Celebrations – an interesting exhibition currently on in the Visitor Centre, Phoenix Park by Niki Collier feltmaker based in Dublin and Ivaylo Petrov, a Bulgarian photographer based in Kildare. It runs until March 31st.
Niki explains the concept behind the exhibition: Every year, it is a Bulgarian tradition on the 1st of March, the month marking the spring awakening, to adorn our chests with a red and white wool brooch, which we Bulgarians call martenitsa. Through the centuries this art, but a handful of wool, has been handcrafted in various forms and shapes, but always using red and white wool. The white represents our wish for long life and the red our wish for good health. Martenitsa is not just a strong symbol of Bulgarian identity, but has become part of Unesco heritage. It is invariably one of the first presents that we share with friends of Bulgaria.
The work in this exhibition profiles the evolving make up of a community through geographical, cultural and personal change. The artistic conversation is how festivals and customs reflect and manifest this.
The models in each visual narrative are authentic members of the Bulgarian community. They are selected on the basis of their personal connection to a festival, holiday or custom.
For each scene the artwork in felt is created by Niki to reflect the message about growth, change and strength which is connecting to others. It is a research into what shifts our personal and collective boundaries of empathy, acceptance and strength.
This is a collaborative project between Niki Collier Design an award winning visual artist and designer based in Dublin and Ivaylo Petrov a photographer from the Bulgarian community based in Kildare. www.ivaylopetrov.eu/