My third personal exhibition has just ended at arta.nonstop, an independent art space in Sibiu managed by Asociația Develop, uzinaduzina and George Roșu, the artist wearing many hats - this time that of curator. I exhibited The Mother Ship alongside photographs and sketches explaining the context for the creation of this painting.
It all started with me emailing them a proposal with a concept for an exhibition. I held my breath for a few days until I got a definite reply. My initial proposal was rejected but George came with another idea, namely to exhibit The Mother Ship focusing on the work that went on behind the actual painting which was finished during lockdown. ”The Mother Ship” had already been hanging on the wall at NOOK for almost an entire year since it was first exhibited at the White Night of the Galleries in 2020. I chatted to Ioana Pasc who manages NOOK about this opportunity and I promised her I would hang something else on that big wall that was going to be left empty after removing ”The Mother Ship”. This ended up being the proposal that was initially rejected by arta.nonstop. We would substitute one for another, without leaving any blank walls in the process.
I talked to George Rosu whom I surprisingly only met officially on this occasion, although it seemed to me I had known him forever from his art and from listening him talk on podcasts. We strolled through the city and I showed him some of the lesser known areas in the city center. We ate baked goods, drank coffees and laughed at each contradiction we found in the city that once was a cultural capital of Europe. He became a mate in mischief.
Fortunately, installing the exhibition proved to be easier than expected; I’m always nervous when we have to transport a framed glass painting, especially if its size exceeds one meter. We drilled holes in the wall, applied the photos and sketches using sticky tape. We also installed some time switches for the lights and we brought a dehumidifier in the event of heavy rain. Then we eagerly awaited visitors. Since the vernissage was on a rainy Sunday, there were not a lot of people who attended, except a few friends, sisters and brothers, nephews and some people I hadn’t seen for a very long time. We enjoyed the company of the art pieces, talked about the forces of nature and then scattered to our homes through the crowds of people who were celebrating the end of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival.
The idea behind arta.nonstop was to create a gallery that could be visited at any time of the day based on an online booking system. This is a future goal of the people who manage the space. For my exhibition, I made myself available to come and open up the space for potential visitors and this actually happened 4 times during the three weeks. When I’d receive a visitation call I tried to also let other people know about it to gather a group of people, although I came by even for one interested person.
There’s no greater feeling than reuniting with art lovers in a dedicated space, be it even a small one.
From talks about social responsibilities with Angela Zaporojan of the Community Foundation, to talks about the artistic education of children with a friend who is a teacher at a private school and intense discussions about refugees and Bessarabia with many visitors whose grandparents hailed from those parts of the world, this exhibition has been a continuous reason for joy and a spark for conversations. And also an unexpected source of documentary materials for future artistic projects.
I was happy to meet photographer Mihaela Noroc (known for her international project, the Atlas of Beauty) and her daughter Natalia who came to visit with a couple of common friends. We laughed, played, talked and changed diapers in the small space of arta.nonstop.
These moments give me the energy to carry on making art and to seek these magical meetings that are the culmination of many months of solitary work. Here’s to many more!
Many thanks to all who visited the space during the exhibition and to those who cheered me on from a distance.
For inquiries about the space and the events at arta.nonstop, drop them an email at email@example.com.
If you enjoyed reading about this project please support my art by sharing it on social media (press one of the icons below and an authentication pop-up will appear). Thank you!