By Victor Mikhailov
Who is not moved by the majesty and beauty of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha? Its rich landscapes, flora and fauna inspire the imagination like nowhere else. Centuries-old trees charm with their thick crowns, while the animal world is amazing in its diversity. Even the most emotionally restrained are bestowed with memories to last a lifetime. True nature lovers are beside themselves with delight.
Naturally, it is a superb environment for any artist, so the open air workshop in the Pushcha resulted in diversity of technique and mood. The results are now on display at the Belarusian Union of Artists’ Gallery, in Minsk’s Palace of Arts. The emotional response of the artists is evident in every stroke of the brush.
For Vasily Kostyuchenko, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha has inspired his expression and use of an unusual palette — for which he is already known. Naturally, his intense green tones reproduce the wild purity and wilderness of the reserve, set off by blue skies, the golden sun and gentle rose rays of morning light. Life in the Pushcha appears impressively tranquil and peaceful, while teeming with activity.
Piotr Sharypa reflects the reserve’s beauty in a more homely manner while Alena Sharypa presents the Pushcha’s wild flowers as still life. Her rainbow of chamomiles, bluebells and daisies is painted with such soul that the bouquet in a vase appears as a colourful carpet.
Kastus Kochan paints residents living close to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, busy in everyday activities. He shows that man can live alongside nature without harming it, repaid in a natural bounty of mushrooms, berries and fresh air.
Oleg Skovorodko has remained true to his usual style, capturing the dynamism of a thunderstorm. His trees sway in the powerful wind and summer light awakens the bright colours of nature, filling near-by villages with joyful daylight.
Naturally, all those who visited the Belovezhskaya Pushcha focused on the unique wonder of nature and the fascinating animal world of the forest reserve. This was the Belovezhskaya Pushcha’s third open air workshop, entitled Belovezhie-2009 and celebrating the six hundred year anniversary of its status as a natural reserve. Surprising as it may seem, several centuries ago, the first laws protecting the Belovezhskaya Pushcha were adopted, helped preserve the local beauty and the richness of the site for future generations. Every year, Belarusian artists see the charms of the Pushcha in a new way. We hope that their impressions will result in many new exhibitions.