Monday, 22 March 2010

East Meets West - Maya Miklic

Comfortably nestled between the dominant modern blockhouses of east Groningen, in a row of seemingly forgotten terraced houses, is the home of Maya Miklic. The minimalist but welcoming interior with wooden flooring, is a complimentary setting for the powerful images of Maya’s paintings, hung in prominent places around the room. Intrigued by the imposing impression of a face eyeballing me as I enter called ‘Wanting’, with a very strong African influence and vibrant colours, I ask her if she has ever visited that continent. ‘No, I haven’t’ she says ‘Other people have said that too, but my work stems from an interest in people’s faces and the emotions that I see all around me, so much so that I have to paint them’.

As a former student of psychology in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Maya refused to accept the confines of her study as a true measure of the human condition. Instead she chooses to explore what she sees and feels about the world around her, with the aid of brush and canvas, often using photographs for portraits or as a stimulating reference for her work. This can be seen in ‘Satisfied’, where she has managed to capture the essence of the subject in a black and white photograph. 

Another impressive work is the triptych of El Tiempo, with its individual parts named el pasado, el presente, el futuro, (past, present and future). This monochrome piece was named after a holiday in Spain and can be hung as a single painting or as three individual panels. An expression her feelings at the time, there are hints of India in the shapes and intricate patterning on parts of this painting. India is a continent that she would very much like to visit in the future and maybe this piece of work reveals that subconscious desire.

‘Heart full of passion’, is a very graphic and striking image, which in its simplicity, with its almost ‘bleeding’, reds shows us yet again that the portrayal of emotions is very important to Maya in her work.

Maya arrived in Holland seven years ago from Slovenia, and has since then established herself under the name of ‘Indivisual’, She is, like many artists today, a multi-faceted one, busy exhibiting here and has plans for a future exhibition in Slovenia (subject matter, Holland!) as well as volunteering her time to work for a group called The Art of Living, who promote an improved lifestyle through the power of breathing. Maya’s talents include graphic and web design, photographic work, and paintings as well as translation work from Slovenian to Dutch.

When asked what direction she sees her work taking in the future Maya replies that she is searching for a more spiritual direction ‘But I am not ready yet’, she says. Like so many other creative people she also quotes wanting to achieve international fame through her work, but for Maya this is not just for personal comfort and acclaim. Her philosophy is that via her art she will be able experience life to the full, by meeting and learning from as many different types of people and cultures as she possibly can. This she sees as the natural way to develop ones awareness and talents in life. ‘To be just as you are, not pretending, this is what I like’, she says. Maybe we could all learn something from this philosophy.

Published in the Connections magazine July 2005.

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