Socolari is a small village in Banat, near Cheile Nerei in Caraș-Severin county, 120 km from Timișoara and 5 km from Oravița. It has almost 100 inhabitants, and in the past twenty years has become an increasingly less secretive artistic colony, bringing together, each summer, artists and cultural projects - visual arts, music, theater and dance.
Among the first to arrive here, Fikl has since become a well-known 'artist-inventor' of this new territory.
Shortly after I finished university, in the 2000s, I went on a creative art camp in the canton of Ciclova, near Oravița: the natural landscape was amazing, with mountains and hills with tall grass, fields stretching out over the horizon, it seemed to me that I could see the Danube: a place like the edge of the world, unknown land, untouched by time. That is when I came across the village of Socolari.
Although it had very few inhabitants, it was clear that it had been a place with a good life - the steep roads in the village led to stone houses which, even abandoned as most of them were, had a strange poetry to them; a well- hidden place, which carries in itself history and a mysterious life of its own. I was completely fascinated - and soon, I bought such a house, which I have since turned into my summer home. Little did I know that would only be a first step. Year after year, "my place" in the village grew.
Nowadays I spend about six months a year in Socolari, living in an "open refuge" of sorts. I've built it with the local people and I cannot seem to stop: I have a house and my art studio there, galleries where I exhibit works, two stages, a piano and many crystal chandeliers. I also have a small stream and an arched stone bridge.
I like it a lot when I am alone in Socolari, painting - but also when I have guests. Without initially planning this, gradually, the place organically became a 'cultural space' - a meeting place, in the heart of nature, for artists and people who want to discover how the local history, which we thought was lost, actually continue to unfold before our very eyes. It is an unseen place starting to become seen, where both the front and the wings are important to me: I called it Fikl ArtStage