top of page
  • Irina Novikova

Russian Sirins: Irina Novikova

Artist's introduction:

I am now coming to a certain mythological section in my work. Since the beginning of this year, I have been painting Sirins, birds from Russian mythology, constantly. For me, as they are half-humans, half-birds, it's like a dream. Poets and many other creators voice the desire to have wings and take flight. The Belarusian poet, Maxim Bogdanovich, wrote a poem entitled ‘My soul is like a wild hawk’. At the age of 13, I illustrated it for the first time; it was then close to my worldview and general attitude. The image of the Sirin ‘came’ to me at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, but at that time I thought of depicting scarlet burning birds flying over barren mountain ridges. Later, my thoughts and feelings changed, and I began to paint white Sirins, calm and peaceful. Sometimes, it seems to me that these creatures look like the ‘Swan Princess’ from a painting by Mikhail Vrubel. Birds cover vast distances, flying over different countries; they are a symbol of freedom and the destruction of borders, and the motif of the human face-mask indicates different personalities. For me, the scarlet Sirin is a kind of pandemic symbol, its bright face representing freedom. These are my personal symbols, or rather, my personal mythology.


In April 2021, I started making monotypes. I needed an ‘external’ print effect (the basis for me), to which I then added with a gel pen and gouache. I have been doing black and white graphics for a long time, but I came to ink fills by accident. I wanted to portray a real girl who had an unusual expression, bulging eyes and a mouth half-open in a smile. I thought that she looked like she was wearing a mask, that she was not a real, living being filled with feelings. I do not think that my work then turned out to be good; it was most likely a ‘test of the pen’. I do not really like much of what I create. I am critical and strict with myself. Later, I moved from a black silhouette to a white one. It was then that I produced ‘Istria of the Mouse’, small sketches from the life of a petite fluffy animal. It was the very beginning of the two thousand and twentieth (2020) year of the rat. This was exhibited as part of the series almost a year later in the exhibition hall of the Moscow Union of Artists on Starosadsky Lane. It was the first time I showed the public my short stories, where the pictorial material is intertwined with the literary.


I am interested in the individual and what, of their private inner world, is invisible to the outer eye. It is the hidden aspect that I try to show- to reveal on a sheet of paper. It seems to me that this is similar to the process of cutting a precious crystal.


My project is based on the variety of subjective experiences that an artist who has spent a lot of time in just one room can imagine. Here, fiction and reality intersect: recent memories of the past, pages from books and figments of dreams and imagination. The artist themself is a half-bird with a human face. I am here exploring my own perception and memory. I am interested in how our memory makes sense of our past and in the related inner-thoughts it develops.



Title: Lost Moments: Sirin and Masks

Materials: ink, gel pen, gouache, paper (monotype and painting)

Size: 30x40 cm

Year: 2021



Title: Big Fish

Materials: ink, gel pen, gouache, paper (monotype and painting)

Size: 30x40 cm

Year: 2021



Title: Two: Sirins and Song

Materials: ink, gel pen, gouache, paper (monotype and painting)

Size: 30x40 cm

Year: 2021


Title: Two Sirins

Materials: ink, gel pen, gouache, paper (monotype and painting)

Size: 30x40 cm

Year: 2021



About Irina Novikova:


Novikova was born in 1987 in Minsk, where she now works and lives. She graduated from the State Academy of Slavic Cultures with a degree in Art and from the Moscow Humanitarian and Technical Academy with a degree in Design. Novikova is a member of the Krasnogorsk United Community, ‘Comp’, the Russian Federation of Watercolourists, the International Art Fund (IHF), the Union of Russian Artists and of the Creative Association, ‘Artist’. Her first personal exhibition, ‘My soul is like a wild hawk’ (2002), was held in the museum of Maxim Bagdanovich. In his works, he focuses on themes such as ecology.

52 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page