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Christina Tzekova

Christina Tzekova was born in Bulgaria, where she studied Fine art, Pedagogy of teaching art for young children, and Ceramics. Currently she lives and works in Ottawa, Canada. Christina’s work is influenced by Bulgarian folk art, such as woven rugs, aprons, and embroidery. Her passion derives from her fascination to explore ancient symbols, colors, and stories that were used ages gone by to inform, communicate, and convey ideas of people who created them. Christina works with different mosaic media such as stone, glass, and custom made ceramic tesserae. She employs a palette of both monochromatic and more vibrant and bolder colors. She has been working with mosaics for over twenty years, producing pieces for exhibitions, art and craft shows, and private commissions. Over the years Christina has been an active member in Bulgarian Community, East end Artisans Guild, and East end Ottawa Art Tour. Christina’s work can be found in many private collections in Canada, United States, France, Spain, Brazil, and Bulgaria. Education Studied under: Maria Soyanova- Fine arts in high school from 1976 to 1980 Prof. Dragan Nemtzov - Fine and Applied Arts and Art History, South- Western University, Bulgaria from 1983 to 1985 Prof. Dimitar Fitzov- Pedagogy of teaching art for young children, South-Western University, Bulgaria from 1984 to 1986 Rosemary Swan- Ceramics 2007 to 2009 Exhibitions: 2021 Group Exhibition, Microcosm Public Art Program, Spark St. 2020 Participating in Microcosm Public Art Program, Organized by City of Ottawa 2016 Group exhibition, ‘’Selection’’, Shenkman Art Center, Ottawa, ON 2016 Group Exhibition, ‘’Show and Tell’’, Brixton’s Bistro, Ottawa, ON 2016 Group Exhibition, ‘’Wakening’’, Shenkman art Center, Ottawa, ON 2015 Group Exhibition, ‘’Open Words’’, Shenkman Art Center, Ottawa, ON 2015 and 2014, Group Exhibition, St. Andre D’Aveline, Papineau, QB 2014, Group Exhibition, ‘’Balkan Echoes’’, Ottawa, ON 2013 Group Exhibition, Bulgarian Art Festival, Ottawa, ON Collections: Private Collections, Ottawa, ON Private Collections, Burlington, Seattle, new York, Tampa, Dallas, USA Private Collection Pamplona, Spain Private Collection Nice, France Private Collection Brazil, Brazil Private Collection Sofia, Bulgaria Artistic Statement My passion with mosaics derives from my fascination to explore spontaneity and imagination through unit of color, form, and texture. 

What is a mosaic? A mosaic is a work made up of cut fragments with no particular identity. These cut pieces, called tesserae, made of glass, stone or ceramic are assembled together with a binding agent with or without gaps left between them. When a mosaic is completed it gains and identity either through a recognizable image or abstract design. 

My first encounter with mosaic art was when I saw the newly discovered ancient Roman villa near my home town in Bulgaria. I was 6 years old at that time, but was fascinated by the design, patterns, and stories behind the floor mosaics in the Roman Villa Armira (built circa 1st century A.D.). Years later, that childhood fascination became a cognisant appreciation of the beauty of ancient art and its powerful messages transcending time. To create a mosaic, I first draw the design on a plywood panel. Following the design, I lay the tesserae directly with glue on the panel. This is called a direct method of making mosaics. The tesserae are cut to fit individually with nippers or with a hammer and hardy. Then, I place them directly face up onto the plywood base. Each laid tessera determines the position of the next one. When the mosaic is finished, a layer of grout can be applied to fill in any spaces between the tesserae creating a final finishing look. Each of my mosaics emphasizes the rhythm built up through concentrating on the coursing of the tesserae with its accompanying lines, bonded with color, texture, and the variations of the reflected light on the glass, stone, and ceramic. I use a variety of colors ranging from monochromatic earthy tones to a bright and vibrant palette. I employ accidental and experimentation while keeping in mind that each mosaic tessera is a unit of color, form, and texture- characteristics that are integral and special to each other, and when joined to one another, create a living image unique in time and place. 

Christina Tzekova
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