Laying fired

In the ’70s – ’80s, the Romanian ceramic art knew of a real rivalry between two academic centers (the Bucharest Capital and the Transylvanian Cluj) and between several tiles and porcelain factories that were receiving artists with daring projects. A very original ceramist, Ioana {etran, creator of herbs, corollas and insects anatomies in thread porcelain, becoming a member of the International Academy of Ceramics in Geneva, was at the same time a teacher with the prestigious high school of art from Bucharest. After three decades, her student, Cristina, fascinated from her adolescence by the storyteller plasticity of the fired earth, became a University professor, a member of the staff of the Bucharest “Galateea” ceramics art gallery and a curator for exhibitions dedicated to the arts of fire.

After doctoral academic studies dedicated to the parietal ceramics of the Central Asia, Cristina Bolborea remained soaked with the hypnotic patterns of the oriental decorative art. The sublimation of the Paradise and Garden-Carpet can feed waves of forms and visual seductive rubaiyats. Babur, the first Mughal, also defended himself against the random Indian landscape, immediately ordering gardens which induce the paradisiacal mood designed by the Islamic tradition in the world beyond. The symbolic scheme of the Paradise, the tidy garden, enjoyed a frenetic art of its substitution from the horticultural-architectural. The carpets were the first metonymic inference, becoming allotments of dizzying floral kaleidoscope.

The ceramist Cristina Bolborea exceeds seven years of exhibitions with folding and soft constraints on some clay plinths that she invested, as graphology and empathetically, as patterns of Oriental carpets. The pieces of her great family (with ten phyla kinship) have generically the intimate dimensions of the pillow. They are reducers of a flying carpet coming over a minaret top. Immersed in the Islamic applied arts pattern, the artist had an interesting increase of the forms variations; then, of the refining of the decorative effect application and of the spatial solutions that are becoming the subliminal melopeea of their exposure for the first time together. Waved, turned round, wrapped over a bar, folded on a plate or slipping on guerdons, the clay carpets conjugate all the verbs of the fired clay malleability. There is a surprising reading, a charm with meraviglia. There is also a neo-mannerist incognito, translating an artistic expressiveness and grammar from a kingdom to another. The geometric-floral decor of the Persian carpet is summarized by inventive incisions in the networks, as fingerprints on registers, the fluency of a paste cord, or small relief, or compressions where the decisive maneuver of rolling, laying and folding was finally added. The fold, the precious softness that Cristina Bolborea explores, will be hardened by the baking of the ceramic tiles and porcelain, bathed in bluish glazes. Call me azul could be also the chronic of the octagonal star tiles or parietal tiles with incised patterns representing curtains; oriental jars of the tea kettle family and sometimes bushy cypresses.

Starting from the wavy thick of a carpet, finally the clay embodies as cubic modulus, with mesh to breath, in pillows. Then, beyond the human scale, in the Herm tower, pointing the East Pole of hand and eye dreaming, when you open a window to the paradisiacal Salsa murmur of a spring.

Aurelia Mocanu

Art critic and journalist