The Path to the Great Union
A selection of works from an exhibition by Tommy Barr (Banbridge, Northern Ireland) and Mirela Unqureanu (Cluj, Romania), curated by Dr Iona Filipescu from The National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
This exhibition was created by Banbridge artist Tommy Barr and Romanian artist Mirela Unqureanu. It marked the centenary of the great unification of Romania when all provinces in Romania became one single country. This moment has remained in history as the Great Union of 1918. Having been on display at the National Museum of Art, Cluj-Napoca, it travelled to Armagh and was displayed in the Museum during 2018.
The artists travelled along the same path choosing descriptions of what may be seen and understood. Their work celebrates the journey leading to unification and the subsequent life of the new State.
Mirela created a “union” of small landscapes, worked in a mixed technique. Each landscape evokes the visual story that emerged from the interpretation of a spring poll taken in 2018. The works include built maps, disassembled architecture and portraits of the various protagonists of the union.
Drawing on the rich collection of artefacts in The National Museum of Art, Romania Tommy illustrated the journey in terms of the items and motifs scattered along the path. By re-imagining these motifs with a contemporary attitude, he highlighted the gifts and creativity of those artisans who have gone before and cast an eye to the future. His work signals the journey is not yet complete and much remains to be enjoyed.