Международный художественный проект


озеро Байкал, остров Ольхон, пос. Хужир

Телефон в Иркутске


июнь-август 2019

The International Art Symposium “Baikal-CeraMystica-2019” traditionally took place on Olkhon island - in the very heart of the Lake Baikal.  The annual event format includes not only the direct creative process, workshops, spectacular firing and author's presentations of the participants, but some years ago has been enriched with a new and important form of interaction - the training project The University.  Such a variant of summer school enables  students of art institutions or amateur artists to learn professional secrets from experienced craftsmen. 
The reporting exhibition became a result of two-week work of the symposium participants. At first being located in the inner space of the Baikal residence in august it  decorated halls of the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum. The basis of the exposition were more than 30 art compositions of the artists from Austria, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Armenia and Russia.
The bright and multifaceted exhibition including all the variety of ceramic products - from decorative slabs, dishes, small pieces and vessels to landsсape objects and art installations - not only introduces trend of modern ceramics but shows personality, originality of artistic style of every master. As a new style-forming benchmarks an interest in organic forms and materials sounds in the work of some participants.
Ceramic compositions of the p artist Marisa Grilo   (Still three,  Come with all),  associatively related to the underwater world of coral reef,  are introverted. They are closed on the world of inner experiences and subjective search for beauty, attempts of plastic embodiment of ideas which you can’t tell in words.
The prototypes of funny ceramic characters of Irina Trusova (Moscow, Russia) first education biologist, are also seabed inhabitants (Bouhustis from the series A Secret of the third planet).  Irina is inspired by natural forms and materials, what is reflected in the bizarre outlines of compositions,  careful elaboration of the surface and color scheme.
Petra Lindenbauer  (Austria) with a pioneer curiosity explores habitat looking for ideas and creative finds for her inspiration.  According Petra the Nature is her  friend and mentor.  Her compositions at the exhibition (Baikal-bluе, Series  «Baikal ornaments», Baikal land and wind) are made under the impression of Baikal's and Olkhon's beauty. Author uses natural textures and reliefs giving birth to amazing harmony of form, color and content.
The composition Sunset was created under the influence of landscapes and Olkhon sacred energy,  concise in form and endowed with rather symbolic than realistic sound. It's author - Vera Bakastova, the artist fromSaint-Petersburg, Russia.
Compositions-torahs by the artists from Rostov Urman Karazhanov are full of the philosophical perception not so much of seen as of deeply felt on Baikal coasts. The whole and in the same time open forms, made from Baikal black sand and local clay, are fraught with hidden movement. Turquoise flashes of glazes are associated with Baikal wave splashes  (Sand and waves).  Continuing to develop, like last year, the theme of a “thought expressed” the author appeals to the aesthetics of the absurd (Word game). He is also attracted to Eastern philosophy with its love of understatement and meditative culture of contemplation.
The influence of ancient classics is felt in the triptych of Elena Slastnikova  (Chelyabinsk, Russia)  Baikal Night - both in working with the form and in admiration for the beauty of human (first of all female) body. Preferring to work with a sculpture the author makes her exquisite compositions from thin slabs, using the special modeling method which allows to transfer the finest nuances of a relief surface.
The ceramic plastic by the artist from Zvenigorod (Russia) Anna Kupriyanova is performed on a wave of inspiration from local fauna, legends about ancestors - gardians of the Baikal land.  The folk thinking generally is inherent in Anna's creativity - bright, tiled, Russian-folk.  Despite the siberian “accent” of her compositions (Earth. Air. Water;  Baby seal) and some styling the strong connection with images and ornamental heritage of folk Russian culture is clearly felt.    
To sculpt vessels remains one of the main themes in Sergey's Purtyan creativity. The artist develops the idea of a spirituality of the vessel - “reservoirs of soul and secrets of being”.  His Bukha-Noyon sends us to the Baikal epic, according which the mythical bull Bukha-Noyon has been thetotem ancestor of the Buryat bulagats tribe. The author's interpretation of the mythological image demonstrates an attempt in his own way (original but careful) to make sense of the artistic heritage of the past,  to approach the problem of correlation of traditions and innovations in modern ceramics.
The composition The Split by Tatyana Eroshenko (Irkutsk, Russia) seeks to convey emotional mood, to develop internal physical stress, to make it tangible. Tatiana is interested in the state of metamorphosis and confrontation, in the moment of transition from one to another.  It seems a little more and her TheStorm clouds will spill summer Olkhon rain.
Certainly The Descended from Heaven by Vagram Galstyan (Armenia) can be called the one of the iconic works of this season. His sky-high spirits endowed with a human faces were born under influence of the sacred Baikal atmosphere. Being very active and a multi-talented person (cameraman, director, master of art and video performances and socio-political actions) Vagram Galstyan in his work explores the problem of human-society interactions considering the conflict (including in art) as the driving force of many processes.
The social issues are not alien to conceptual experiments of Palma Babos, the ceramic artist from Hungary. Porcelain - Palma's favorite material - loses its utilitarian purpose in her hands and turns to complex art objects and multi-level installations.  One of the main topics of concern to the author - environmental issue, global warming and ice melting in Antarctica.  The composition Icebergs is dedicated to that problem.  The Nature, which simply must be preserved at all costs, opposes soulless modules skyscrapers and “boxes”.
Interactive installations of the artist from Slovenia Ivana Petan (Between the water and the wind) also designed for attention and close contact with the audience.  At the heart of her work is an intuitive understanding of the world around her, hence - improvisation as a way of self-expression. Ivana is open to dialogue and invites her audience to become an accomplice of the creative process.
Svetlana Shubnikova (Angarsk, Russia) is a good tale-teller, in her hands come to life Baikal stones and snags, old things get a rebirth (Clouds, Time flow,Pilgrims). Funny heroes of her magic works, sometime moving from one composition to other, lead their leisurely life, causing a kind smile.
  The worlds of Elena Nosova, Irkutsk, Russia(The Seed, The story of the forest) are much more fantasy than fantastic, based on the contrast and the opposition of the hero (which is usually the alter ego of the author) to the surrounding and often alien world. Elena is a talented narrator, her clay panels tell us fascinating stories.
In the hands of the young ceramic artist Valentina Komarova (Saint-Petersburg, Russia) the clay becomes an obedient tool and serves to embody the most daring and original ideas.  The ability of clay to transform allows the artist to experiment with complex shapes and create unexpected interpretations of a wide variety of objects or phenomena (The Olkhon clowds).
The ceramic compositions by Lidia Los from Irkutsk, Russia(Forest, Grass crushed by snow) are quite recognizable. Having made a stylization one of her favorite artistic techniques, she with ease dissects and modifies the image that interested her focusing on a new, author's interpretation of what she saw.
It can be noted that in the art of modern ceramics is an active search for new means of expression, for limit expression of material properties, for the richness of color and texture, for the development of new stories and themes. A striking confirmation of this again became the annual International Symposium “Baikal-CeraMystica”.

Elena Kabunova
art critic
head of the Siberian Art Department
of the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum
member of the Association of art critics of Russia