Bulgarian Prints emerge from monastaries behind the Iron Curtain at Creation Fine Arts

By Ruth Hazard | 03 August 2012
a woodcut print of a woman with large breasts
Ralitza Nikolova, Seance III
Exhibition: Sixteen Bulgarian Print Makers, Creation Fine Arts, Beverley, East Yorkshire. See www.creationfinearts.co.uk for full details

Partly due to years of Soviet censorship and the suppression of Bulgarian culture, art hailing from this part of the world is not well known in England.

Seeking to change this, Creation Fine Arts boasts the first UK showing of a 41-piece Bulgarian collection by artists including Michail Petkov, Irma Vodeva and Todor Ovcharov.

These Bulgarian print makers, who for years remained hidden behind the Iron Curtain and were even banished to monasteries in the mountains such as those at Rila and Bachkova, helped preserve the national identity of the country by reproducing it in their artwork.

“Graphic art was a vital element of communication in a country with a large, mainly illiterate, peasant population and the monasteries became skilled at producing visual messages for their adherents,” explains Creation’s Nigel Walker.

“Eventually the skills of the printmakers moved out of the monasteries and since the fall of the Soviet empire, Bulgarians have been able to demonstrate the exceptional skills of their printmakers.

“It's a real honour for Creation Fine Arts to exhibit their work in the UK for the first time."

Watch a video from creation Fine Arts previewing the Bulgarain Prints:

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