Fantasy: Painted Celebration of Russia

By Jo Phillips

Matryoshki oil on canvas 71 x 61 cm
Matryoshki, oil on canvas, 71 x 61 cm

Our homeland is a place of nostalgia, its history glowing and customs – however objectively absurd – are conducted with childlike relish. A patriotic and soft-lens view of where one is from becomes a fantasy. Annya Sand’s ‘Study of Russia’ exhibition at Asia House, New Cavendish Street, London used her native country Russia as a subject.

For a country so diverse in physical space, rich in history and diverse in culture, Annya has chosen quiet parts of nature, iconic architecture and rousing artistic legacies in her oil paintings. Annya talks to .Cent about how she developed the idea of a painted celebration of her culture:

“I admire a lot of artists, particularly my work ‘Plyos’ was inspired by the works of Levitan. Although I am influenced by a number of artists, I am always looking to implement my original ideas.

Pushkin Oil On Canvas 91 x 71 cm
Pushkin, oil on canvas, 91 x 71 cm

The country’s cultural and historical heritage is inspiring and through the ‘Study of Russia’ I hope that I can bring iconic Russian culture to an international audience. I have always been fascinated by Russian culture, due to my multicultural background and exposure to Russian literature at a very young age. I travelled extensively across Russia and was fascinated by its architecture, music and people. Since I first started studying the works of Pushkin at school I have always had a passion for his literature and a love of his genius.

The works of Pushkin and Tchaikovsky played a big part in shaping my cultural understanding of Russia. They have been great influences in my life. I also have a work called ‘Waiting for Changes’, which was inspired by a famous song by legendary Russian rock band Kino, at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Also in my collection you can see the paintings of different places of worship within Russia, which reflects Russia’s cultural and religious diversity.”

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