Voice of clay

More than 50 unique works by renowned ceramic artist of the recent past Yova Raevska have been put on display in The Voice of Clay exhibition, reviving the memory of her talent and remarkable style. Dedicated to the centennial anniversary from the brilliant artist's birthday, the show was opened on 21 November at the National Ethnographic Museum in Sofia.

Born in the town of Troyan in 1918, Yova Raevska is among the most prominent names in the field of decorative and applied arts. She was a prolific artist from the 1940s until the 1980s, steering the traditional Bulgarian ceramics in a new direction of development and modernisation. Her visionary approach is highly regarded by experts, while her works are coveted by collectors to this day. Besides creating unique vases, bowls and plates, she helped decorate the entrance hall of the Council of Ministers' headquarters in Sofia and the capital of the Central Department Store. The Voice of Clay collection brings Yova Raevska back to life not only through her works but also through two portraits. One was painted by the great Bulgarian artist Zlatyu Boyadzhiev and the other was done by Yova's son, artist Kras Gorin, who migrated to the US in the 1960s.

The idea for the exhibition itself was conceived by his daughter, Yova Raevska's granddaughter, Amy Gorin Chapman, who was born in the US in 1970 but never lost touch with Bulgaria and often visited her grandmother. Long after Yova's death in 2000, Amy found some of her works in the family's vacation house near Sofia. She decided to put those unfamiliar to her pieces in an exhibition and the project was supported by Associate Professor Petko Hristov, head of the Institute for Ethnology and Folklore Studies with Ethnographic Museum, part of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and art expert Associate Professor Violeta Vasilchina.

A high-end catalogue dedicated to Yova Raevska was presented on the opening day of the exhibition, which is realised by an international team from the Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria and the US. It includes photos documenting her life and pictures of the items featured in the exhibition. The show will continue until 27 January 2019.

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