Petar Botteri Exhibition in Hvar

Published in Highlights
Petar Botteri is a photographer who lives in Stari Grad. He has won innumerable prizes and earned worldwide acclaim for his exceptional photographs.
The accolades are well deserved. Botteri captures magical moments in the world around him. It's not just a matter of technical expertise, but more due to his vision, which combines artistry and love for his subjects in equal measure. His success is also based on experience, observation and patience, all necessary ingredients to capturing just the right moment in the right place in the right light.

His photographs are eagerly sought after and hard to come by. His primary aim is to promote the beauties of his homeland through the lens. This was demonstrated to the full on Sunday June 1st when Hvar's cultural charitable association Dignitea staged the opening of an exhibition of his photographs in the beautiful setting of the Loggia in front of Hvar's Palace Hotel.

Botteri's artistic vision is the perfect complement to Dignitea's aims and aspirations: Dalmatia's ever-changing landscape of beauty showcasng its natural and cultural heritage.

The exhibition launch on June 1st was introduced by Katia Zaninović Dawnay, leader of Hvar's independent party 'Lista za ponos mista', which holds seats on the local council and is tirelessly active in promoting Hvar's culture for the benefit of residents and tourists alike. Hvar's female harmony singing group, Klapa Bodulke, opened the proceedings with a polished performance.

There were charming readings of local poetry and texts from younger representatives of Hvar's cultural society.

Petar Botteri described his career to the audience, highlighting the fact that his greatest desire as a photographer of international standing is to show the world how beautiful his homeland is, a cause for which he is always prepared to donate his pictures freely. As Katia Zaninović Dawnay wound up the formal opening speeches, Botteri took the opportunity to nip behind her and photograph the audience.

The capacity audience, which included the mayors of Stari Grad and Hvar, appreciated his sense of fun and applauded with zest.

After the introductory talks the audience lent themselves to inspecting the fabulous photographs on show, animated discussion, and sampling the excellent snacks and drinks on offer, prepared and served by Dignitea's enthusiastic band of volunteers.

Petar Botteri, of course, was much in demand, but took time to do an extensive radio interview in between chatting to his guests and admirers.

 

While modern technology has changed colour photography beyond measure from the days of colour prints or colour slides, skill with black-and-white photography remains the true mark of a great photographer, so it was no surprise that Botteri elected to stand in front of some exquisite black and white pictures when asked to choose the background for a personal photo call.

The photographs in the exhibition were arranged in themed groups, reflecting different aspects of Dalmatian life, and above all the diffferent moods which change the face of Botteri's home town Stari Grad. Of the latter, the images of the town under snow (a rare occurrence) and tidal wave (rather more frequent than snow) are particularly striking. Botteri loves photographing the sea and sea birds, as well as animals, subjects which are of course close to Eco Hvar's heart. At the end of the evening, he took his leave saying that he had to go home because the dog and seven cats were waiting for him ("moran sad hodit ća jer me doma čeko pas i 7 mačok" as he expressed it in dialect).

The evening was a resounding success, and the exhibition continued in the Loggia for a further period. Petar Botteri's website is in Croatian, and gives details of his work, with links to external sources which have featured him and his photographs. He has a Facebook page, which is of course a visual treat. His contact details are on his website, and he can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you ever get a chance to buy any of his splendid images, they are strongly recommended as original souvenirs accurately but artistically recording Botteri's outstandingly beautiful homeland.

© Vivian Grisogono 2014

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    Cover image: A large seagrass bed in Honduras (© Joanne-Weston)

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