A collection dedicated to women worldwide, and foremost to Empress Barbara. The triple queen – of Hungary, Germany and Bohemia – unsettled her contemporaries with her beauty, intelligence and that special magnetism only strong women possess. Her passion for alchemy, astrology and metaphysical experimentation shone light into the darkness of medieval times, as she explored parapsychological phenomena in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
“If materialism, which maintains that matter is the fundamental stuff of nature, was the artist’s sole paradigm than all art would be predictable. Within the confines of a clearly drawn world, there are a finite number of possibilities. However, the artist rejects the materialist paradigm; he explores the silence between the lines, the everlasting conscience, where he can embody his inspiration. His realm is a world that cannot be explained, only felt. Oskar Kogoj and Rudolf Španzel drew such inspiration from Barbara of Celje (Cilli), a cosmopolitan woman, who carried the Cilli name to the imperial courts of middle Europe. The triple queen – of Hungary, Germany and Bohemia – unsettled her contemporaries with her beauty, intelligence and that special magnetism only strong women possess. Today, as we officially embark on a new leg of our journey as a European state, it is especially fitting that we revive the myth of the mysterious Barbara – undisputedly the most progressive member of the Counts of Celje dynasty.
Who was Barbara of Celje? Reliable documents are silent on the matter, which is perhaps just as well, as truthful information about a person can nevertheless be misleading. No person is faithful to any one of a multitude of roles they play. “The Black Queen”, as her enemies dubbed the riveting Barbara, epitomizes a woman wisely and definitively taking control of her power. The black queen lives in every woman, awaiting her moment. She transcends time and space.
The designer and painter’s works display their insight into the spirit and consciousness of Empress Barbara, and each and every one of us will get to know her in spirit and consciousness, as we internalize her image through the artists’ work.”
Professor Lidija Koceli