Olga Davydova. Beyond Aquilon
Erarta Museum presented an exhibition by Olga Davydova taking the viewer on a journey into a mysterious land where the north wind is born
The austere nature of the Kola Peninsula seen through the eyes of the temperate zone dweller
The clash between man and the elements
The canvas as the realm of struggle and search for harmony
Born in the wake of the artist’s trip around the Kola Peninsula, the Beyond Aquilon project brings together paintings, aluminium prints, and found objects.
While working on the exhibition, Olga Davydova compared her impressions with the ancient view of the North as the cradle of the world. It is upon these rugged lands that the dawn of mankind first shined, and that is why it is the place to search for the mysterious Hyperborea, the legendary northern civilisation whose children emerged from the blood of the titans. The ancient Greeks believed that these people dwell somewhere ‘beyond Aquilon’ — where the north wind is born and the sun shines without setting for six months, only to hide from view for the other half of the year.
Coming from the Russian temperate climate zone, the artist was keen to explore a place where humans can rise above themselves to counter the elements. This is life and at the breaking point: amid the austere nature and rough climate, next to the centuries-old ice of the Arctic Ocean, people work hard and build cities on frozen ground.
The very texture of these paintings reflects this sense of opposition coupled with an urge to harmonise the conflicting principles: the pure white primer is like a substance remote from human existence, while the paint becomes an entity trying to gain a foothold in this substance and get accustomed to it.