Elena Stoeva - Words - the storeroom of the soul

by Art Gallery Le Papillon 08 Jul 2023

Elena Stoeva's "storeroomt", as a metaphor for a private and cherished space, preserves the comfort of the dearest memories, the warmth of the sweetest moments, but at the same time it shelters sometimes experienced pain, deeply hidden secrets, personal fears, unrequited loves, dreams, yearnings.

There is everything from invaluable and expensive objects to seemingly unnecessary trinkets, forgotten, smiling dreams covered in dust waiting to be revived and rediscovered, but also old pain and disappointments that have not yet aired away. Each emotion is bottled as if in a magical glass vessel, the touch of which spreads away the scent of a specific memory. Isn't it this store room also an allegory of the soul, witch everyone choosing what words to fill it with and with to mark the different moments, how to arrange it and to whom to grant access to the own sacred space. All the paintings in the present exhibition are just as personal and intimate. Elena Stoeva exposes us her favorite objects, each of which has a different value for her, keeps "Memories", refers to specific "Beautiful" events and people. She takes us through her "soul storeroom" where words are pictures, speech is color, and narrative is revealed through contemplation.

The exhibition is a kind of "Siesta Cupboard", on the shelves of which simple objects are arranged, quite ordinary and everyday, but each with an emotional charge and a specific story. The presence of the old books with collected poetry or wisdom of generations is essential; colorful glass balls from carefree children's games; seashells from the seashore telling stories of salty, hot days; paper bird carrying dreams high; the empty bottle of a favorite old perfume, whose aroma brings back July evenings; embroidered lace handkerchiefs, china cups bought from a favorite trip and more and more…

The words turned into paintings are the way in which Elena Stoeva not only skillfully preserves every single memory and experience, but also shares them with the viewers, so that everyone senses closeness, comfort, affection and perhaps nostalgia, for their own past favorite moments. Everything is carefully arranged in magical jars - one bottle is full of kindness, another with love, a third with a salty sea breeze, with a favorite melody, with beauty, there is also a little sadness in some of them, but they all also have a place and are carefully stored "because every thing arranged there has its meaning, its history and thread of life."

And the following poetic lines by Elena Stoeva, lead the thought and are kind of keys for some of the paintings:

  • "Earrings - which were brought to me from the Lake Ohrid by our relatives, a quiver from my grandmother, earrings from the old market in Nice or from the quay in St. Mark's Square...
  • Small ship - in a bottle, the sea, the sea, the sea.
  • Small seashells - two tracks in the sand, we collect seashells, make waves...
  • Small pebbles - whole novel - pebbles - pure gold, shining on the ground.

I take it as a memory.

  • Feathers – I once flew with the birds, a tit at the window…
  • Notre Dame – Paris in winter, Paris in spring, Paris in summer, Paris in autumn, cafe on the corner of St. Germain…
  •  The small bottles are full - here - joy, there - affection, in another - love, with a slightly weathered shine."
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