Fine Arts / Landscape Architecture
«BERESTA», old Russian tradition giving a second life to a tree.
White Birch (Betula Papyrifera) is the emblematic tree of Russia. Since the 10th century, birch has been widely used in medicine, writing, as well as in everyday life (roof insulatio, floors, walls, stationery, decoration, jewellery, clothing, toys and even in Russian cuisine such as the delicious birch juice). Known for its natural waterproofing and antiseptic properties, birch bark (called «BERESTA») has always been appreciated for use in kitchen utensils and tableware manufacturing. Painting on bark (cutting, embossing, relief sculptures etc.) is known since the 15th century and became a part of Russia’s cultural heritage.
The bark is taken from dead trees and worked in a special way to make it malleable in order to obtain an appropriate «canvas» for the artist’s creation. The biggest challenge is to envision an image through the natural structure of the bark - using its fine horizontal stripes, black marks and scars, and then minimize the use of paint letting nature express itself. Obviously, we can paint whatever we wish, but in traditional art, winter landscapes and birch trees themselves are featured.
(Click on the image below for more details)