The Master of Sensitive Imagination - Journey of a Hungarian Roma Artist

2 July 2024
Barbara Bodi

In my childhood, I was a quiet and reserved yet emotionally rich girl who actively responded to and depicted the events happening around me. My parents and teachers quickly noticed that my drawings were vivid, colorful, and dynamic. Although my father, Jenő Bódi, was one of Hungary's most famous Roma violists, and musical talents abounded in our family, I was drawn to drawing and painting. Thanks to my parents' support, I enrolled in drawing and visual communication, art history, and later studied theology and philosophy at university.

Barbara Bodi Painting

Creation - painting gives me a sense of fulfillment. The process of "flow," the joy of immersing myself in creating a captivating subject or understanding it on a deeper level, seems somewhat fateful. Artistic creation is also a form of prayer, a way of creating value. As a human, I believe I am created in the image of God, capable of creating something, and the creative energy resides within me. This kind of creation is different in that tools - transfer materials - are necessary, but human spiritual creativity can give meaning beyond the material. Beyond the tools, it elevates the artwork to spiritual heights with its unique nature and content.

Babara Bodi

The role of feminine power in art is unique and multifaceted for me. When people stand before my paintings, they often realize that they were painted by a female artist. Perhaps this is because the Art Nouveau style in which I work is very close to me. The use of delicate lines, decorations, and gold and silver colours are characteristic of my art.

My femininity lies in sensitivity, in the female heart. This naturally results in diversity in my artistic work, especially as a porcelain painter. But there is more: my perspective and the unique processing of life events also contribute to the unique quality and themes of my art in painting.

Barbara Bodi Paintings

The goal of the "My Mirror - My Mirror"  Exhibition series was to present the diversity of humanity from a higher perspective, from the faces of nations and ethnicities. The aim was not to emphasize differentiation or deviation but to present a perspective that reflects the complexity and power of human diversity.

I do not strive for external recognition or competition in the competitive sphere. Art itself is childlike joy for me, a process that brings happiness and encourages continuation. So, there is no need to compete with rivals or follow the attitude of the modern world. Instead, I focus on internal inspiration and expression.

Barbara Bodi

In 2017, my artistic album titled "Boba Face Sketch" was published, which collected my works from university creations to later solo exhibitions. In this album, not only my paintings found a place, but also my literary novellas and writings on Roma themes.

My paintings cover a wide range of topics, from aesthetic beauty to deeper emotional layers. There are more spectacular landscapes and plant ornaments that emphasize beauty, but there are also thematic artworks carrying messages, such as the "My Mirror – My Mirror” Exhibition or the "Differently Different" series, which, by exploring deeper emotional layers, prompt reflection. These works encourage us to pause and contemplate, to see the complex value and power of humanity.

Barbara Bodi with Painting

My techniques are exploratory, innovative, and experimental. I love creating new surfaces and effects, so I employ innovative solutions alongside classical painting techniques.

Preserving and passing on traditions within my family is important to me. I strive to preserve and transmit Hungarian Romani musical traditions and values, such as traditional first dances, the love of music, and the rhythm of life. Adhering to moral norms and family gatherings, such as shared lunches and dinners with my siblings around our mother, are important to me.

Barbara Bodi

As an artist, I have no political or legal means to work for the community, but art and expression of values can have an impact. Art is passive, but its effects can be felt over time in the community; it expresses society's consciousness and feelings through artistic values and aesthetics.

In addition to my practical value-creating creative activities, another aspect of my scientific theoretical research is my doctoral dissertation on the process of the Roma visual arts movement and change in the context of social emancipation unfolding in the second half of the 20th century.

Barbara Bodi Painting

In my theoretical and multifaceted innovative artistic work, I strive for continuous development and value creation.

by Dr Barbara Bodi - Dr. BobaArt

Barbara Bodi with Painting