A year later, I go into the basement halls again - the interior, mine-like space, I excavate the luminous reflection of the sky, hidden crystals and metal traces from which I read the constellations of galaxies in their circular motion. The celestial rhythm intones the drawing of diagrams. The handwritten line of the first-person narrative is lost in the given geometry. The drawing of the celestial circuit illuminates the terrestrial, black background of the square. The encompassed space and time are reduced to the fundamental point of rotation. The travel coordinates are pointed out in the black background... in search of golden red. I resumed the quest in the circular continuity.


Starting from the circle as starting point of her creation, Gloria Oreb proceeds with her artistic endeavours towards the primordial principle of layered and complex symbolism, which had already set forth in the preceding cycle Aurum and it was also shown in the basement halls of Diocletian’s Palace. Thereby, she announced the quest that would finally sublime the entire material and spiritual creation reducing it to the perfect ordo. Her works lead us through the world of ambivalent symbols of the Sun and the Moon, the twelve houses of the Zodiac, and the natural elements of Fire, Water, Earth, Air and Ether across binary constellations that like two lovers rotate on their elliptic orbits around the mutual centre of gravity to the concentric circles of the Solar System, where celestial bodies revolve around their centre - around our own and of the people we encounter in our lifetime, during our eternal journey and in search for the Truth.
In the interior of the ancient space with the stone walls, Illuminations become timeless records with layers of iconic, symbolic and encoded messages – from direct communication that rouses myriad associations and images to the metaphysical layer on which a range of questions and answers bearing our own spiritual identity come up. Even though the title Illuminations refers to richly decorated medieval manuscripts, the works of this cycle are neither illustrations nor text explanations, but the text itself - the text that speaks the language of symbols, the universal archetype of the circle that has always been present both within and outside of humanity within a living memory. It is the amalgam of matter and spirit, of terrestrial and celestial, or, as stated by the author herself: ‘’The drawing of the heavenly circuit illuminates the terrestrial, black background of the square’’ – the counterpoint of matter and transcendence.
The unifying element of all those paintings is the circle with its central point without regard to variations and divisions of the circle. Just as the Sun marks the midpoint of the planetary system, so does the centre of an image (painting) become our own Self - the centre of our internal universe, the reference point in reviewing the overall existence.
The author keeps some space for her own associations deliberately leaving it up to each of us to understand our own natal charts, celestial maps of micro and macrocosm, dualities of male and female principle, cyclic movement within the circle of life... the circle that resembles Samsara, rebirth and death, which always begins anew and never ends.
It is no coincidence that the new cycle Illuminations is exhibited nearly a year after the Aurum, exactly in the night of the new moon, which indicates a new beginning, the end of winter and the birth of spring... Purified to the ultimate simplicity, linear drawing on the achromatic black foundation, of the geometrical harmony, peacefulness that her works emanate; proportions, rhythm and order as opposed to... are altogether a great detachment from the everyday reality, detachment from entropy and chaos in this world is being inclined toward.

Barbara Gaj

Diocletian's Palace Cellars, Split