The Garden of Exile (see catalog here) juried exhibition of the Hungarian Painters’ Association opened on October 5th at the Széphárom Community Center in the heart of Budapest and runs through October 28th.
The practice of giving theme to juried and group exhbitions is not uncommon here in Hungary, offering creative challenge and stimulus to participating artists and a unifying narrative and conceptual thread for the viewing audience to follow.
The exhibit title Garden of Exile (Száműzött Parkja), refers to a romantic, allegorical landscape painting of the same name by the mid-19th century Hungarian painter Gusztáv Kelety, now in the permanent collection of the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest. While this painting references a particular moment in Hungarian history, the title offers a broad, contemporary theme to be explored by participating artists.
My newest Exile Series, completed in response to this exhibition theme, reflects a personal exploration of the concept of exile at this very moment in history when definitions of identity and assertions of exclusion rear themselves up in inflamed political contexts and when human beings are yet again being torn, thrust, and thrown asunder as they flee for their lives. Embedded in this theme is of course the resonance of previous world conflagrations and an even more ancient Exodus. The entire series, and related written text can be found here.