BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO ALBANIA, ALASTAIR KING-SMITH HANDS OVER GIFT OF ALBANIAN LANDSCAPE PAINTING BY ELLA SPIRA MBE TO ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER EDI RAMA MARKING 100 YEARS OF UK-ALBANIA FRIENDSHIP
Alastair King-Smith, newly-arrived British Ambassador to Albania, called today on Prime Minister Edi Rama. Commenting after the meeting, Alastair said
“Alastair King-Smith, newly-arrived British Ambassador to Albania, called today on Prime Minister Edi Rama. Commenting after the meeting, Alastair said “It was a great privilege to signal how we plan to broaden and deepen the UK’s relationship with Albania by handing over such a stunning painting of the Shala river by British artist Ella Spira MBE. The painting captures the beauty and attraction of Albania – a fantastic tourist destination that few have explored. It was gifted in recognition of how Albanians have shown such generous hospitality to so many people in need over the years, most recently those escaping violence in Afghanistan. I was honoured to explain to the Prime Minister how the artist and her business partner were planning to expand their ground-breaking Art in Nature Global programme to Albania, which he warmly welcomed”.
Spira, a British Grammy nominated composer, painter and co-founder of production company Sisters Grimm, created the painting ‘Shala River’ in situ in the Albanian Alps.
“The purpose of the painting is to celebrate the natural beauty of Albania with an underlying message of environmentalism, providing a new platform to discuss political relations.”
In 2009 Spira co-founded Sisters Grimm, with former Royal Ballet ballerina Pietra Mello Pittman MBE, with the mission to produce work that is relevant, driven by social impact, cultural exchange, collaboration, equality, diversity, inclusion & environmental awareness.
Spira’s work includes award-winning world touring live theatre productions, music videos with millions of YouTube hits, NFT’s and global landscape series.
Every painting is a celebration of a journey that has seen cultural explorations and musical collaborations. The artworks are intended to draw awareness to and inspire protection of natural landscapes.
The gesture of friendship is especially poignant to Spira, a third generation holocaust survivor who having been in Albania learnt of Besa, Albania’s code of honour, compassion, loving-kindness, hospitality and desire to help those in need, and the role Albania played in saving thousands of Jews during Nazi Invasion and the holocaust.
Spira is also honoured for the artwork to be included in the next publication of the encyclopaedia, ‘Albanians in World Art’ by foremost Art Historian Prof. Ferid Hudhri who is also the head of the “Edward Lear’s friends” Association and a contributor to the Butrint Foundation archive.
Sisters Grimm intend for this to be the beginning of a life-long relationship with Albania:
“Having discovered the magic of Albania, we’re already looking at musical collaborations and launching ‘Art in Nature Global’ here.”
To date, Spira has captured landscapes of countries including the UK, France, UAE, Indonesia, Brazil, Lapland, Russia – and now Albania joins the list of countries with whom Sisters Grimm are collaborating.
The UAE series titled ‘50 for 50’ was presented at Dubai Opera as a spectacular immersive Sisters Grimm production called ‘Daughters of the Wind Overture’.