It was a saturday. I planned to visit a vegetarian restaurant, recommended to me by a Russian friend. Before leaving my apartment in central Omsk, I carefully examined the route on Google Maps. After setting off, I walked for almost two hours by which time I had reached the outskirts of the city.
Muddy paths replaced the concrete roads. Buildings grew simpler. There was a young Russian woman who sat outside her house with tea, and painted. Kazakhstani children played games in the afternoon sun. It was all charming. But I was lost. I seemed to have followed the directions, yet I was in the wilderness. I continued to explore, eventually reaching a barren region. Then I heard voices… They seemed to be chanting. I followed them and arrived at a very large building with no windows. It resembled an asylum. There were CCTV cameras and barbed wire.
Suddenly, the weather shifted. From sunny and warm, it became apocalyptic. The blue sky filled with cancerous dark clouds. There was magnificent thunder and lightning. And then, relentless rain. This elemental transition inspired me. I felt a dramatic and excited significance.
After more meandering, I approached a path, hidden by foliage. Again, I heard chanting. I followed the sounds and reached a large area enclosed by green fence. I peered through a gap. I saw a face.
Today, I’d like to share (and briefly) discuss the work of two great artists…
Stefan Iyapah is a student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. I had the pleasure of working with him this summer. His creative approach and aspirations truly inspired me. Stefan is one of the creators of the following paper cut stop motion animation, Synesthesia:
At the time of my first viewing, I was unware of the story and context behind Synesthesia. Nevertheless, I admired the way that the artists infused life into inanimate objects- the collection of 3D paper shapes. Later, I learned that synesthesia was in fact a neurological condition in which one sense (e.g. sound) is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses, such as sight. The word is derived from two Greek words, syn (together) and aisthesis (perception)- thus synesthesia literally means “joined perception.” In the case of Stefan’s piece, sounds express themselves as colours and shapes. After this enlightening insight, I was simply at a loss for words at the cognitive brilliance, non-linearity and psychedelic style of his animation…
Next, Joseph Prior, a Yorkshire-man and an Architecture graduate from The University of Manchester. Joey and I went to high-school together- he was one of the school’s most talented fine artists. Last week, I was lucky enough to happen upon another of his creations, Elemental:
The scenes are so beautiful and of such high quality that they could each stand alone as independent final pieces. But, for me, it is the fluidity and progressiveness of the story that makes Elemental so unbelievably powerful. The changing natural world is a pool brimming with inspiration- Joey has really tapped into this pool and delivered a unique and masterful painting experience…
Skies blackened, waves growled,
Birds fled, trees trembled, winds howled,
And the ship set sail.
– Dhrupad Karwa