Yesterday after going on a greenhouse tour with my women’s group, we decided to head to a local coffee shop, Williams Fresh Cafe. Williams often has, on display, the works of local artists and this time was filled with paintings done by Selma Popovic. My pictures don’t do any justice to her work but I had to try to capture at least a bit of the essence of what she does. I found myself continually distracted by them because they were just stunning.
After graduating with a degree in Fine Arts from university in Sarajevo, Selma began as a fashion designer in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These designs inspired the paintings on silk that she creates now. Her collections at that time were known as “Dolls and Dreams” and she tried to capture in them, the beauty and joy she saw in the young women for whom she was designing clothing.
Then, war came in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and upon witnessing the horrific effects of the war, Selma’s paintings no longer were happy. They, instead, reflected the sadness and despair that she felt. Eventually, she made her way to Canada and was able to, through her own children, look to the future with hope. Her paintings returned to a reflection of this hope and the beauty she now sees in her life. Selma says that she also likes to paint every day life and uses her childhood memories as an inspiration as well.
Selma has received many awards for her work and part of her credits to date include: Designing the uniforms for Croatia Airlines, Air Bosnia, and Sky Flight; designing the uniforms for the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, and receiving the “Zlatna Kosuta”, the highest award for fashion design in the former Yugoslavia. She currently teaches beginner and intermediate level classes in silk painting and does custom made silk paintings, scarves, lampshades, and wall hangings.