Twitter exhibition meeting in London ‘The Elixir of Life’ @ The Smithfield Gallery #temil ! Vote your preferred day now!

Why Our Great-Grandparents were Happier Than We Are…

Bayers Heroin


A bottle of Bayer’s heroin. Between 1890 and 1910 heroin was sold as
a non-addictive substitute for morphine. It was also used to treat children with strong cough

Coca Wine, anyone?


Metcalf Coca Wine was one of a huge variety of wines with cocaine on the market Everybody used to say that it would make you happy and it would also work as a medicinal treatment.

Mariani Wine

Mariani wine (1875) was the most famous Coca wine of it’s time. Pope Leo XIII used to carry one bottle with him all the time. He awarded Angelo Mariani (the producer) with a Vatican gold medal.



Produced by Maltine Manufacturing Company of  NewYork. It was suggested that you should take a full glass with or after every meal… Children should take half a glass.

A Paper Weight:


A paper weight promoting C.F. Boehringer & Soehne ( Mannheim, Germany ). They were proud of being the biggest producers in the world of products containing Quinine and Cocaine.

Opium for Asthma:


No comments.

Cocaine tablets (1900)

All stage actors, singers teachers and preachers had to have them for a maximum performance. Great to “smooth” the voice.

Cocaine drops for toothache


Very popular for children in 1885. Not only did they relieve the pain, they made the children happy!

Opium for the new-born


I’m sure this would make them sleep well

(not only the Opium, but 46% alcohol!)
No wonder they were called The Good Old Days!!

Angels and DEMONS by Iasen Dimitrov

angels and DEMONS 70x90cm

angels and DEMONS

The first of two paintings from the diptych ‘Angels and Demons’ which will participate in ‘The Elixir of Life’ exhibition at The Smithfield Gallery is a powerful depiction of a fallen down man.

The theme is so current that I cannot keep but thinking about the resonance and effects of the current economic crisis for some people.

The very unsettling and depressing feeling is something we cannot avoid but rather than passing by the painting, we keep on discovering new subjects which unveil the personality of this human being.  The picture describes a rather metaphysical state of mind which is the consequence of a series of events (look at the chain of figures in the left hand corner). The fact that this man was something and someone important is emphasized by the ladder on the right left corner, and the presence of many ‘Os’ (zero’s) is the result of his inner depreciation and downfall (I am = O). His desolation is further made apparent by the presence of a sole cloth, which resembles a modern day Christ.

Iasen explores a very painful and touchy subject of the border between human desperation and madness. Once fallen into this state and cornered by unfavourable circumstances, how do we keep sanity and pick ourselves up? The man is stretching his hand towards the ceiling as he wants to find an invisible helping hand in return. Or is he blaming someone for his misery? The duality of the human being is shown clearly by covering one of his eyes as to further fall into the darkness and sometimes symbolising the refusal to see the reality of the situation. At the same time his other eye looks towards the ceiling as he is trying to pierce the invisible bonds and reach straight to the heart of God.

In this painting Iasen goes back to his roots and his primal language, Bulgarian, which he has used to write on the walls of the cell. He is going back to his roots, back from the beginning, where lies the universal questions of ‘Who am I’, ‘Why I am here’ and even questioning the existence of ‘I’.

Art review by Elena Todorova-Stanev, Cerise Art Agency, October 2009

Elena is curating ‘Elixir of Life’ exhibition at The Smithfield Gallery in London from 22nd until 28th November 2009., where you can see more of Iasen’s paintings and drawings.

Sometimes I just awake with fear

Dedicated to my husband Petar

Sometimes I just awake with fear

that you are gone.  An empty space

lies down beside me, where your face

was lying next to mine, quite near.

I search for you, I crave you, dear

I seek your smell in every room.

My loneliness and worries loom,

My future seems unclear.

Your poems still caress my ear

– the soul of an insatiable guitar

who searches for the solitary star

emerging from the ephemera.

I welcome you and madness sheer

besiege my heart. I skip a beat,

there is no time for self retreat,

I am safe for now, I disappear.

Wish me luck

Wish me luck

For the times that I have to endure

For the feeling of being mature

For the wide open, champagne buzzing world .

Wish me luck

For the steps that I am going to make

For the smiles that I am going to fake

In the crowd entertained by the word.

Wish me luck

For the changes I need to disguise

For the nights and days in other pip’s eyes

In the car, on the bus, on my drive.

Wish me luck

For the moments of utter reflection

For the life’s coming all imperfections

For the will to go on, for the strive to survive.

The one to watch: Mallika Chabba – the 4164 miles long interview


4164 miles is the distance between London and Delhi.

I had the chance to chat to the very talented and inspiring Mallika Chabba on a late Friday evening and I am delighted to highlight some of Mallika’s personality, inspirations and aspirations ahead of her first solo exhibition at The Claridges, Delhi.

Mallika discovered her love of painting while on college breaks from the Government College of Fine Art, Chandigarh, India . She specialised in sculpture and would love to continue with wood carving one day when she has her own studio. She further went to study art conservation of oil paintings at INTACH (indian national trust for art and cultural heritage). Malika loves to experiment with different materials and that has lead to a wonderful array of works which she united under the name of Potpurri – her first solo exhibition, which is about to take place at The Claridges in Delhi, a great recognition for the young and multitalented Malika.

LW: The theme behind your exhibition – Potpourri – why did you choose that name?

MALLIKA: Well, because at this point of time I like everything and my work is based on everything around me it’s a mixture of different elements forms and textures, because I don’t restrict myself to a particular kind.

LW: What materials do you use most?

MALLIKA: I use acrylics, oils, leather, spray, distemper, charcoal

LW: Do you prefer to work with certain materials and how do you decide which to choose when?

MALLIKA: I love working with acrylic on canvas but I love to experiment and it’s very spontaneous as to what material to use when

LW: How do you decide on the subject of your next painting?

MALLIKA: Sometimes when I look around all I see is different kinds of colours and then I just close my eyes and form an image…and that’s how I paint even like painting from photographs.

Since I am out of college I don’t have a model who can sit nude for me in a certain pose so I tell Kenny (Mallika’s husband) to click my pictures and then I just follow my heart. I see my own pictures and paint female figures 🙂

LW: What makes you grab a brush and start painting?

MALLIKA: I am completely nocturnal, if there is an image in my mind and colour formation I just need to get it out as soon as possible and it happens mostly when I am about to sleep, where I get up and forget abt my sleep and pick up my brush and start painting

LW: Do you admire any artist in particularly?

MALLIKA: For me every artist has its unique style but I really like the boldness of Pablo Picasso and softness of Leonardo. And in Indian art I really admire amrita Sherrill’s works and nikhal changala’s works. ooo i also really like chintan uphadya’s sculptures

LW: Thank you, Malika. Good luck with the exhibition!

Mallika Chabba exhibits at The Claridges, Surajkund, Faridabad, Delhi, India from 24th October until 31st October 2009.

For more information visit:

Art interview by Elena Todorova-Stanev, Cerise Art Agency, October 2009

Elena is curating ‘Elixir of Life’ exhibition at The Smithfield Gallery in London from 22nd until 28th November 2009.