Bulgarian sisters Nadya Peovska and Lilyana Ger to showcase their artworks at Palazzo de La Salle

Bonds by Lilyana GerBonds by Lilyana Ger

Two Bulgarian sisters who live hundreds of miles apart have come together to present a joint visual art exhibition revolving around the concepts of family bonding, memory and identity.

Lilyana Ger, who is based in Malta, and Nadya Peovska, who works in Bulgaria, have very distinctive styles and artistic careers. They were both planning to put on a show and so they decided to collaborate instead of holding individual exhibitions.

Choosing Bonds as the title – originating from the bond they experience as siblings – their work then progresses to explore a vaster meaning of the world. They each prepared for the show in their countries while discussing, giving feedback and being critical of each other’s works. In all, they produced 34 artworks in mixed media.

“The process of preparation for the exhibition has been a very interesting and emotional journey and one of the works by my sister, Lilyana called Growing Together symbolises it all,” Peovska says.

Difficult Choice by Nadya PeovskaDifficult Choice by Nadya Peovska

“While creating the paintings, I explored the connection between my sister and myself, the bond with the family and the roots and other associations related to the topic of the bond in its various expressions. I found inspiration in memories from my childhood and family photos. The exhibition will include some physical collages that are based on these images and I also prepared a small installation which includes 150 old family photos sewed onto traditional Bulgarian crochet,” the established Bulgarian artist continues.

Meeting I by Nadya PeovskaMeeting I by Nadya Peovska

As for Ger, seeing some of the works produced by her sister provoked very emotional responses.

‘‘Seeing Nadya’s work Meeting I made me cry. It touched me on a deep, personal level because meeting my family or saying goodbye to them at the airport has always been deeply emotional,” Ger says.

She explains her creative process: “As with all my work, preparation for Bonds started with brainstorming through reading on the topic, observing various images related to the topic and, in this case ­− just like my sister − I was also looking at family photos. Some of the ideas I had were turned into photos which I then reworked into new digital artworks. In many cases, the time between the first idea being born and its final implementation was quite long. It takes time until you find the best way of expressing the idea that you had in the beginning of the process.”

In his role as curator of the exhibition, Roderick Camilleri had to weave together the two artists’ diverse modes of expression.

Travelling by Nadya PeovskaTravelling by Nadya Peovska

“This exhibition will provide distinctive visual miscellanea, showcasing a variety of media,” he says. “However, one interesting defining element will be the use of composites such as bricolage and digital collages. This show will be a unique opportunity for all art lovers and art connoisseurs to experience how these two sisters relate to each other and externalise mutual and, at times, personal longings, reflections and recollections about kindred metaphors.”

Bonds is being held between September 2 and 23 at the Malta Society of Arts’ premises at Palazzo de La Salle, in Valletta. Entrance is free, subject to COVID-19 safety measures. For more information and opening hours, visit www.artsmalta.org/events or www.facebook. com/maltasocietyofarts.

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