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The inauguration of the exhibition of Mrs Lilia Slavinskaya
The inauguration of the exhibition of Mrs Lilia Slavinskaya from Moscow took place on the 17th of September in Thoune, Switzerland in the «Rosengarten» gallery, managed by Mrs. Rose Ueltschi.
The opening speech was delivered by M. Andreas Balmer, former priest of the commune of Thoune, who is currently the official representative for the cultural and humanitarian contacts between Switzerland and Russia.
A large crowd attended the inauguration to meet the artist and to discover her work. They showed great interest in the exhibition, which consisted of 43 oils and pastels. These works were painted between 2002 – 2003 in the southern seas, the Antarctic and in Argentina, on the boat «Academic Ioffe» (see the websites www.slavinskaya.com). This 7-month long journey took the artist from Kaliningrad in Russia to the Baltic sea, from the North Sea to Biskai, then across the Atlantic to Uruguay, and finally from Ushuaia to the islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. During this trip, Mrs. Slavinskaya has done over 400 sketches, drawings, water-colours, pastels and oils on canvas.
M. Hans Moser and Mrs. Eva Barmettler are the first persons with whom Mrs. Lilia Slavinskaya and Mr. Valery Slavinsky made contact for the promotion of cultural exchanges between Switzerland and Russia. For both countries, this collaboration has been very successful in terms of human, cultural, humanitarian and technical relationships.
A first exhibition organised in Wiedlisbach by Mr. Hans Moser, Mr. Karl Barmettler and Mrs. Eva Barmettler gave many Russian artists (painters and musicians from the orchestra «Kalinka» from Kaluga conducted by Vladimir Ivanov) the opportunity to have an open contact with other Swiss artists. That event led to other exchanges, such as concerts and exhibitions in Russia and in Switzerland, and in this way, lots of individuals and families from both countries, and from different origins and professions, could meet.
Those who attended the inauguration of the exhibition had the pleasure of listening to the Choir of Kaluga, conducted by M. Valery Slavinsky, which is currently giving several concerts in Switzerland. People from many different places in Switzerland, who have been supporting exchanges with Russia for 18 years, had the opportunity to meet each other.
Also present was Mrs. Margaret Duetschler, owner of «Clave Records», who launched recordings of the orchestra of folkloric instruments from Ossipov and of the academic choir conducted by M. Valery Polanski. One of the highlights in these cultural exchanges in Switzerland was the concert of the orchestra from Ossipov, supported by Michael Gorbatchov as an action from the Green Cross to collect money for ecological disasters.
This 18-year collaboration with the organisation «Heart for Kaluga» has been organised and supported by a group of people from Basel-Bottmingen and Binningen. It is notable that this same group sent 38 trucks of humanitarian aide to Kaluga during the difficult years after perestroika in Russia. Mrs. Teresia Wurgler from Soleure has worked hard to promote technical exchanges between the two countries. For example, she helped provide young people with job opportunities and the chance to learn how to manage their own business.
In Kaluga and in the region, she created factories producing furniture, bread and cheese that are still functioning very successfully today.
After this experience, many young people have opened their own businesses and others working in the administration have exchanged their experiences in various working domains in the towns of Basel and Kaluga.
Above and beyond the richness of the meetings and the human contacts, the inauguration was also a commercial success.