Inspiring images

I interviewed Leonid Dudarenko in his studio. Already over 80 years old, he told me interesting stories about art and the process of creativity. I listened while looking at the walls, which were covered in pictures. His Belarusian landscapes each seem to tell a story, luring us into their composition. The female form is also a recurring theme: individually or portrayed within a scene with some unusual meaning to him. Of course, women have provided inspiration to most artists, becoming a muse which brings forth creativity. Womankind represents beauty, kindness and tenderness, high morality and rich spirituality. Mr. Dudarenko’s My Longsuffering Belarus focuses on womankind. Meanwhile, women embody hope and optimism in his symbolic On the Threshold of the 21st Century. Like many other painters, writers and poets, he glorifies women for their social importance and reveres their contribution to daily life.
I interviewed Leonid Dudarenko in his studio. Already over 80 years old, he told me interesting stories about art and the process of creativity. I listened while looking at the walls, which were covered in pictures. His Belarusian landscapes each seem to tell a story, luring us into their composition. The female form is also a recurring theme: individually or portrayed within a scene with some unusual meaning to him.
Of course, women have provided inspiration to most artists, becoming a muse which brings forth creativity. Womankind represents beauty, kindness and tenderness, high morality and rich spirituality. Mr. Dudarenko’s My Longsuffering Belarus focuses on womankind. Meanwhile, women embody hope and optimism in his symbolic On the Threshold of the 21st Century. Like many other painters, writers and poets, he glorifies women for their social importance and reveres their contribution to daily life. His colourful works tend to receive attention in March, when Women’s Day is traditionally celebrated.
This year, the National Statistical Committee compiled a portrait of the typical Belarusian woman (as was done last year). Little has changed in fact. She is 42 years old, with children, and tends to reside in a city. Twenty percent boast higher education and half of the female population have secondary special education.
Few would argue that Belarusian women are both beautiful and intelligent, usually studying economic, humanitarian and social specialities. They tend to work in education, health care and the hotel industry, as well as at sewing and textile enterprises, in trade and in financial spheres. Women tend to name Belarusian as their native language, yet primarily use Russian for communication at home and work.
Statistics tell us that there are 800,000 more women in our country than men: 1,165 women per thousand men. Some might say that this arouses greater competition in women to find a spouse, inspiring them to take care of their health. They certainly have a longer life expectancy than men (about 12 years longer).
Statistics cannot tell us everything though. Most contemporary Belarusian women would say that they feel more independent than ever before, solving their own problems, where they may previously have turned to men. Many are involved in business and science; the role of hostess is no longer a female monopoly, just as intellectual activity is no longer the sphere only of men.
In this issue of our magazine, we speak to Valentina Luzina — a deputy of the National Assembly’s House of Representatives. She tells us of the increasing numbers of tourists — domestic and foreign — arriving in Grodno Region’s Oshmyany District. Neighbouring Lithuania, the lands boast a rich historical past and many dedicated people — like Ms. Luzina, who has a love of local history. Find out more in Beautiful Road to Golshany.
We also speak to Honoured Figure of Arts of Belarus Leonid Dudarenko, who is inspired by the female form: Chronicle Writer of the Age. His artworks are unique, arousing our fascination.

BY Viktor Kharkov,
magazine editor
Беларусь. Belarus
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