Having been set the challenge of creating a video to capture the essence of Slovak life in London, we immediately contacted the Slovak embassy in order to gain access to their current art exhibition. Not only were we provided with the opportunity to film there; we were extremely fortunate to be put in contact with an artist whose work is a reflection of both his Slovak heritage and British citizenship.
Miroslav Pomichal and his family moved to London from a countryside village close to Bratislava when he was 8 years old. The fact that he attended schools in both countries allowed him to develop a greater cultural awareness, and experience first-hand the difficulties and challenges of living in two different cities. After graduating from a university in London he worked as a curator in Slovakia, until he decided to move back to London to fulfil a career in law. The hectic and fast paced lifestyle that Miroslav became exposed to seemed a world away from his tranquil existence in Slovakia. His relaxed and laid back nature, a product of his upbringing, led him from the bustling hub of London to a more peaceful environment where he could explore his passion for art.
Miroslav travels back and forth to Slovakia regularly as he owns an art studio in the countryside, which emphasises how his Slovakian roots are still very much integrated into his British lifestyle. The local folk culture is the inspiration for his artwork; an influence in which he transfers back to London. In his own words he describes his London metropolitan life as a mix of “periods of an almost clichéd existence in a ‘picturesque’ mountain village”.
Our filming began at the embassy where we took panoramic shots of the art exhibition, and we were given a tour of the building. It was extremely interesting to find that the Czech and Slovak embassy were once linked and yet now they exist separately with the remains of their unity displayed through the sharing of a garden. We then met with Miroslav and proceeded with our interview. It was fascinating to hear a personal account of an artist whose career is entirely revolved around his Danubian culture.