The cycle of linocuts ‘Karelia’

In the summer of 2011, I was staying at Kolin Ryynanen’s (Kolin Ryynänen) creative residence in Northern Karelia, Finland. Here, my creative impulses reincarnated to personal and voiceless conversations with verdant forests of Karelia. Koli National Park is one of the most visited territories in Finland, where simple miracles of nature give inspiration: the environs of rocky hills astonish with boundless forests, sky-blue Pielinen Lake, terrain where slash-and-burn agriculture technology is used, and specific landscape of Karelia. We can still spot a slash-and-burn agriculture system in the forest territory of the Eastern Finland. The soil of open fields is fertilized with ashes of burnt perennial, usually forests. These burnt fields evoke ambiguous feelings, which became specific images in my mind, transformed onto graphic plates at a later time. The project ‘Karelia’ is based on a story, senses and an exploration of human nature, his roots, lifestyle and surroundings. I pursue to draw one’s attention to an emotional side of a graphic print, preservation of graphics as a craft, organic techniques and the subtlety of expression. The colouring prevailing in prints, symbolically defines the effect of two mixed colours: ‘cold’ blue and ‘warm’, stimulating to act, yellow. Dark green (spruce’s thorn) tones give strength and hope; yellow-green tones cause optimism; green colour, satiated with yellow shades, fills heart with nostalgia for journeys, the past and internal piece. The prints are like knitwear: they weave various patterns on the surface of engraving. Shades of green colour dominate in the carvings. In the forests of Karelia spruces create an impression of forever-green space. By using a chisel in different directions I model a chosen part of this tree as a dominant element in my engravings. I create various forms and patterns by using it.

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