Kina Bagovska follows her path of existence as an immigrant in a multicultural society. As an artist living between different cultures, she believes keeping the tradition alive is key to preserving ones unique identity.
Kina studies and explores the symbols of handmade embroidery from Bulgaria and how they are transmitted across generations. In her most current series of paintings, she attempts to reevaluate the aesthetics of the traditional craft and how its assigned value changes nowadays. To emphasize the semantics she combines symbols from Bulgarian embroidery and texts from modern poetry.
One of the most ancient symbols – the Octagonal Star (an eight-pointed star) associated with the circle of life has been a reoccurring motif used not only in Bulgaria, but also in Central, Northern and Southeastern Europe. This alludes to a possible unified creative spirit of the prototype of the world and explains the symbolic similarities between geographically distant and unrelated cultures. A range of similar geometric and floral motifs are used in the embroidery of traditional clothing symbolizing fertility and the tree of life.
The sentences in the paintings are from the contemporary poem “Thracian Sun” by Zdravka Vladova-Momcheva. The poem is part of the poetry collection “Thracian Treasure”, Palabrass Press Publishing House, Canada, 2012. The words in Zdravka’s unique poetry are subordinated to uneven rhythm which is innate to Bulgarian traditional music. Thus the text reverberates the encoded language of the embroidery.
Transparent silk is used as a collage and together with the hand stitching reflect the cultural layers passing through the memory of the artist and her main idea of keeping the spirituality of the generations alive.
Kina Bagovska was born in Bulgaria and graduated from the Academy of Arts in Poland with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Throughout the years Kina had many solo and group exhibitions, and won numerous awards in Europe and United States. In 2007 her painting was a part of Mark di Suvero’s Piece Tower at the Chicago Culture Center. In 2003 and 2008 the artist was awarded with grants by the Illinois Arts Council for her collaborative arts. In 2003 she became a member of ARC Gallery. Since 2000, she has been living in Chicago, teaching art at Triton College, and her Private Art Studio.