Thursday, 6 March 2008

Return to Innocence

Alina Slimovski's works are wonderful tales about childhood and innocence. Coloured toy horses walking in the air through a vineyard projected on a dark blue sky – here is one of this artist’s recurrent themes. The feeling we get is that an unseen force coming from the skies can truly redeem us from all adversity if we manage to be child-like again. (The Romanian leading artist of the 20th century, Constantin Brâncusi, once said that when we are no longer child-like we are no longer alive) And the skies do seem to have opened for the toy horses in the painting called Evadarea / Escape. A thin, white rectangular in the right hand corner (a gate? a calling?) acts like a magnet and it attracts the little horses that invite us to a dream land. Another work, (E timpul / It’s About Time), brings into the foreground a dog whose eyes are watching straight at you, half of a child’s body, and a clair de lune whose light falls upon a fairy tale castle – a strange, mesmerizing atmosphere that is further enlivened by falling spots of colour and snow balls. In the very heart of darkness there remain these three: the child, the dog, and the dream – elements that can be found again in the painting called Pădurea / The Forrest. In Să nu-ţi fie teamă / Dare two young girls are about to enter a cave – usually a mark of the underground and of our distorted and confused (second) nature we come to develop once we have departed from the state of grace. Yet, with a mild spirit, the title of this painting urges us to dare and be confident for nothing can harm us as long as we continue to reform and renew our mindset. By doing so, we keep our mind and heart clean. The two young girls bring with them a fusion of colours (petals? leaves? buds?) into a world of darness. Beyond them there lie a pond, a few trees and a bridge. In Tu cine eşti? / Who Are You? a child (dressed in white) is touching the dark bark of a leafless tree in a winter landcape - a forrest covered in snow (or could it be fog?). Should we close our eyes – as the painting called Podul / The Attic challenges us to – what would we see? A sea of darkness with a few shapes floating in it: clouds, a toy horse, a starry rain, a soft snowfall, and, through a small window, the blue sky.

Alina Slimovski’s art refuses any experimental or hedonistic vision upon life. It rather aspires to return to the pale, and yet fascinating lost continent of innocence. To partake in this joy, our spirit (and our eyes, too) ought to undergo a purifying bath. Thus, we might work out the language of children (devoid of sophisticated concepts, rigid grammar rules or brainy connotations) we used to master so naturally before our fall”.

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