After developing a love and interest for the arts, from a young age, Mioara Cherki didn’t let anything hold her back from pursuing her dream of being an artist. Not even studying in communist-era Romania kept her from exploring this passion. Her first solo exhibition took place at The Space Gallery, where Shabana Adam caught up with the Abu Dhabi-based artist about her paintings, her inspirations and life in the UAE…
As Far Back as she can remember, Mioara has had a strong sense of observation and a critical eye for aesthetics. “I started studying art in Romania under the communist era, when expressing yourself was conceptually very limited so, I was quickly disappointed,” she recalls. “But, I continued to be interested by the arts and studied it at a Masters level, for my own pleasure.”
Mioara has come a long way with a perfected technique that has allowed for her work to be showcased in a number of exhibitions with the AD Arts Collective. As for her tools, Mioara’s choice of style is canvas-based. “I definitively love to work with oils for the quality of the colour, the brilliance and the texture,” she says. “But for the moment, I have to work more with acrylics and other mixed mediums because I’m working at home. I work on big size canvases, the smallest being one metre by one metre.”
What strikes us is the positivity in Mioara’s work. Her use of colour and strokes produces elegant and attractive paintings – where does this energy come from? “The artist lives by perception so everything is about feeling,” Mioara says. “I love the manifestation of creation in anything around me and I’m listening to this reverberation into my soul, trying to give it a shape that I can share. “I am continuously amazed by life and very attentive to things that arrive by coincidence, taking each occurrence as a gift to learn something about the miracle of life,” she adds. “When I am painting,I do it in an inner state of profound humility. I never force or impose myself to work, but when that energy comes, I don’t stop until the piece is finished,” Mioara says.
Mioara moved to Abu Dhabi just last year and has since taken part in events and activities organised by AD Arts Collective – a group of enthusiastic people who love art and make the efforts to promote and exhibit the art work of expatriates in the capital.
“I find that cultural life in Abu Dhabi is amazing – it’s very effervescent,” Mioara says. Despite this, does Mioara face any challenges being an artist in the UAE? ““I live in a very cosmopolitan place so the challenges are like everywhere,” she expIains “I know that nothing is easy when you first start it, but there’s a place for everyone under the sun, I truly believe that.
“Here, I feel a very strong presence of things being commercial, which is not a real target for me,” Mioara adds. “I prefer that someone is emotionally or intellectually interested in my work even if they’re not interested to buy it. “I think it’s important, for us, as artists, and it’s our role too, to educate the public,” she says. The life and work of many great artists have inspired Mioara from a young age. Some of them by the luxury of decorative details like that of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s work, and others by their minimalistic style like Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer Constantin Brâncuși (who Mioara describes as her national pride).
Then there’s the likes of Austrian painter Egon Schiele, whose pencil lines were straight out of an artist’s dream. Mioara says: “Behind the different styles and works, I get the courage to express myself, especially when I understand the essential of the freedom in art. Art is the place where you can be true to yourself.”
Mioara first showcased her work in Chennai, India – a place that is very close to her heart. “In India, besides the fact it was the place where I found myself, spiritually, it was the very first time I exposed my work,” she recalls. “This is the place where my soul woke up and paintings turned from a hobby into a necessity.” This is also where she learned the art of mehndi (henna), which soon inspired her work. “I converted mehndi onto my paintings where this intricate repetition of patterns symbolie, for me, the mental and spiritual human complexity,” Mioara explains.
Through her many exhibitions, Mioara has tried to showcase different works, including her symbolist or figurative pieces, however, more recently, her artistic direction has been towards abstract. Her first solo exhibition in Abu Dhabi was titled The Blue Silence at The Space Gallery.
When we ask Mioara if she has any advice for upcoming artists, she humbly replies: “Who am I to give advice to anyone? Keeping your eyes wide open should be the way in life for anyone, young and old. It’s important to look inside and express your inner self,” she continues. “Everyone is unique so everyone has something unique to share with others.”
Mioara’s artistic goals for the near future are to participate in more festivals and solo exhibitions. “I will take with serenity, whatever life has prepared for me,” she says. With that positive attitude and outlook, the only way for Mioara and her artwork is up!
GO: See more of Mioara’s work online at www.artquid.com/mioara.