The Spirituality of Romania : Artist Daciana Ungureanu

Last week I wrote an article about the spirituality of Romania, as I experience it.
I asked a few Romanians about it. Here is  the view of artist  Daciana Ungureanu, from Gorj.
Romania is a very spiritual country and this can be seen in our rich folklore and in traditional art. It’s the country of popular art and tourists usually know about this part of Romania. They’re sometimes observing the spirituality better, than us, Romanians…
Romanians, however,  express, on an artistic plan, a superior mode : the traditional art, as an essence of Romanian spirituality was manifested better in domains like: traditional arhitecture, textile, ceramic, pottery and wood art.
I was born in a little village named Aninis in Gorj county. It’s  the region that Constantin Brancusi made his way up  to the top, through art. Brancusi is known as the essence of Romanian spirituality. The decorative motif “wolf teeth” is belonging to Gorj and decorated the Gorj’s gate with the role to protect the house and garden from bad spirits that could enter through the wall. This motif means a lot for me in this context. I grown up in a family with brothers, parents, and grandparents, and I assisted at faiths and customs from the house.
Many things were blurred by the Communism period that endangered the Romanian spirituality. As an example, when I was in 7th class, on Easter Day, we were called to school for sportive activities and were not let to go to the church.
Things like that left a bad influence on my generation and, because of this, I think we are in danger to loose some spiritual goods that request continuity. With this goods we can remark, now, on international plan.
I am very passionate of collecting  old things and also painting and decorative art. The most valuable things from my collection are the 12 traditional costumes inheritated from my family.
It is s known that those costumes were  true “visit cards” for the person that wore them, and offered information about our living zone, marital status and social status. Furthermore, they were full of signs and symbols. In those pictures I’m showing you a vest “schilerească” that belonging to the traditional Gorj’s costume.
This style was worn by the politician Dinca Schileru (1879-1916) that was the first peasant in the Parliament of Romania.The piece inspired me in decorating some objects but also for making paintings.487091_325340194250144_1453434865_n264485_378032785647551_1614329681_n
I think in this way I can keep, and take over the huge legacy, left by the generations that don’t exist more.
Daciana Ungureanu from Gorj

One thought on “The Spirituality of Romania : Artist Daciana Ungureanu

  1. As a visitor to Romania I can only state what I see and experience.
    The photos above on this page show pottery, costume, artwork and objet d’art. They are lovely. Just recently, “Martisor” were popular for the arrival of primavara, or spring. All are traditions of Romania.
    Talking of artwork, I adore the Romanian artist David Croitor and his lovely paintings. Colourful and full of details.
    Whilst undoubtedly, lots of things changed during the communist era of the dictator Ceausescu, I think Daciana Ungureanu is unfair on her present day compatriots.
    When I first visited Bucharest in 2009, I was amazed at the number of churches I saw and some I visited, many of which are full of icons and valued religious artifacts. Also, they were all beautifully built and decorated. I seemed to find a church approx. every 100 metres on some main roads!
    At home in England, churches close down regularly. Many of them are converted to accommodation homes, or small supermarkets. That is sad.
    I also noticed on bus journeys in Romania, that whenever we passed a church, several people on the bus would cross themselves! That is a religious tradition.
    I have seen similar things when I have travelled around Romania. Out of the city, I have also seen people in traditional costumes.
    I feel that history and tradition are 2 of the things that I love in Romania.
    We do not have a traditional costume in England. Searching history, the best I can find is from the 17thC. Breeches, a large white shirt, a doublet, plus wood and leather shoes, for those who could afford fine clothes. Also a leather buff coat for outdoor work in typical English rain! 🙂
    All very comfortable, but not exactly modern fashion!
    Thank you, Daciana Ungureanu, for your interesting article.

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