Images of Tantra, by Robert Powell
“Memories of Heaven”
A Painting Exhibition by Olga Polunin
Available at the Kamalaya Gallery from 18th October to 28th November
“Playing with Art” Creative Drawing Classes
11.00 – 13.00 at the Alchemy Lounge
Born in 1963, Olga Marie Polunin is a Singaporean painter living in Belgium. She is of Russian-English and Hakka Chinese descent. Her paternal grandparents, Vladimir and Violet Polunin were respected artists of the 20th century, friends and colleagues of Diaghilev, Matisse, Picasso, and Bakst. As homage to this great lineage and her love for the arts, she has developed for the last 20 years her own artistic path as a harmonious balance between East, West and herself.
Inspired by Asian art as well as the Primitive Flemish masters, beliefs and symbolism, Olga Polunin has developed, since her first exhibition in 1997, a singular artistic expression that pays tribute to both her European and Chinese heritage, where nudes display innocence mixed with sensuality and desire, linking family and universal values.
Like the Flemish masters she reveres, Polunin has refined through the years her “glacis” technique, the old (and time consuming) way to add successive layers of oil paint in order to create a refined and profound quality of light, transparency and detail.
Sensuality and love are the first things that comes into mind when seeing her paintings, together with the profound reds and blues, her rich indigo and lapis lazuli blues, that envelop many of her paintings, like a universe by itself, as it transports the characters she paints into a land close to dreams, poetry as well as deep humanity and spirituality.
Polunin likes to paint nudes, women and children sometimes with animals inspired by Chinese or Buddhist mythology, but in the opposite way that women are represented in common media, Polunin paints them in all their feminity, in harmony, at peace with their with round and sensual bodies.
Polunin’s depiction of Woman seems to refer to a place where nudity, as well as desire, myths and family, are the most natural things. Her characters, even when depicted with strong sensuality, are always gracious and never overtly erotic. Even the babies or the mythological animals she likes to paint seem to enjoy whatever they are doing in her universe…
When asked why she mostly paints women, she explains:
“In painting women with children I mostly explore the idea of the two poles of humanity - Spirit and Flesh. For me the Madonna image symbolizes the closest we can physically come to being as god, through the creation of a new life, yet this divine creation is through a physical act. A human being is both god and beast, of heaven and earth. This mystery that has puzzled and inspired us since the beginning of time.”
Her inspiration seems to be like her life, a continuous and smoothed path creating a peaceful balance through her paintings between beauty, love and family through her mastery of a delicate and intricate painting technique.
It is this feeling of a very human and simple harmony, this feeling of being at peace with body, mind and soul. It exhales from her paintings, with her refined style and technique, together producing the quality as well as the singularity of her work.
Her latest show, “Memories of Heaven,” will feature at the Kamalaya Gallery from 18th October to 28th November
Playing with Art
Through drawing and painting, we can access a space in time where the mind can be free yet focused, much like meditation, far from mundane or practical thoughts that often fill our heads. It is a time when we can let go of our daily concerns and step into a place where complete freedom and creativity can exist.
During the classes I’d like to propose practical exercises where complete beginners and also those with some experience with drawing can explore this creativity without any preconceptions about beauty or value, where the sole purpose of the task at hand is to stimulate and open up new ideas and inspiration.
The left side of the brain, which is the dominant side, is more focused on logical, practical problem solving, while the right side is more to do with emotions as well as spatial and intuitive matters. Through these classes, I’d like to stimulate this creative right hemisphere with tasks tailored specially to awaken this more artistic side, that this creativity and intuition can also be awakened in daily life and activities.