Where does she come from?

This is where I come from.

This is my little girl standing in the village I grew up in just like I stood. Uncertain, safe, surrounded by empty streets, familiar stone.

I grew up in Bátaszék, in Hungary. It was the last decade of a deprived communistic era. People were disillusioned, there was scarcity and the scatters of technology reached us in the dysfunctional, heavy, rusting iron or yellowing plastic objects of the Soviet Union. I grew up learning to play in my own fantasy. In the 1980’s, during communism, there was nothing to entertain children apart from what us and our family could make for us. I spent my time watching my grandmother cook, roaming the fields behind the village when I was old enough, reading innumerable books lying in the tall grass, many about arts and arts history. I also learned trades from people traditionally carrying them over the centuries in the village – making brooms, blue-dying textiles or, right in the yard where my daughter is standing, pottery.

I, of course, attended school. The small village abounded in well-trained and exceptionally talented teachers. My art teacher was no exception – one the most inspiring people I have ever met. Her name is Bátki Erika (in Hungary, names are on the reverse), and she spotted my passion for visual arts immediately. For eight years, I relentlessly created under her wings. With an impeccable instinct for teaching, she trained me to use my synaesthetic mind to gain inspiration for painting from songs, poems, smells, surfaces – every single experience a body can shower your mind with.

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

Albert Einstein

Later, in 1989 the borders opened. Finally we could travel, and travel we did, cheap and economy class on Hungarian money, but as a young teenager, with my family, I soaked in the diverse cultures of Europe and the globe. The passion, heat and heavy arts history in Italy, the remnants of the old empire in Greece, the cool and precise works in Germany, the centre of the EU Belgium, the sophisticated France. I studied Spanish in Spain and traveled around in Canada, snorkeled in the body-warm salty waters of Key West, and skied in the snowy mountains of Slovakia, wondered onto a mine-field in the post-war Croatia and seen spaceships ready to launch in Cape Canaveral .

All these experiences soaked through my artworks as I studied at the Garay János Arts Faculty and during my university years at the Budai Arts school. I gained a Masters in Science of Pharmacology as well.

This latter diploma helped to quench my thirst for travel, cutures, knowledge and distance by allowing me to settle in New Zealand. Over a span of ten years, it supported me in founding a family of seven.

All these years, I have been painting, through loss, uncertainty, trauma, and the joys, happiness, euphoria of creating a family. I have been painting, as a one-armed painter would, in the stolen half-hours between work and motherhood.

It needed to change. So while on maternity leave for the last baby of the family. I attend Te Whananga for a Diploma in Small Business and Project Management. This teaches me to focus on full time Fine Art Painting, listening to the most important calling of my life.

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