Landescape Art Review - October 2013

Page 60


E scape

Anastasia Savinova (Russia/Sweden) Nothing comes from nothing. There is something around us – our environment. There is something inside us – our thoughts, dreams, memories. There is the past behind us and the future ahead. We are somewhere in between and we are free to take everything as a source for creation. Every usual object as food in a street cafe, a bush near a road, a bottle at a flea market, a city or a planet – gives us a dozen of ways to read the shape and the meanings of them. Every tiny or huge thing or emotion can give rise to a new story. In my works, I compose a binary system, where one pole is monochromatic, minimalistic and nonobjective and the other is colorful, detailed and figurative. “Vibration” is my personal goal. I aspire to create simple, yet touching pieces and to find a fine line between clarity and mess, simplicity and richness, void and fullness. As a graduate from an architecture university, I have a strong interest in cities. When something in a city catches our eye, its image is planted in our minds and our imagination starts picturing this image as a mix of real shapes which become surreal in their connection with each other. In my long-term (or maybe even life-long) project Genius Loci, I’m trying to identify differences and to find similarities between places of habitation. When travelling around foreign countries and inside my own country, I take photos of buildings, I look into windows sneakily, go to local shops, flea markets and bars, breathe the air, watch people and their everyday life – all this helps me to build the feeling of the Place. This feeling becomes a foundation for a series of large-scale collages. The Integral Image emerges from visual information and a dozen of triggered associations. Architecture, texture and details form a strong feeling of the Place. Cities are closely related to the land, on which they have grown. While architecture and landscape are visual components of the integral image of the Place, at the same time, this image is inseparably linked with a mentality and a way of life. It is saturated with “an incorporeal something”. Ancient romans called it "genius loci" – the protective spirit of a place. In contemporary usage, “genius loci” usually refers to a location's distinctive atmosphere. Every place has its own unique qualities, not only in terms of its physical makeup, but of how it is perceived. It is not merely about walls, windows, roofs and roads. Indeed, it is about the structure of life, about authenticity of the Place. The collages are meant to reveal the integral image and “genius loci”. A Big house on each collage is composed of many buildings, which are typical for a particular country, in their connection with the land and the spirit of the Place. Titles for works are given according to the ISO country codes. There is also a pile of sketches and some large pictures of details. Some places invite us to stop for a while, to look around, to touch ragged old walls. These places awaken our memories. We can just stay still and listen to the past. My works from the series “Mosaico” are fragments of walls with tiles, cracks, patina and layers of time. The walls remember. Our memory is built from small bricks, covered with many layers of our subjective perception of reality. Some bricks are absent from the canvas – it is the area of forgetting. “Bricks” are made from triangular and rectangular pieces, cut by a knife from a big sheet of a cardboard. The process of cutting was very slow, automatic, so the mind was open for walk-in thoughts, images and memories, and the process itself was the place of memory. The color of the works is still changing, it is getting warmer and the works are acquiring more distinctive traces of time. Anastasia Savinova #196 Winter


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