SSA in Slovakia 2011

Bridges Project IX /Mosty IX International Exchange

In 2011 SSA Council members took part in the Bridges Project / Mosty IX International Exchange Programme. President Christopher Wood, Vice President Louise Ritchie, Nan Mulder and David Faithful were invited to represent the SSA at the opening of this wonderful exchange in Piestany, Slovakia. We successfully installed two exhibitions at the Gallery Fontana and the Cultural Centre which were collaborations between 13 Slovak artists and the 13 SSA Council Members. It was an interesting experience for us to work with another group of artists and as most of the work was sent out in advance, framed, arranged and hung in 1 day, also quite a challenge. We thoroughly enjoyed working with artists Igor Benca, Marian Komacek and Karol Felix and enjoyed great support from our wonderful event organiser Zora Petrasova.

The Bridges Project / Mosty was set up to foster cultural contacts and to create dialogues with artists in other countries through exhibition events and exchanges. The project has been running since 2003 working with a different country each year. The Slovak artists are then invited in a reciprocal exchange with that country the following year. The project was introduced to the SSA Council very generously by Nan Mulder and was a wonderful opportunity to meet other artists and raise the SSA profile within a European context. The exhibitions formed part of the 20th Official Opening of the Spa Season in Piestany and received extensive press attention in the newspapers and television with the then President Christopher Wood`s rousing interview! We were formally presented at Gallery Fontana and were introduced to Chargé d’affaires to Slovakia Dominic Schroeder, Remo Cicutto, Mayor of Piestany and many Cultural and Foreign Ambassadors who were also in attendance. Nan Mulder was invited to give a speech to the 150 strong VIP guests and spent many hours perfecting her Slovak introduction and for that we congratulate her! The evening was a resounding success .The second exhibition at the Piestany Cultural Centre opened the following day at the official blessing of the Spa Season by the President of Slovakia and was accompanied by a VIP reception to which we were also invited.

Click on an image below to scroll through some slides of the exhibition.

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The drive behind this project comes from Zora without which none of it would happen and we cannot thank her enough for her generosity. Zora organised our exhilarating itinerary as well as spending time getting to know us and discussing how Piestany and SSA can further build on this relationship. In June 2012 the work of Nan Mulder, Louise Ritchie, Christopher Wood, Leena Nammari and Norman McBeath will be exhibited as part of the 10th Anniversary celebrations in Slovakia. We look forward to being a part of that and working with Zora from now until 2013 when we will have the opportunity to host them in Scotland and exhibit their internationally renowned work as part of SSA 2013.

This will be an opportunity to showcase the SSA to be the unique organisation it truly is and we hope you will join us in providing them with a warm Scottish welcome.

Louise Ritchie – President

Link to Slovak news page which includes more images of the Opening of the exhibition

Link to more images on the Facebook page of the British Embassy, Bratislava.