Here are some reminiscences from Vida’s daughter.
“There are so many interesting things in the world, but yet so few that can reach your soul and mark you forever” is the sentence I remember my mother, Vida Fakin, used to say.
My earliest memories go back to the times during the WWII, when we were living in a small apartment, where my cradle stood next to her painting stand. This is probably the main reason why the scent of oil painting colours mixed with the smell of turpentine and flax oil follow me always. The happiest days of my childhood were moments being next to my mother when she was painting, looking at how she sketched the first outlines of the painting using the charcoal, then adding oil colours gradually layer by layer in endless hours until the painting was finished.
This person, holding the palette and paintbrushes, and standing in front of the canvas was not only my dearest, beautiful, loving mother, but also a person with a gift to create magical worlds of beautiful things. The canvas became alive. Suddenly flowers, landscape, portraits of mysterious figures appeared on a canvas as living beings.
The room was filled with a quiet, concentrated but pleasant atmosphere, and I felt that her happiness was the magic world of painting. Her source of inspiration was an idyllic childhood, when she was living in the part of Ljubljana where the urban area was gradually replaced with meadows, woods and fields. Here, the hayracks dominated the landscape as mystical castles.
This was her magic, carefree world filled with children’s play. The beauty and lyricism of pristine nature that she experienced in her childhood shaped her spirit for her entire lifetime: even when she was life-challenged, first with the suffering of WWII, when my father and her husband, the writer Igor Torkar, was deported to Dachau, and later with the humiliation of the Yugoslav communist regime that imprisoned him as a political opponent as he returned alive from a concentration camp.
She remained committed to the values she acquired in her youth and stayed a proud, warm and romantic person, who loved the beauty of nature and human honour. Kindness, compassion and truthfulness were her main values. Painting was her mainstay. This I really understood only as a grown up person. She struggled to convey on the painting canvas everything beautiful that she carried in her soul. She never succumbed to fugitive modern trends. She created her own artistic motive and language, fostered with her rich imagination, full of surrealism and symbolism, yet cultivated in vivid, fine colours.
Her paintings that are all around my house and my daughter’s apartment are a permanent source of hopefulness and confidence.
Photograph of Vida provided by the artist’s family. Original text provided by Mojca and Helena Suklje.
[last update 4 January 2018 …. continuing]