brings international flair to Hankins Gallery
By LAMONT E. CLEGG
out the paintings by Svetlana Radovic on display at Hankins Gallery.
Cairo, East Lansing. This is not the path most artists take whose work
is featured at Hankins Gallery, but then, Svetlana Radovic is not most
Born in Montenegro (a constituent republic of the former Yugoslavia),
Radovic says she has always had a passion for art and that she would
draw on anything available to her. However, that passion became primarily
a hobby as she pursued other educational objectives. If fact, she received
a law degree in Montenegro and practiced law there until 1990. But a
move with her husband and children to Cairo, Egypt, was to be the impetus
for her art to take center stage. Unable to practice law in a foreign
country, Radovic decided to dive fulltime into art. Her work gained
the attention of influential members of the Egyptian art community,
and soon she was on her way. She had her first solo exhibition in 1993
at the Spanish Cultural Center in Cairo and another solo show in the
city at the Orient Express Gallery in 1997. Moving back to Montenegro
in 1998, Radovic had a solo show at the Center of Modern Arts of Montenegro
Coming to the United States eight months ago to join her children, Radovic
is now beginning to develop a following here. That following has noticed
the emotion that packs her canvases.
Radovic said that her first opus of work is reflective of
her feelings and experiences of being a citizen of Yugoslavia during
the countrys civil war
and of more personal feelings and
The painting of my first opus was about separation, explained
Radovic. It was the separation of families and other things and
of the war going on in Yugoslavia. Yet, she said she believes
she was able to capture a universal essence in her expression of separation.
If people see my paintings, they can find themselves in them,
She says now she has entered a new phase and is painting a new opus.
In contrast to her previous work exploring separation, she is beginning
to explore togetherness and familial relationships.
Another new element found in the body of work she is creating is a bit
of text incorporated in the painting. The text is in the form of the
prayers she now uses to begin each painting session. I always
pray before I start to paint, Radovic explained. God gave
me blessings to start my work and to finish my work. My faith is strong
and maybe the people who see my work can sense that faith.
Radovic also said she hopes her work elicits emotions from those who
see them. I like people to be excited when they see my paintings,
Bill Hankins, owner of Hankins Gallery, said being moved by Radovics
work is not difficult. You can see the emotion in her paintings,
but its not angry its acceptance and love.
That really comes as no surprise to people who meet Radovic. She uses
her painting to express her emotions. Rather than take her anger, fear,
or other emotions out on other people, Radovic uses her canvas. I
put everything in the painting, she concluded.