Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Spirit of Bulgaria

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 18th May, 2011

Next Tuesday, 24 May, is the Day of the Slavonic (early Cyrillic) Alphabet, but last night, a week early, the 12 Star Gallery in Europe House, Smith Square, London, launched an exhibition in its honour: ‘Spirit of Bulgaria’. This featured some lovely bronze sculptures by Bulgarian artist Yanko Bonev and both paintings and icons by his compatriot Mila Moussakova. The contrast in style between Moussakova’s two genres is startling. Her icons respect the traditions of Byzantine Art, not surprisingly, when one learns that she graduated from Sofia’s School of Applied Arts specialising in Iconography and Restoration. The colours are often subdued, the expression on the figures faces melancholic — with the notable exception of a jaunty young St George on horeseback. But Moussakova’s oil paintings are much more impressionistic and in this exhibition, at least, largely inspired by the urban landscape of Paris. In a short speech at the opening of the show, the Bulgarian Ambassador Lyubomir Kyuchukov pointed out that when his country joined the EU in 2007, it brought a third alphabet into the union — the Slavonic one that is full of resonance of the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition.



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