The older, pre-war neighborhoods of Prishtina, Kosovo’s capital, do not look the same. Each has a distinct structure, different arrangement and architecture of apartment buildings, and even the common spaces are not alike. One area has more green patches, another features more distance between buildings, and another one offers better parking availability.
In the residential area just across from the university students’ dormitory complex, ample green spaces lined with trees are surrounded by decades-old grey or dull sandy-coloured buildings. The sky above is the only hue that changes frequently. That is why the artwork I have dubbed the “Winking Sculpture” catches the eye so easily. An explosion of cheerful colours that clash merrily while melding into one another, painted over a translucent, asymmetrically shaped material that absorbs and refracts light. Depending on the time of the day and how lights play through and around the artwork, it reminds me of either Pablo Picasso’s portraits, a hand-painted water jug, or a delicious caramelized treat.
When I look at the artwork, I see a playful, slightly lopsided smile, a larger-than-life wink, a face that reflects all that is good and happy when everything exists in perfect harmony. The artwork is a message for tolerance and positive change in a country that suffered greatly by the war of 1998-1999.