Updated: Jan 8, 2022
What is art for you?
Life is a game, art is life for everyone. This sentence has been a huge part of me, this was a motive for an exhibition and few more installations I created which then the audience influenced and the installations themself transformed. As I said, art is for everyone, and I love when my audience is part of my art.
We have your collection at Art Center Caravel inspired by Madeira. Please tell us few words about it.
The paintings at the Art Center Caravel are abstract. For many years I’ve been transforming landscapes into abstract and expressive art, which became my signature. Just before I arrived in Portugal, I imagined the place and tried to read about the island and feel it. When we finally arrived, the energy was exactly as I imagined it.
For me, sunshine is never enough. On my abstract paintings the audience can notice Madeiran landscapes, parts of Funchal, the little streets, beaches, rocky mountains... I was imagining the island very colourful, and I couldn’t have been more right. That is exactly how I presented it in my artworks.
How did you develop the love towards art?
From preschool age, my parents noticed that I have talent for art. My teachers in the kindergarten noticed the same since every second I was creating something, drawing, sewing clothes for dolls… I was obsessed with fashion design. When I grow up I set an ultimatum to my parents, either I will study art or nothing. Thankfully, they were always supportive and let me enroll in the High school for fine arts and design in Skopje. I continued my studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje. The only thing I was sure in life, was art.. in all its forms.
Tell us more about the beginnings…
In our family, everybody lives art. As soon as me and my husband Dimitar Solak graduated, we started doing art. We were doing a lot of restorations all over the country, such as restoration of Plaoshnik (mak. Плаошник, an archaeological site and holy place in Ohrid, Macedonia), many churches and so on. The first 15 years were not easy for us, but I believe that if you want to do something, have an instinct and love for art, but you don't have the conditions, you have to improvise. So, we were improvising… I created one artwork on canvas 4,5m long on the lawn in front of our building. I also created some art in the kitchen of my relatives. Other times, we would have an improvised atelier in our garage. Unfortunately, it’s financially difficult for artists to get started, especially in our country.
What can we expect in the future?
At the moment, I cooperate with concept stores and fashion designers, on local as well as on national level.
At our Atelier Solak in Bitola, we used to have a drawing school, our participants were from 7 until 77 years old. Some of them were artists who graduated Fine Arts, some just wanted to explore their creativity. Unfortunately, with the pandemic these classes were postponed. However, we hope to start again, maybe this spring. A little hint: in hear future maybe one more gallery will enrich the art life in Bitola.
We are also hoping for some international collaborations with our NGO Atelier Solak. So far, we have a great collaboration with the Art Center Caravel, and we would love to strengthen our friendship with Madeira Island. We are true ambassadors of Macedonia. We cooperate, travel, meet new people, and we always love to present our country in the best light.