Международный художественный проект


озеро Байкал, остров Ольхон, пос. Хужир

Телефон в Иркутске


июнь-август 2019

Final exhibitions always show whether the symposium is a success. Judging by the works of art exhibited at the Khuzhir Museum of Local Lore and in the city of Irkutsk, Baikal-CeraMystica 2018 may rightfully claim to be one of the most striking and memorable events among the latest local symposiums.
A careful approach to participant selection (their number was the lowest in the entire project history) seems to have paid off: nine artists from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Portugal, Lithuania, Japan and Russia were showing a high level of skill and charging the project venue with the spirit of creativity throughout the season. The two-week ceramic arts event was full of searching, experimenting, and discovering new things in detail.
  For art history analysis, finding the sacramental balance of form and content and reducing ‘units’ to a certain ‘common denominator’ are known to be challenging. The task is indeed not an easy one, especially for contemporary art. First, let’s try to define a circle of topics and issues that an artist attempts to solve and express in theirart.
  The topic of nature and environment was the prevalent one during the project, while it is also relevant globally now. To say more, the topic found an indirect expression with a touch of light philosophical contemplation and reflection among the participants of Baikal-CeraMystica 2018.
Anastasia Charina (St. Petersburg) had worked on the topic of industrial environmental pollution long before the Baikal symposium. The Breathe – Do Not Breathe series stands apart amongher other vivid life-affirming art filled with images of outlandish flowers and berries, elegant young ladies, and beautiful cats. Her incredible Exhale created at the symposium attracts the gaze, first and foremost, with an unusual form and a unique composition.
Among the most unusual artworks of the symposium is The Ceramist Endemic by Michal Kušík (Slovenia). This artmay be considered truly avant-garde in both design and embodiment as the artist uses the synthesis of materials (wood + clay). Its name contains some of the most incredible meanings associated with Baikal endemic species and unique ceramics artists who are quite ‘rare’ today. Well, one can speculate on it for ages. This is where M.Kušík'sartwork makes most sense. Being talented as a designer, the artist creates outstanding and unique pieces of art.
The Expressed Thought by UrmanKarazhanov (Rostov the Great) may also claim to be a very unique art thanks to its original way to 'conceive' the meaning. The artist created a powerful graphic mythologeme; not only does it contemplate a visual ‘reading’ of the composition, but it also makes abstract speculation possible. The artist seems to be playing with the audience a kind of word game, to which there may be several solutions…
Compositions by Yola Vale (Portugal) show a complex combination of hanging structures that ‘play’ with a certain space for which they have been created. Thin curved porcelain plate-waves with diverse types of embossing are connected into a single widescreen panel under the ‘chain-weaving’ principle. This kind of modular approach to compositionallows the artist to incorporate a broad range of ideas. In this case, the art is inspired by whispering of Lake Baikal waves and by algae that leave intricate prints in the sand.
  Natural motifs are also familiar to VladicaStefanovic-Sivsev (Serbia). She expressed herself perfectly about the origins of her art in an interview, once saying: ‘My self-expression as a ceramics artist is highly dependent on my education as a biologist. In fact, my art is a way of incorporating my passion for the phenomenon of life in many of its forms. Inspiration comes in many guises: it can be an electron microscope image of pollen grain, a coconut found on an exotic beach, or a colony of shells floating to the surface at low tide ...’Her every work is a manifestation of admiring various biological microworlds, being amazed at the miracle of nature and celebrating the joy of contemplating the nature.
The combination of anthropomorphic and biomorphic forms is inherent in the artbyEglė Einikytė-Narkevičienė (Lithuania). Having takena single motif as a background, Egle can vary it endlessly. At the symposium, the artist presented the topic of Lake Baikal sponges in a unique way. Using the usual forms but experimenting with clay, colored pigments, glazes, and diverse types of firing, Egle created a series of multi-figure compositions. The originality of the plastic artwork and its tangible ‘sculptural’ nature fills it with special grace and beauty.
Yuri Fukuoka (Japan) is known for exquisite compositions of the finest porcelain petals. The softness and lyricism of her art originates in the calm piercing aesthetics of Japanese art and culture. Here, at Lake Baikal, Yuri created works that are completely different from her previous art. Her ‘brutal’Bones, created using the Barrel-Pit-Rakutechnique, reflects the transience of everything and echoes the philosophical works of Vanitas.
Elena Gambaryan (Moscow) found herself in landscape sculpture, whose main task is to maximize the smooth ‘framing’ of the surrounding space. Her favorite motif is the forest and its inhabitants. TheGraphic Sketches created at the symposium prove that the artist is a wonderful decorator of ceramic surfaces.
The motif of loneliness and contemplation is familiar to Boris Roce (Croatia). Withhisown technique of ‘crocodile’ glazing, he created his monumental artwork, The Loneliness.His second artwork, The Place of Worship, is a complex modular construction that relives the primary sources of being and the main symbols of the universe in our minds.
Of course, each artist is apriori unique and authentic. But not everyone can, according to the well-known saying, ‘go beyond the tradition and habit’. Among the 2018 project participants, there were those who took their chance and tried creating something different from what they did before. And all the participants turned out to be incredible and unique masters of art.

Bashinova Julia, art critic, Russia, Irkutsk