Life is a journey, so the time-worn saying goes. Each of us charts a course and sails using whatever navigation tools we have at our disposal, but there is a considerable amount of faith in the process. None of us, after all, come with a map or a set of instructions, and most of us bumble through life, the fingers of one hand crossed behind our backs, hoping that the ship doesn’t wreck on some unseen rock.
And so it was for Maria Moldovan, whose journey began in 1977 in the Romanian Province of Transylvania. Recognizing very early where her talents and interests lay, she pursued the visual arts through enriched learning programs at the high school level before moving on to study painting and ceramics at university. A versatile talent and teacher, she was well established as a professional artist by the time she was thirty.
But then, the ship changed course. Transylvania, it seemed, seething as it was with ancient folklore and mystery, was not enough to satisfy this artist’s lust for the unknown. And so Maria, along with husband George (an accomplished stone carver and sculptor) and 2 year old son Matyas, embarked for Canada, ultimately deciding on Gatineau, Quebec as a suitable place to put down some tentative roots.
But new pastures, according that other oft-abused adage, are not always greener. All lawn and garden metaphor aside, sometimes, the pull of home is just too strong. Sometimes we lose our way, and sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Nothing ventured nothing gained, right? It’s not about mistakes. It’s about the journey. It’s about the process of being.
Maria and her family recently returned to Transylvania, where they will spend the winter pondering whether Canada is the right move for them. Whether it is or not, it is certain that Canada has left a mark on them – has changed them forever in the way that travel always does. But it is also true that Maria has left her mark on us – and a very tangible mark it is.
A prolific painter, Maria’s brush was rarely dry for the year that she spent in Gatineau. The result is a legacy of paintings that express the essence of her experience of Canada – a turbulent time when both her life and her emotions were in transition.
I hope that Maria, George and Matyas return to Canada, even if only to visit. If not, then I hope they will remember their Gatineau sojourn as an exciting adventure. It may have been a tumultuous and trying time for this wayfaring young family, but to return to the irresistible nautical metaphor, calm seas make poor sailors.
The paintings of Maria Moldovan are the subject of a special exhibit entitled Passage from Transylvania, being hosted by the Gallery on Gore in Perth from 05 Dec 2014 to 23 Jan 2015. To preview Maria’s work, visit her website http://moldarya.wix.com/moldovanmaria
92 Gore Street, East