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Natalia Dolgova: Icons of Faith & Fate

Natalia Dolgova

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Natalia Dolgova: Icons of Faith & Fate will be on display at Gallery 8 from January 24 to January 28, 2012.

The gender of the Russian word for Destiny is female. And over twenty extraordinary new paintings by the Siberian-born artist Natalia Dolgova give Destiny her human form.

The paintings to be exhibited at Gallery 8 present a sensational series of images of women – many inspired by ancient legends – playing with their fate, shown through symbolic icons and imagery. The human spirit, the female character in particular, and its relationship to nature is the central theme.

As Natalia Dolgova explains: “The theme of Icons of Faith & Fate is the strength of the human spirit. Pagan and mythological figures in paintings such as the Circus Princess and the Queen of the Night portray the darker side to human nature. Others such as Parting and Swan Song show the lighter side, and bring us back to the ultimate faith – that there is a destiny or fate for us all.”

Dolgova’s most recent work refers back to the pre-Christian era when every feature in the landscape was ruled by its own deity. She asks us to think about the importance of nature in our lives and consciousness as she feels that we too often drive past natural phenomena with neither thought nor appreciation.

One of her artistic inspirations is the Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli who used an enhanced natural world to showcase and emphasise the beauty of his subjects.

Dolgova’s composition is classical in the sense that the key character is central but the eye is then drawn to myriad details that gradually change and challenge the viewers’ initial perspective. Her rich colours and many pigments add depth and emotion to her works. Her attention to detail goes down to the very textures and surfaces of each object – some seem to glow and others to physically emerge from the canvas.

As the writer Jury Rytkheu wrote in the Russian publication Creative Spirit, Dolgova’s work represents “a mythological environment offering inspiration to the will, letting off into free flight the magic bird of creative imagination.” (‘The Phenomenon of Natalya Dolgova’).

Natalia Dolgova was born in the Ust-Omchug region of Siberia in 1968 where she spent her childhood. She trained as an artist in Magadan and then at the VI Mukhina Academy of Art in St. Petersburg. Dolgova lived and worked in Denmark from 1996-2005 where she achieved a high critical reputation and great success. She moved to the UK in 2004 and now lives in the picturesque village of Netherthong in the Pennines of Yorkshire.

Natalia Dolgova has an extensive exhibition history which includes solo shows at major public museums across Europe.

Preview: Tuesday, January 24, 6pm – 9pm.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 6pm.

Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN