STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
“Landscape should depict the earth
One can walk upon, and the heaven
One can fly in…”
Exhibition of paintings and drawings by Margarita Siourina STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN borrowed its name from the known song by Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven”. Semantically, denotation of the word ‘Stairway’ in English is ‘stairs, steps’ without handrail, without support. Thus, the Artist designates her exposition as an attempt to ascend, and offers the audience to estimate if the author succeeded to meet the challenge she had issued for herself…
Stairway to heaven in the context of Christian iconography is a symbol for several meanings: the Bible takes us to Jacob's dream ([Gen. 28:12), when the angels go up the ladder to God and go down it too]. The second meaning is the ladder leant against the Cross, leading to the Cross. It is the way to salvation through suffering. The third meaning is the ladder in the hands of Mother of God in the icons: it is the symbol of ‘descent’ of God through Her to the world, to His bodily incarnation. In the exposition, a ladder twined with grapevine organically appears as if to remind us of the symbol of the Eucharist, the Holy Communion.
In the focus of the exhibition there is a polyptych ‘The Legend of Karaites’, a scroll opening from right to left to unroll a boundless landscape in front of the spectators’eyes: the portrait of the Earth limited only with still more boundless sky. The theme of Karaites is also resumed in the series Chufut-Kale and in Bakhchisarai landscapes. Spontaneous associations bring a spectator 100 years back, to Cimmerian Spring and Cimmerian Dusk by Maksimillian Voloshin dedicated to the famous Russian painter Konstantin Fiodorovich Bogayevskiy, in whose works the Crimea, Chufut-Kale and Bakhchisarai became the quintessence of creative self-expression…
In granite rocks — wings broken and fractured.
Pressed down by the hills lays twisted crooked spine.
Stiff efforts all around of land rejected.
Foremother’s lips with wordlessness to cry!
The plots are similar, but there is a gap of 100 years between the artists. So are the methods of artistic perception of the land and nature they depict: romantic and symbolic with Bogayevskiy; realistic and brought down to earth with Siourina. Hence comes the difference in colour solutions.
Ancient Cimmeria is a blissful and truly inexhaustible subject. It is only obvious that in every generation of artists there is a master to get really addicted to it. No matter which way Margarita Siourina takes, Cimmeria most probably will keep holding her.