Change the scenery!

The Little Bird Place gallery in Sofia is showing an exhibition with the latest painting experiments of Kaliya Kalacheva. Known for her work on themes of urban environment and its rigid constructions, the artist has become increasingly tempted over the past few years by a transition to nature and the multi-layered character of landscapes. Kaliya suggests a different concept for landscape. It raises the need for “a change of scenery” - the idea of landscape as one of the oldest genres in fine arts, but one that also requires constant updating in order to reflect the present.

Using unorthodox techniques and materials, including artificial colours as well as colours and “pieces” that can be found in nature, the artist brings us a changed/replaced image of nature, unfamiliar and luring, radiant and vibrant…

Kaliya Kalacheva is challenging us to question the apparent and dig deeper into the abstract of the raster formations - the result of intuitive accident. It is an experience reminiscent of a journey with flashes of landscapes, scenes, quick snapshots of scenery featuring inhabited or abandoned man-made structures and buildings. Our own images are also contained in the artworks - reflected in the gold or silver sheets or embodied by the tiny human figures projecting a sense of ambiguity, begging the question of whether we are going to be pawns or leading characters in the big picture.

The exhibition also offers commentary on the ambiguity of the modern urban dweller's notion of bucolic beauty - a notion that is often tinged with unrealistic expectations of order, brightness, compatibility with the city and its din. This is why some of the artworks have been infused with the purposeful kitsch and excess characteristic of that artificial, “decorated” and ominous idyllic picture.

As an exhibition, Change the Scenery! is an appeal, a commentary, a critique and a friendly wink, an experiment and a provocation aiming to make us sensitive to the difference between genuine and artificial, stereotypical and fresh, comfortable and improvised.

The event is curated by art critics Teodora Konstantinova and Radoslav Mehandzhiyski from the Art and Culture Today platform.

The exhibition will remain open until 27 November.

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