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Original Art "History"

Original Art "History"


48x60" oil painting on heave duty gallery wrapped canvas. 


I often get my inspiration from Bulgarian Folklore. This painting features three people dressed like "kukeri" at the Surva Festival in Pernik, Bulgaria, where kukeri come to the streets to perform rituals that have been handed down over thousands of years.

The word ‘kuker’ comes from Latin (‘cuculla,’ meaning a ‘hood’) and it denotes a folkloric ritual monster, a person dressed in an elaborate suit of fur and ribbons, feathers and beads. These kukeri wear carved wooden masks with the faces of beasts and birds; hanging heavy copper or bronze bells around their waists as they dance and jump in arcane rituals intended to dispel the evil spirits which might otherwise bring “loshotiya”, or ill fortune, to a community.


The Surva Festival of Masquerade Games at Pernik was started in 1966, then celebrated every other year until 2009; at which point it became an annual event. As many as 5,000 performers appear in the festival each year, and since 1985 the event has been welcoming international entries too – with teams arriving from Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania and Greece. Some performers come from still further afield, including past entries from Palestine, Spain and even Indonesia.

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