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Art in Conversation
with Sofia Ovejanu


In the soul and passions of younger generations in contemporary Romania there is genuine love and amazement before the real values that folklore culture has always preserved with the same wisdom.

This is the wisdom of the roots, wherever we may find them, as, whatever should happen in the troubled world at the surface, only the roots will tell forever, but only to those who listen, the story of an eternal truth.

Sofia Ovejan's approach to making her pesonal statement demonstrates and supports this claim. Launching into a passionate research of linen decorative towels, maráme - folk headwear or the like, the young artist has set off on a personal journey whose route has to be creatively reinforced as it unfolds. She has accomplished this because of her special faith in love, trust and respect, words whose meaning she has not taken for granted. The artist has rediscovered their meaning once more and employed them in her artworks.

Visual Artist | Romania

Artist Statement

The world created by Sofia is a realm of surprise and delight: carefully chosen depending on what is meant to happen in the economy of the painting, the fabric is included in the composition of the theme, not only as an actual support placed directly on the wooden bed, but also as raised volumes, free or as linking parts between several painted elements. The refined embroidery of the genuine folk fabric participates, unmediated, to forming an image which glows with a kind of magic realism, a true descender from the fairytales within the Danube Delta, but also from the Orthodox nave. Sofia searches, finds and selects decorative elements of great beauty that the anonymous iconographer or the painter chosen by the builder has shyly slipped among the major themes of Byzantine iconography. She ahs developed all these into a personal system and has given them a new splendor.

The dialogue between different decorative systems, the manner of composition - fabric and painting - create truly surprising artworks which are also make an exciting prediction about Sofia Ovejan's journey as an artist: wisdom has led her into a past filled with the great values of tradition to help her find her way towards the future and the appreciation A.Breton had once expressed for the Romanian surrealism seems to also fit her well.

What Sofia Ovejan has chosen as her personal, technical and aesthetic subject of study – namely painting on wood or on an unconventional support - I believe will enable her to embark on a new stage of her artistic journey. This exhibition will let us be the fortunate witnesses of how her artistic choice takes shape at the end of this stage, as Sofia's artworks tell the story of the new winding roads, detours and happy encounters she made on a journey chosen with talent and intelligence.

Alice Dinculescu, art critic and curator

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