Twelve months — twelve female images

Dryads art project, held at National Art Museum, boasts 45 unique photos, avant-garde costumes and author’s decorations.
Dryads art project, held at National Art Museum, boasts 45 unique photos, avant-garde costumes and author’s decorations.

The art project explores the mythical and mysterious Dryad tree spirits. Twelve enigmatic female images are identified with the months of the calendar year and revealed through various means of artistic expression, showing the spirits’ special connection with Belarusian nature. Each figure is portrayed in avant-garde costume, with fabrics made in shibori, batik and nuno-felting techniques. Hairstyles are elaborate, as is make-up, and they wear crowns, diadems, and masks from stones and metal. Of course, the latter accentuate the multifaceted nature of these creatures.

The Dryads also exist in impressionist watercolour style photographs, created by Anna Gert, a designer, photo artist and director of music videos. She has already taken part in a range of Republican and international exhibitions: in Belarus, in Lithuania and Germany, and she has directed music videos for well-known Belarusian artistes Piotr Yelfimov, Zhanet, Ivan Buslay, Gerilana and Ksenia Sitnik, as well as for such bands as Aura, Palladium, and S°unduk.

Anna graduated from the Minsk State Gymnasium College of Arts and then studied at the Department of Design and Decorative and Applied Arts, at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. She won the Home for Children of Chernobyl competition, organised by Germany, and has led the promotion of goods for Belarus’ entry for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for several years. She is also a member of the Belarusian Union of Designers.

Alla Sviridenko, a member of the International Batik Guild and International Guild of Silk Painting (of the USA, the UK, Germany and France) has also contributed to the exhibition. An architect and teacher by education, she graduated from the Architectural Department of Mogilev’s Architectural-Building College, and the Art and Graphic Department of Vitebsk’s State Pedagogical Institute. She now works with batik, silk painting, shibori and nuno-felting techniques, applied to fine arts, interior design and clothes. In recent years, she has designed clothes for music videos and advertising, and has taken part in exhibitions of decorative art and clothes design in Minsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Another contributor is art teacher Darya Poluyan, who works with metal and stone, in graphic design, and with decorations and accessories. Over the last year, she has made decorations for beauty contests.

The last participant is Nadezhda Slizhevskaya — a stylist for music videos and advertising. She graduated from the Art and Graphic Department of Vitebsk’s State University (named after P.M. Masherov) and often took part in the Art-Academy Republican Exhibition of Modern Visual Creativity, for higher education students. In Beijing, she has given master classes on TV-make-up, as used on European channels.

Love of creativity unites all those who have contributed works to the Dryads exhibition, each with their own original vision and delicate technique of performance. The pictures explore the mystery of these feminine spirits and, already, are drawing great crowds to the exhibition.

By Victor Mikhailov
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