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Meet our friends from Macedonia - Atelier Solak

During this period, our friends from Macedonia were supposed to visit Madeira here on the occasion of a joint project for sharing the art culture of our studios, but due to the pandemic, everything was postponed. In any case, better times are coming and that cooperation will happen, so we wanted to introduce them to our readers.

In addition, meet Atelje Solak , what they think about such collaborations, art culture in Macedonia and more details about their activity in Bitola.

After the establishment of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Skopje, we decided to continue our life and career in Bitola and since 2000 we have been operating here, unofficially as a studio Solak and since 2015 officially in the recognizable setting in the city center.

Where did the idea come from? Because we are both artists (and now our son) and working as art teachers, our main goal was to dedicate ourselves professionally to art and to act creatively, as well as everything related to the cultural events around us.

With the fact that we function as Atelier, our creativity and activity is diverse, it includes several art disciplines. This means working on individual and group exhibitions, working on projects related to individuals and institutions, associations, making murals and mosaics, design, interiors and landscaping, illustrations, graphic design, industrial design, on private and public entities and one part of the activity of the studio is also related to the education of young talents, about the basics of artistic expression, drawing, painting, sculpture.

One of the reasons we chose to live in Bitola is that the city was still considered one of the cultural environments in Macedonia from the past until today. The city contains that tradition and ambience for living and creating with a relaxed atmosphere of urban life with the opportunity to socialize and make contacts on many profiles of people, including a large number of artists from the Macedonian cultural and artistic scene.

Bitola and the surrounding area are present in our work, with the surrounding landscapes and urban units, nature, the character of the people, of course they are quite inspiring moments and so far often included in our work.

In Macedonia, the atmosphere for art in the last few years, in the mildest form, is Stagnation! And it is facing a decline in the quality and level of presence of art in society as a result of traumatic identity recompositions.

It takes away the energy for quality artistic expression and life and it is a feeling that we share with many colleagues and feeling this artists are withdrawn and function in isolation from society, of course ... we are talking about quality authors.

Macedonian fine arts, although in quantity and volume may be small and relatively little developed in terms of historical circumstances, still kept pace with the development of contemporary art.

In terms of the quality and power of expression, we think that both Macedonian and art in the world are facing a moment of confusion and loss. This is certainly reinforced by the moment and the situation with the pandemic, which contributed to the loss of the art scene due to limitations and hence what art means in social frames / ideas, aesthetics, visual communications, creativity, freedom of expression and speech, something that becomes everyday under the pressure of political correctness.

Trying to compensate for all these shortcomings through social networks is a devaluation of art, it is not a way of perceiving art, and makes it travial, impotent, uncharacteristic.

During the whole 20 years of active and continuous work, both as individuals and as a team from Atelier Solak, we have worked on many projects of international scale, international projects, but also throughout Macedonia. This includes joint performances, group exhibitions, solo exhibitions (Istanbul, Athens, Berlin, Paris, Sofia, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Epinal France and of course through several cities throughout Macedonia (Bitola, Skopje, Kavadarci, Gevgelija, Prilep ... )

Some of the presentations are related in cooperation with other associations and institutions, as well as institutions of national character for protection of the cultural and historical heritage.

So some of the projects I have listed have been realized with our colleagues and friends, but we have also been hired by individuals and companies, and there have been many in the past 20 years.

Collaboration with international organizations is very important to us, because it gives us the opportunity to exchange experiences, opinions, ideas, new collaborations and what makes art alive, and that is sharing experiences and normally as representatives of Macedonian art in front of the international scene.

Thanks to these collaborations, all our experiences are positive and we look forward to every future collaboration, we hope that this difficult period for humanity will be quickly overcome and that we will continue with the normal and direct contact between the artists.

One of our best collaborators from the partner organizations is SFERA from Bitola where we have collaborated together and realized quality and interesting projects in several countries and some of those projects were certainly related to the art industry, for this year due to the emergency situation some plans / projects are in standstill or with shifted terms for realization.

I want to emphasize that we are especially looking forward to the future cooperation with the Art Center Caravel of Madeira, because it covers a moment that is especially important to us and that is the fine arts and work of studios and galleries.

Let us continue to be active in all fields where we have shown success

And to maintain the quality, to enrich our experience in cooperation at the international and national level.

The past 2020, although quite difficult and in an emergency situation, was really very active and fruitful for us, we realized and finished everything, although in emergency conditions, an exhibition in Istanbul, Video Mapping Festival in Epinal France, Canvas in Switzerland.

Now for 2021 we are already working on the existing / continuous, projects that we have been working on for a long time and are related to education, and new projects (we are preparing for a partnership with an architectural studio), applying for joint projects with SFERA and cooperation with Atelier Serafim, painting of several objects throughout Macedonia and if the seminar in Madeira is realized, the agenda for 2021 will be complete and fully completed for Atelier Solak.

Veronika Zhezhovska 17.02.2021

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