Where East meets West…. at Coenraad Art Gallery This exhibition builds a bridge between the East and West European art/culture. Silvia Haralambova is a Bulgarian contemporary artist working in the field of fine and applied arts. She inherited the love for the art of her grandfather, who was a textile designer in the textile factories in the country. Since her childhood and school days, she loved making several artworks, such as dolls, with a variety of natural materials. She painted watercolors, pastels and also made drawings. She started to make woven sweaters, coats and woven tapestries using natural materials, some of which combined with wood carvings. The roots of her inspiration are found in the traditional Bulgarian folklore and ancient cultures of tribes and peoples. She tries to unite all the multicultural and ethnic diversity in her works, using symbols and other specific features to reconstruct the whole within her vision. She has exhibited in several countries such as the USA, Turkey, Germany and Canada. Her works have been sold to private collectors and public institutions in Bulgaria, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Ukraine and the United States. From the East – the Balkans – we travel over an imaginary bridge of textile threads to the West, to The Netherlands. The Netherlands and its textile industry go back to the middle Ages. Already in the late middle Ages the home of the textile industry was typical for the region of Ieper to Oudenaarde but also around Leiden. After 1400 century, the textile industry grew from Leiden to become the largest in Europe. Today, the Dutch textile artists are the ones who make themselves heard. One of these textile artists is Nel Sandbergen-Kerkman from The Netherlands. Nel was born on 14 June 1942 in Zandvoort. From her childhood on, drawing has fascinated her. In 1959 she followed the academy in Haarlem in advertising – illustration drawing. She started with painting, and then she made watercolors. By coincidence, she learned painting on silk, especially the bright colors appealed to her. In recent years she became interested in drawing mandalas. The prototype of the earth is a circle and from with the circle you determine the shapes and colors. Mandala drawing is very soothing; the forms emerge without any effort. She likes to experiment and as she does this, she uses various materials such as, on paper, colored pencil, painting on silk with silk on muslin and canvas with acrylic. This exhibition shows Nel’s works of silk. The colors she used, like those used by Silvia, are bright and powerful. A colorful exhibition, from the Balkans to the Dutch low lands, linked by a bridge of textile threads. The exhibition starts August 11 and runs until September 30, 2012.