Zani’s Desires and Love
Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 14th February, 2012
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has yet to achieve its goal of joining the European Union, but this evening it got a symbolic foot through the door of Europe House — headquarters of both the European Commission representation and the European Parliament in London — with the opening of an exhibition of work by artist Zani (Zaneta Veljanoska). Opened by FYROM’s Ambassador, Marija Efremova, the exhibition was appropriately themed for an opening on Valentine’s Day, being entitled ‘Stories of Desires and Love’. The colour red was in abundance, in almost African bloodshot skies and passionate human images; the artist herself was dressed in multiple hues of pink through to crimson. But rather than the heart being the predicatble leitmotif of the paintings on show, it was the apple — symbol of Adam’s downfall through Eve. One striking picture even had an apple poised over a girl’s slip or a nightdress in a very suggestive position. I rather liked the images that featured stylised figures almost out of an African masquerade, rather than something identifiably Balkan or Adriatic. But I confess I preferred the blue-suffused works of Zani’s exhibition at the Opal Gallery in Purley, Surrey, than this fiery ensemble. Zani has lived and worked in London for more than a decade and a permanent exhibition of her paintings can be seen at the FYROM Embassy in Buckingham Gate. Certainly most of the work shown tonight (and for the rest of the month at Europe House’s 12 Star Gallery) fairly cries out: I am a woman; this is woman; deal with it!