After a life-time dedicated to her art which brought her international recognition and awards in the mosaic world, Lilian Broca returns to her childhood home in her native country, Romania, for the first time in 52 years.
Return to Byzantium is the story of a homecoming – an artistic and physical return to a Romania which Lilian’s family was forced to flee more than half a century ago but which she never abandoned. Lilian Broca first became aware of her artistic nature while a young girl growing up in Romania during the 1950’s. At the age of 7 her parents enrolled her in art classes. However, the country’s communist regime didn’t encourage imagination or self-expression and her introduction to drawing and painting was limited. She recalls the day that the drab, grey world of Soviet-shadowed Bucharest was suddenly illuminated by her first glimpse of real art: a brilliant Byzantine icon illuminated by a shaft of golden sunlight in the neighbourhood church. For the first time in her life, Broca was captivated by the radiant splendour of an image. Even without any religious reference, the icon’s beauty held her in its thrall.
In the words of eminent Romanian art critic Pavel Susara, “…Lilian Broca does not regard herself as an artist locked in her studio, but as someone who tries to resolve a fundamental problem, someone who tries to find her roots, rebuild her intrinsic coherence and regain her identity.”
Lilian Broca combines a variety of cultural, religious and artistic traditions – Romanian orthodox, Hebrew, Western and North American, thus becoming a symbolic focal point of artistic and inter-civilisational dialogue in our contemporary globalised cultural landscape.