Magic Landscape

By Polina Kuznetsova 

“Reconciliation with the Living” digital event in Paris.
Organized by MuseumWeek and Unesco HQ
Blooming spring, oil on canvas, 100×120 cm, 2020
Rivers of shadows, oil on canvas, 100x110x2 cm, 2020
Magic landscape, oil on cavas, 100×100 cm, 2021
“Reconciliation with the Living” digital event in Paris.
“Reconciliation with the Living” digital event in Paris.
Organized by MuseumWeek and Unesco HQ

My Landscapes

For years, I’ve been creating my magic, “enchanted landscapes” series. This series of paintings is not an attempt to depict the forests or fields as they are. What I try to do is to bring onto my canvas a sense of a forest, a feeling of a field, a palpitation of a heavy mist, of a damp soil, and of a meadow that’s like the warm back of some furry animal.

For years I’ve been fascinated by the interlacing of the leafless branches of late autumn or early spring when leaves have fallen off or have not yet popped out of the buds. I see these netted twigs as an infinite, interconnected web that hides some veiled mystery, and I want to come inside, right into this spellbound meshwork. I create each enchanted landscape as if creating a mandala. Painting them is more of a meditation for me than anything else.

There was a time in my life when I was going through a rough patch and everybody was calling me, asking me “How are you?” and “Are you doing all right?” to which my response was: “I am now OK, I’m painting a meadow”. This meadow became the first painting in this series, although at the time I didn’t know it would actually become a series, but it felt like I had finally found something that is really important to me. The year was 2012.

I was quite young then, and it was a period of an intense search for my creative self. Sometimes I wanted to take on topics that had a social focus or do something conceptual. But now, when I create my enchanted landscapes, I think that if people were to listen more to the feeling one gets standing on a hilltop looking down at the fur-coated grasslands, or a bewitching sense of magic one feels entering an enchanted forest – sensations well-known to people of different cultures and social classes –  then there will certainly be less evil on this Earth.

Once, this November, I came to my favorite forest. The woodlands were moist and the forest was purple. The soil was rusty-red, crimsoned by the fallen leaves that had started to decompose. I looked at all this beauty and thought: “This  is so sublime, that I wouldn’t be sad to die and blend into this magical world.”

I paint my landscapes as patterns, as abstractions. I am not interested in exact physical likeness.  

My landscapes are full of magic and are idealistically beautiful. But this year the land that inspired them, the land that I drew inspiration from for all of my life is covered with terrible wounds…