A mysterious forest, an endless expanse of water, a sandy shore, a lonely lighthouse – with She Who Runs on the Waves series, we see Ms. Marina Fedorova address nature for the first time. In the past, the Artist always preferred urban motifs: the models and actresses appearing in her paintings were inevitably surrounded by the recognizable symbols of big city life, like modern cars, busy streets, bright windows of fashionable shops, numerous bar and café interiors.
The trip to Finland, where the Artist embraced the atmosphere of an unhurried life on quiet secluded islands, opened up new picturesque perspectives for her. Nature appears in these paintings as a romantic stage set for a new lyrical and dreamy mood never before seen in her works. It is no longer associated with the world of gloss and glamour, but rather with a return to the childlike immediacy of being. Travelling across Finland, the Artist seemed to be reliving the memories of her first trips. The blue sky, the bright saturated colours, the profusion of fresh air in these works speak of the purity of perception and the joy of natural communication with the world.
The Artist seems enchanted by the cool shades of the North. Once again turning to watercolour, she takes this medium to a new expressive height. These works amaze the viewer with their technical mastery, combining lightness of lines with a profound vision of an experienced painter. The project is centred on children who exist in harmony with their natural environment. They play with reflections in the water, hide behind trees, and travel along forest paths. Real life observations intertwine with romantic childhood memories and literary associations. For instance, Wave Dancer was inspired by Alexander Grin’s writings and the now-classical Soviet films from the 1960s (the 1967 She Who Runs on the Waves and the 1961 Scarlet Sails). The spellbinding dreams, the feeling of exciting anticipation, the regular rhythm of harmonious living, the magical world of nature and beckoning water horizons appear in this project as vivid memory flashes and romantic fantasies of the Artist.
Anastasia Karlova, Ph.D.
Curator of the Department of Contemporary Art, State Russian Museum,