizzying high heels, sneakers, leather boots, cheap flip-flops of various colours and in various stages of disintegration floated through the Adriatic from who knows where to end up on Hvar. Where and when were they purchased? Who wore them? Why were they rejected? How did they end up in the sea? It’s endlessly fun to come up with answers to questions as you walk through this unique collection. Yet the message calls us to change. 

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

If in such a short period of time 1000 shoes can be collected on several Hvar beaches, how many shoes and other waste floats on the Adriatic? The first step to finding a solution is to make as many people as possible aware of the problems that waste creates. This is exactly the main message of this installation.

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

Each of us should drastically reduce the amount of garbage we produce per day because even the smallest contribution on a personal level counts. It is our responsibility to educate and preserve nature for future generations, organisers Platforma Hvar said. 

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

Given the current situation and the prescribed measures, the installation was without public notice, set in the morning, documented, and removed in the late afternoon. 

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

(Photo: Platforma Hvar)

“For now, the audience will only be able to experience it virtually. In order for its message to reach as many people as possible, the installation is designed to be traveling, so we hope that after the situation normalizes, other cities on our coast will recognize its uniqueness and strength. We invite all interested parties who want to host the installation to contact us at [email protected]

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