ARTIST BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION:
Luben was born in 1960 in Sofia, Bulgaria, but since 1990 has lived and worked in Newfoundland. His formal training was in Sofia, where he also taught and exhibited extensively in North America, and in Western Europe. His work is in many public and private collections. He currently owns and operates a studio and foundry, and runs a sculpture garden, and may be contacted via www.lubenboykov.com.
In September 2000 I was preparing to attend the second edition of the Andres Institute’s “Bridges and Connections” International Sculpture Symposium. A couple of days before I was scheduled to arrive in Brookline, New Hampshire, my father died in Bulgaria. I had to cancel my trip to the symposium.
My father and I had this special bond that sometimes develops between a parent and a child, which is not only based on the blood relationship, but is also built upon a deeply shared set of spiritual values. He was a sculptor and during my formative years gently shaped my character and view of the world, like a soft and delicate piece of clay. Over the decades, sometimes despite the physical distance, we have maintained and nurtured the invisible link between us. With his death, I felt that the connection was irreversibly severed.
When I came to participate in the 2002 edition of the symposium, I had no preconceived ideas about my future work. Upon my arrival, I walked around Bear Mountain, observing its features and trying to hear its voices. The presence I felt was that of my father. I knew I had to make a sculpture about him and me, about what used to hold us together in the past and what is still holding us together today.
“Gate of My Faith / My Father and I” is about the brittle threads that stitch us tightly together even after we are separated by the seemingly insurmountable emptiness of death. These thin filaments are made of our creed, belief and faith that we are all eternally connected as part of a greater whole, transcending our own mortality. They are the bridges between realms and dimensions that we do not and cannot rationally comprehend. Only through our faith are we capable of attaining a state of enlightenment that will still allow us to have these endless conversations around the kitchen table with our fathers, long after they are gone.