I was born in Komló on 16 June 1956. I come from a BEAS Romanian family with fifteen children. My father was a miner and my mother looked after us.
I grew up in a Roma colony in my home town, Komló. I went to elementary school in Kossuth-akna but I started the fifth class in the Kökönyös Primary School. I did not realize until then that I had an ability nobody else did. My first drawing lesson is still vivid in my memory. My teacher, Magda Koltai, told me that I must draw and paint. I had been drawing, like the other children before that but then I did it more enthusiastic: I depicted all my thoughts and experiences. Soon I came first in the National Children's Drawing Show in Pécs and had a individual exhibition there. As far as I remember, I won some holidays and golden certificates.
My creative period once came to an end when I was fourteen years old. I broke off my studies after finishing the seventh class as I fell in love with the most handsome boy in the colony who later became my husband. I started working in the market garden, then I was empolyed at the day-nursery, the maintenance and finally at the railway. I did not paint until I was nineteen years old. Then I met Magda Koltai again and we started a course for adult Roma people. There was no electricity in the Roma colony in Kossuth-akna, so I painted at the light of floating wick-light and I was really happy.
My first son, Ferenc was born in August 1974 and the second one, Sándor, in October 1975. When my husband abandoned me, I lived in a hut with my two small children and worked for the railway.
Life was hard but I had a lot of power. I attended the course, I was painting, I completed the eighth class, I was working and bringing up my children. I had lots of exhibitions mainly in Komló, both with the course members and on my own. I illustrated a book titled Gyspsy Lullaby. From the money I earned I could furnish the flat I got. It was a high, light and beautiful studio apartment and my colleagues from the railway gave me a hand in everything, even in bordering the curtains. My husband returned to us, so I felt happy.
In 1979 I took part in the National Exhibition of Self-Taught Artists. I got acquainted with Pál Bánszky and it was him who told me for the first time that my paintings were valuable. I had never sold my pictures so far, I thought all of them belonged to me. Mr. Bánszky bought some of them and with his help my paintings got into the Museum of Naive Arts in Kecskemét and the Country Museum in Luzsok.
One exhibition led to another and my paintings happened to get abroad, to Austria and Czechoslovakia, too. I became a member of the Foundation of Fine Arts and I was an acknowledged artist.
Meanwhile two other sons of mine were born, Attila in 1980 and Zsolt in 1983. Then my husband abandoned me again. In 1985 I was given a bigger flat as my children did not have enough living-space in the studio apartment. I met my fifth and sixth children's father (László was born in 1986 and Terike, my only daughter, in 1987). I was just painting and painting, and sometimes I sold the pictures to get money for our living which got harder and harder.
The tenth anniversary of the the National Exhibition of Self-Taught Artists in 1989 gave me an impulse to work again. I had permanent exhibitions at the time of the change of regime. It was the first time in our life in 1989 that we had gone on holiday to the Rest-house for Artists in Visegrád. It was a great experience. Then our life went through big changes: we bought a reduced price flat in Körtvélyes. We had food and I was in the mood to paint at that time. My first-born son got married and we went to art camps with the children every year. I illustrated The Gypsy Bible and my pictures were put on postcards. In 1992 I became unemployed. All of a sudden, I was not able to pay the heating bill and then some other ones. Things got confused around me, I lost something from myself day by day.
In 1997 I was sold up and we had to leave our flat. I bought a house in a village near Komló. Now I live there but I can hardly put up with being isolated and without event.
I have not been able to paint as I would like to for a long time now, although I want it very much. I would like to show the traditions of the Romas, our culture and customs in my pictures.