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.

European Commission announces new rules for the Eglish language

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling..

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w”with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Karlo Zuno – Life through a smoked glass

It took Karlo 8 years and £2 to organise one of his most successful exhibitions in London.

The brave and innovative Bulgarian presented a selection of his works to his numerous admirers who gathered to greet him at the Sofia Art Gallery in London. It was not a traditional exhibition, but rather the personal story of the artist, a disclosure of his pains and passions, falls and victories.

The music of the blues legends Papa George and Bill Smith fitted perfectly and created warm and informal atmosphere, which reigned through the evening and sprinkled certain magic in the air.

And whilst we can easily appreciate his more traditional oil and watercolour paintings, and Karlo’s earlier pencil portraits and caricatures, a particular interest represent his Candle Smoke works. Karlo invented the technique some years ago and that quickly attracted the attention of the professional circles including one of the oldest art societies in England – the Croydon Art Societies, where he has been invited on a number of occasions to demonstrate his unorthodox way of painting. You can easily follow the silhouettes and forms taking shapes from the flames and smoke and cannot help but wonder the power of imagination, which unravels beauty from the most unusual entities.

The exhibition will run from 28 September till 17 October 2009 from 3.00 pm to 9.00 pm at Sophia Art Gallery, Bulgarian Embassy, 186-188 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HL

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

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