The moist, half-open darkness of the leaves

Mirela Moscu

June 1st – August 15th, 2017

”The young man lay restless on his bed, thinking of the stranger and his tales. “It is not the treasures,” said he to himself, “that have awakened in me such unutterable longings. Far from me is all avarice; but I long to behold the blue flower. It is constantly in my mind, and I can think and compose of nothing else. I have never been in such a mood. It seems as if I had hitherto been dreaming, or slumbering into another world; for in the world, in which hitherto I have lived, who would trouble himself about a flower?–I never have heard of such a strange passion for a flower here. I wonder, too, whence the stranger comes? None of our people have ever seen his like; still I know not why I should be so fascinated by his conversation. Others have listened to it, but none are moved by it as I am. Would that I could explain my feelings in words! I am often full of rapture, and it is only when the blue flower is out of my mind, that this deep, heart-felt longing overwhelms me. But no one can comprehend this but myself. I might think myself mad, were not my perception and reasonings so clear; and this state of mind appears to have brought with it superior knowledge on all subjects. I have heard, that in ancient times beasts, and trees, and rocks conversed with men. As I gaze upon them, they appear every moment about to speak to me; and I can almost tell by their looks what they would say. There must yet be many words unknown to me. If I knew more, I could comprehend better. Formerly I loved to dance, now I think rather to the music.”- Henry of Ofterdingen, Novalis

Having painted for years after photographic references, a method that Mirela found to be more and more tiresome and restrictive, she stopped. Thus, she began improvising a free process, making sketches in drawing and gouache without any reference, letting the hand go on its own way, flowing together with the sensuality of paint and the inner needs of the line, repeating details and motifs in different contexts. Slowly and without any explanations, things began to emerge out of the painterly canopy: giant tropical leaves, elongated creatures, pubescent children lost among the trees, hypnotic eyes, cut-out stars. A psychoanalyst may try to interpret them as remnants of childhood dreams, or even of an older ancestral past, but a viewer may just wander inside the jungle without seeking a purpose.

Mirela Moscu (b. 1986) lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her main interest is painting, whether oil on canvas and wood or gouache on paper. She graduated the University of Arts and Design Cluj-Napoca at the Painting Department and participated in various group exhibitions in Germany, Belgium, Italy and U.K.


A cultural program cofinanced by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The program does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the program or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.

Project supported by Cluj-Napoca City Hall and the Local Council.