Personal motifs of Tatiana Malysheva

How a painter draws on real facts of life for creativity

By Victor Mikhailov

It’s not easy for a contemporary painter to make their own path; they have to prove themselves against the sharpest competition. Sometimes, technical progress ‘overloads’ them as they try to make a name for themselves in art. As a result, their works become non-expressive, without underlying thought. Only the talented and gifted can break through the high-tech web to surprise us with their archaic or naive character. Only later, do we begin to understand that everything is as it should be.

Glass painter Tatiana Malysheva brings a nostalgic mood to her images, inspired by her own perception of life. Her personal exhibition at the University of Culture Art Gallery in Minsk reflects her personal motifs perfectly. Her Family Legacy artwork is perceived as a holistic theme. Her exhibits interpret her recollections, brought to life through various materials.

Originally, she studied to become a decorator but many years of creative endeavour have made Ms. Malysheva a specialist in ceramics and glass. She notes that she was brought up on her parents’ stories of the four long years of struggle during WWII. They were called to the front at a very young age to fight fascism, from the beginning to the end, and were lucky to remain alive. Her parents protected their homeland: a fact laid down in Tatiana’s consciousness from her early years. Her works explore this theme repeatedly, making her confident that her love for drawing, music and literature is inherited from her parents. They gave her all that they failed to realise for themselves, since war took away their strength and health.

Veneration for her parents is the major link connecting her plots: patriotism, honour, comradeship and loyalty to one’s homeland. Many works displayed at the exhibition reflect a joyful, festive mood, alongside pride in one’s country. “I often study artefacts from the History Museum and the Museum of Great Patriotic War History, finding out about memorable dates, which are part of the history of civilisation forever,” muses Ms. Malysheva. “Severe details of what happened at the front are legendary symbols for me. I’d like to create a monument to soldier water bottles and mugs, and use ribbons and stars to decorate.”

Her technique allows her to re-create any photo on nickel chrome foil, placing it between glass sheets. Her huge dish at the show has ‘stained glass medals’ inspired by her parents’ medals and orders: their legacy.

Of course, Tatiana Malysheva is a great master of decoration and can easily create any image. For example, she has ‘locked’ fire into clear geometric forms, resembling a diamond. This work is kept at the National Art Museum of Belarus. Her large multi-coloured red-blue-white set, entitled Festive Vases, relies on architectural principles.

The search for new techniques, textures and manner has gradually brought Tatiana Malysheva to her individual style. One of her favourite works — Architectonics — is inspired by her observation of rain drops. They fly, fall and finally reach the surface, producing big and small spiral circles. This artwork primarily uses architectural principles, with seven shades of colour honouring the richest palette of glass at Neman Glassworks.

After studying at the institute, Ms. Malysheva worked for over a decade at this enterprise in the Grodno Region’s Berezovka. She exchanged the capital for the provinces, learning her trade and reaching her goal, achieving great heights in her profession. “Probably, at that time, I had more enthusiasm than I do now!” explains Tatiana. “It was a time which enabled everyone to reach their height, with inexplicable motivation.”

Her talent comes easily today and she shares her experience with students. She is also a scholarship holder, receiving an award from the state (as paid to the most talented artists). Her current exhibition is a creative report of the past year’s achievements. The scholarship influenced her long-term plan, with money spent on materials and equipment, allowing her to achieve her creative goals. Tatiana is grateful to the state for its support. She has acquired confidence and will be able to think of the future, making her dreams a reality.

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