Introducing Olivía Zsigó, Winner of the 2019 Scholarship announced by the Imre Révész Society of Transcarpathian Hungarian Fine and Applied Artists
For the first time in 2019, our Society announced a call for scholarship applications that was open to young Transcarpathian Hungarian and Transcarpathia born fine and applied artists who were aged under 30 years by September 2020. The scholarship is based on the cash prize of the 2018 Imre Révész Award provided by Endre Szalipszki, the retired Consul General for Hungary in Beregszász, to support young talents in Transcarpathia.
Portfolios and the creative creed of the young artists were used as evaluation tools. We were particularly interested in what the artists’ preferences in art themes at the beginning or at the earliest stages of their careers were and what concrete forms they embodied their ideas in. Also, we aimed at determining the level to which cohesiveness, comprehensibility and the artwork's artistic value appeared in the work samples of their scholarship application.
All the submitted applications were subject to joint assessment by the members of the Society. The 2019 award winner, a young ceramic artist and painter, Olivia Zsigó was determined by the panel based on the number of votes. The scholarship included a one-time cash prize of 10,000 UAH, as well as an exhibition opportunity and a chance to be introduced through our forums.
Olivía Zsigó is standing next to her work Asking for Help at the 2019 Winter Exhibition Opening
Olívia Zsigó was born in 1997 in Visk, Transcarpathia. Between 2013 and 2017, she studied at the Ceramics Department of the Béla Erdélyi Vocational High School of Fine Arts in Ungvár (Uzhhorod), where György Dikun and Irén Erfán taught her. From 2017 to 2019, she was a student of Olga Lukács and György Kopanszkij at the Ceramics Department of the Transcarpathian Academy of Arts. She is currently doing her correspondence courses at the Department of Art History of the Lviv National Academy of Arts.
In her ars poetica she writes about herself: “I love being close to nature (I couldn’t have been born in a better place), it’s a great feeling to notice all the good things that others sometimes just pass by. I also often take photos, but most of the time, no matter what the quality of the photo technique is, I feel as if it cannot convey the feeling of the given moment. That is when I turn to oil paints and brushes. I can sometimes spend half an hour mixing a colour, and I think that is what the magic is all about. However, when I am thinking of some philosophical and difficult theme the flat surface of a canvas is no longer enough to convey everything I want. At this point the idea of clay and kiln pops up in my mind. Making pottery is a whole ritual, one of my favorite ways to relax, although occasionally it makes you feel exhausted. The rugged surfaces, the rough, grainy, and lumpy textures as well as the endless magic of glazes that can be treated and changed in so many ways give you the power to create”.
Feelings and thoughts -2018 Lonely dinner-2018,
glazed ceramics, 55x13x10cm ceramic wood, 60 x 80 cm
Olivia donated her work, entitled Feelings and Thoughts to the Society’s collection and it was placed in the Imre Révész Society of Transcarpathian Hungarian Fine and Applied Artists (IRS) office.
In order to take a closer look at one of the young members of the Transcarpathian art life we interviewed Olivia after the Award Ceremony.
- You are currently studying art theory in Lviv. Why did you choose this major? What attracted you to art theory?
Studying ceramics in Uzhhorod required 6 years and I spent the first four years in vocational high school and then two years in college. Therefore, I felt that further learning and development in this field depended solely on me, specifically if we consider time spent on ceramics, so changing profession seemed a logical solution. Besides, I felt that we often neglect the theoretical background knowledge of an artwork. We do not always think of the reasons why a piece of art has been created in that particular manner. However, my studies in this major have opened my eyes to numerous arts and culture-related factors. I have found out that the two, namely theory and practice are inseparable and “making art” is impossible without the knowledge of the theoretical background. Accordingly, I try to understand it better and make the most of everything I read, hear and see. This is especially the case when I encounter an artistic problem that affects me as well. Thus, I can convey my artwork’s message much better either through a comic book with a satirical wording, a photo or ceramics.
- How would you like to make use of your degree over time, what are your plans for the future?
I know for certain that I still want to deal with ceramics. I would like to try my hands at applied arts, i.e. do pottery and create different pots. This would also help me to cover my living expenses. Likewise, I would love to teach. I still don’t know if the word “teacher” attracts me in its traditional sense, or I would rather realize the full potential of my ideas starting a blog or arranging a private course. Either way it will be, I want to pass on everything I have accumulated throughout my life in myself and for myself; probably it may be useful to others.
- You are undergoing theoretical training so how do you find time for creative work since making ceramics is both time and material demanding. In situations like this, do you have the opportunity to pursue pottery in practice; or rather, are you turning your passion to photography and painting?
As a student, I attend compulsory lectures where we have been asked a lot of questions finding answers to which require painstaking research. It happens that physically I am sometimes in my “improvised” workshop and make ceramics; however, I am watching video lectures, listening to it and searching for answers. So the truth is that my time is somewhat limited by training. I have noticed that when it comes to painting and I am pressed for time, it doesn’t work out the way I want it to. I need to keep completely calm and fully relaxed when painting. I often draw comics, illustrations of everyday funny situations, which is like writing a diary, and it’s a form of leisure activity to me.
Reflection-2019, oil, orgalite, 30 x 40 cm Cím nélkül, digitális fénykép
- When it comes to phogtography what do you focus your camera lense on? What are your favourite photography themes?
“As for photography, if this branch of art weren’t so prevalent, it might take the first place in my heart and replace ceramics. Therefore, I prefer to do something more special, and photography will remain my hobby. Though I don’t have professional photography equipment, that’s not an obstacle and nature photography is what I am most frequently involved in. I believe this is a remarkable feat considering that nature itself is amazingly beautiful and it cannot be ruined/ or it is hard to ruin in a photo. I have a floral series of photographs, however I like to ramble around old towns at sunset and explore interesting shadow figures on darkened streets and towering house walls. As a matter of fact, when unknown people get my attention I photograph them just as part of a beautiful composition”
When walking with eyes open, numerous incredibly beautiful things may be discovered!
Many thanks to Olivia for her thoughts she has shared with us. We wish her further creative success and artistic development!
City walks - Uzhhorod scenes
Uzhhorod / 2020 Kulin Ágnes, President of IRS